The gaming business is a profitable market, with many game consoles selling tens of millions of pieces global. How well each console sold is a great test of what went right during that particular generation.
As we ready for our next-gen consoles in PS5 and Xbox Series X, we take a look at Best Selling Game Console of all time. It is also a good measure of the notable differences brought in by a new generation.
No console released in new memory has come close to overthrowing the all-time top seller. Here we count down the Best Selling Game Console ever.
Before getting into the Best Selling Game Console, it’s necessary to note that this list does not cover handhelds.
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Best Selling Game Console
Super Nintendo Entertainment System – 49 million
The Super Nintendo Entertainment System, also recognized as the Super NES or Super Nintendo, is a 16-bit home video game console developed by Nintendo that was released in 1990.
Although each version is essentially the same, several forms of regional lockout prevent the different cartridges from being compatible with one another.
The SNES was a global success, becoming the best-selling console of the 16-bit era after launching relatively late and facing serious competition from Sega’s Genesis console with 49 million units sold globally by the time it was discontinued in 2003.
Xbox One – 50 million
The Xbox One is an 8th generation home Game Console produced by Microsoft. Announced in May 2013, it is the successor to Xbox 360 and the third console in the Xbox series of video game consoles.
Microsoft only published its sales numbers during the first year after the announcement. The last official figure was released in November 2014, with the company announcing in October 2015 that it would no longer announce sales numbers for the system.
Research firm IHS Markit evaluated 39.1 million units were sold by the end of March 2018. Video game industry critic Daniel Ahmad concluded that around 41 million units had been as of January 2019.
Nintendo Switch – 55.77 million
The Nintendo Switch is a game console produced by Nintendo, released worldwide in most countries on March 3, 2017. It is a hybrid console that can be used as a normal console and compact device.
Its wireless Joy-Con controllers, with standard buttons and directional analog sticks for user input, motion sensing, and tactile feedback, can connect to both sides of the console to maintain the handheld-style play.
The Switch’s initial sales were strong, with Nintendo reporting that based on its first week’s numbers, the Switch was the company’s fastest-selling console.
As of March 2020, Nintendo has exported 55.77 million Switch units, with over 49.57 million original Switch units. With these numbers, the Switch has surpassed lifetime sales.
Nintendo Entertainment System – 61.91 million
The Nintendo Entertainment System is an 8-bit third-generation home video game console produced by Nintendo. It is a remodeled export version of the company’s Family Computer platform in Japan, generally recognized as the Famicom, which was launched on July 15, 1983.
As one of the best-selling gaming consoles of its time, the NES improved revitalize the US video game industry following the video game crash of 1983. With the NES, Nintendo offered a now-standard business model of licensing third-party developers, allowing them to produce and share games for Nintendo’s platform.
Xbox 360 – 86 million
The Xbox 360 is a game console produced by Microsoft. As the successor to the original Xbox, it is the 2nd console in the Xbox series. It faced with Sony’s PlayStation 3 and Nintendo’s Wii as part of the seventh generation of game consoles.
The Xbox 360 began production only 69 days before shipment, and Microsoft was not capable to supply suitable systems to meet initial consumer demand in Europe or North America, selling out entirely upon release in all regions except in Japan.
PlayStation 3 – 87.4 million
The PlayStation 3 is a game console developed by Sony Computer Entertainment. It is the successor to PlayStation 2 and is part of the PlayStation brand of consoles.
It was first released on November 11, 2006, in Japan, November 17, 2006, in North America, and March 23, 2007, in Europe and Australia. The PlayStation 3 competed primarily against Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and Nintendo’s Wii as part of the seventh generation of video game consoles.
Although its PlayStation predecessors had been very powerful toward the competition and were hugely beneficial for Sony, PlayStation 3 had an unlucky start, and Sony chairman and CEO Sir Howard Stringer originally could not convince investors of a turnaround in its fortunes.
The PS3 needed the unique gameplay of the more affordable Wii which became that generation’s most successful console in terms of units sold.
Nintendo Wii – 101 million
The Wii (unofficially known as the Nintendo Wii) is a home video game console released by Nintendo on November 19, 2006. As another seventh-generation game console, the Wii clashed with Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and Sony’s PlayStation 3.
As of the first quarter of 2016, the Wii led its generation over the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in global sales, with more than 101 million units sold; in December 2009, the console broke the sales record for a single month in the United States.
PlayStation – 102 million
The PlayStation is a game console developed by Sony Computer Entertainment. It was first released on 3 December 1994 and was the beginning of the PlayStation lineup of video game consoles.
As a fifth-generation console, the PlayStation originally faced with the Nintendo 64 and the Sega Saturn.
As one of the 1st disc-based consoles, it gave its users a way to listen to music via CDs, which likely supported its sales, leading to over 102 million units sold.
PlayStation 4 – 110 million
The PlayStation 4 is an 8th gen game console developed by Sony Computer Entertainment. Announced as the successor to the PlayStation 3, it was launched on November 15. It clashes with Microsoft’s Xbox One and Nintendo’s Wii U and Switch.
The requirement for PlayStation 4 was strong. In August 2013, Sony announced the placement of over a million preorders for the console, one million PlayStation 4 consoles were sold. In the UK, the PlayStation 4 became the best-selling console at launch.
PlayStation 2 – 155 million
The PlayStation 2 is a game console developed and marketed by Sony Computer Entertainment. It was first released on March 4, 2000, and is the successor to the original PlayStation, as well as the second installment in the PlayStation console line-up.
A sixth-generation console, it competed with Sega’s Dreamcast, Nintendo’s GameCube, and Microsoft’s original Xbox.
Demand for the PlayStation 2 continued strong during much of its lifespan, the PlayStation 2 became the fastest game console to reach 100 million units shipped, achieving the feat within 5 years and 9 months from its launch.