PlayStation is a Japanese video game brand produced by Sony Interactive Entertainment, a division of the Sony Corporation. The PlayStation video game console is the most widely known product under the PlayStation umbrella, with the first PlayStation console released in Japan in December 1994, and worldwide the following year. Since then, Sony has released a further four video game consoles: PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and the PlayStation 5. Sony has also released two handheld video game consoles: the PlayStation Portable and the PlayStation Vita.
The PlayStation lineup
The PlayStation 2, or PS2, was first released in 2000, a follow-up to Sony's hugely popular original PlayStation. In the 21 years since its release, the PS2 has become the best-selling video game console of all time, with close to 158 million units sold worldwide. The PlayStation 4, or PS4, is the second-most popular PlayStation video game console in terms of sales, with over 116 million units having been sold worldwide since its release in 2013. The 2020 release with the PlayStation 5, or PS5, is part of the ninth generation of video game consoles, alongside Microsoft’s Xbox Series X and Series S consoles. The PS5 is also available in two models: a base model featuring a disc drive and a digital-only version. In 2023, Sony released their second-generation virtual reality headset for the PS5, the PlayStation VR2, which has accounted for nearly a third of all extended reality (XR) sold globally during the first quarter of 2023.
Sony also launched the PlayStation Network in 2006, a comprehensive online platform that offers a wide range of services including online gaming, access to the PlayStation Store with its vast library of games, and PlayStation Plus, a subscription service providing exclusive games, discounts, and online multiplayer features.
Of the all-time sales of video game consoles, Sony registers two of its products in the top five, with Nintendo’s DS, Switch, and Game Boy devices making up the rest. Other competitors include Microsoft’s Xbox console family, although Sony has sold over twice as many of its PlayStation 4 consoles compared to the Xbox One. Nintendo’s Switch has, however, topped both the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X/S consoles in terms of revenue, bringing in the most revenue among all current-generation gaming consoles since its release in 2020.
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