Top 10 highest selling game consoles of all time: Which one tops?

Sony and Microsoft are gearing up to unveil their next-gen flagship consoles – PlayStation 5 and Xbox Scarlett, respectively – in 2020. The existing PlayStation and Xbox consoles are nearing the end of their life cycle. While Microsoft’s Xbox One was only a moderate success, Sony announced a few weeks ago that the PlayStation 4 had surpassed the sales figures of the original PlayStation. But Sony and Microsoft are not the only giant players in the console market. Nintendo has as many as four consoles among the top 10 highest selling game consoles of all time.

Top 10 highest selling game consoles of all time

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While the PlayStation 4 has firmly established itself among the highest selling consoles of all time, it might not touch the sales figures of the iconic PlayStation 2. Nintendo’s Switch has been flying off the shelves since its launch, and the introduction of updated versions has further boosted its sales. Industry analysts predict Nintendo Switch could enter the top 10 of all time in the next few years.

These are the top 10 highest selling game consoles of all time. The ranking is based on sales data from the hardware manufacturers, industry analysts, and Statista.

10- PlayStation Portable, 80.82 million

Sony launched the PlayStation Portable in December 2004. Sony hasn’t reported the PSP sales since 2012, when it said the console had sold 76 million units. But the PSP remained in production until 2014. According to Statista, its lifetime sales stood at 80.82 million units. The UMD discs were one of its biggest selling points, with Sony highlighting them as the next big thing in mobile entertainment.

9- Game Boy Advance, 81.51 million

Nintendo’s Game Boy Advance is one of the highest selling consoles of all time. According to Nintendo, the console it launched in 2001 had sold 81.51 million units by the end of its life cycle. An estimated 377 million copies of games were also sold for the GBA. An updated Game Boy Advance SP inspired the Nintendo DS.

8- Xbox 360, 85.8 million

Launched in 2005, Xbox 360 is the only Microsoft console on the list. Microsoft learned some lessons from the development of the original Xbox and applied them to Xbox 360, which remains the company’s most successful console to date. The Xbox 360 came with an impressive library of exclusive titles and online multiplayer support. The launch of the Xbox Live service also helped boost the sales of Xbox 360.

7- PlayStation 3, 87.4 million

According to Sony’s official numbers, the PlayStation 3 had sold 87.4 million units by March 2017. The console was discontinued in May 2017. It’s unlikely to have sold a lot of units between March and May of 2017 considering consumers were going crazy for the PlayStation 4. The PS3 was launched in 2006, and came equipped with a Blu-Ray player. Though its initial sales were not that strong, it grew in popularity over time.

6- Nintendo Wii, 101.64 million

Nintendo Wii was released the same year as PlayStation 3. By the end of its run in 2017, the Nintendo Wii had sold 101.64 million units. The console also generated close to 920 million copies of software sales. The Wii came at a time when Nintendo was struggling with console sales. It was launched with unique motion controls and Wii Sports.

5- PlayStation, 102.4 million

Launched in 1994, the very first PlayStation went on to sell 102.4 million units by the end of its run in 2006. The massive popularity of the console also brought in more than 960 million copies in software sales. It remains among one of the most popular consoles ever. The PlayStation proved that the console industry was moving from videogame cartridges to CD-ROM.

4- PlayStation 4, 102.8 million

About six years after its launch, the PlayStation 4 has surpassed the lifetime sales of the original PlayStation. Sony sold 2.8 million units of PS4 in the quarter ending September 30. It takes the console’s total sales to 102.8 million units. It’s still far behind the PS2 in terms of sales. The launch of PS5 in late 2020 could hurt the PS4 sales. But Sony has an impressive line-up of titles for the PS4, which could boost its sales over the next 12 months.

3- Game Boy, 118.7 million

Nintendo’s Game Boy is the third-highest selling game console of all time. The sales figure of 118.7 million includes Game Boy and its iterative update Game Boy Color. The device was launched in 1989. An estimated 501 million copies of software were sold for Game Boy. It was Nintendo’s first handheld console, and became a massive success upon its launch.

2- Nintendo DS, 154.9 million

Released in 2004, Nintendo DS is the company’s highest selling console of all time. Only time will tell whether the Nintendo Switch will ever be able to surpass DS. According to Nintendo, it sold 154.9 million units of Nintendo DS between 2004 and 2013. The sales figures include iterative updates such as DS Lite and DSi. Its software sales also topped 950 million copies. Nintendo DS offered backward compatibility with Game Boy Advance.

1- PlayStation 2, 157.7 million

PlayStation 2 is by far the highest selling game console of all time. Launched in 2000, the second-gen PlayStation also drove software sales of a staggering 1.5 billion copies. According to Sony, the PlayStation 2 had sold “more than 155.0 million” units by the end of March 2012. The company hasn’t reported an official sales figure since then. The console was discontinued in January 2013. According to industry analysts, it ended its run with 157.7 million units.



About the Author

Vikas Shukla
Although he has a background in finance and holds an MBA, Vikas Shukla is a technology reporter. He has a strong interest in gadgets, gizmos, and science. He writes regularly on these topics. - He can be contacted by email at vshukla@valuewalk.com