Video game consoles like PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo are all household names today.
But it wasn’t a smooth journey to achieve this feat. Back in the 90s and 2000s, as the console industry was beginning to take off, competition for market share was fierce.
That tussle still exists today, but some consoles (and brands) have clearly emerged as winners of the past few decades.
Let’s see which in this list of best selling consoles of all time.
1. Sony PlayStation 2
Units sold: 158.7 million
Released: March 2000
PS2 was the first successor of the original PlayStation console and competed with Sega’s Dreamcast, Microsoft’s Xbox, and Nintendo’s GameCube.
It was an instant hint with features likes backward compatibility with PS1 games, an integrated DVD player (a novel feature at the time), and a vast selection of games to choose from.
Some popular games that featured on PS2 over the years include Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec, and Final Fantasy X.
2. Nintendo DS
Units sold: 154 million
Released: November 2004
The Nintendo DS introduced a novel dual-screen setup, with the lower screen being a touchscreen.
It was a part of the seventh generation of consoles and competed directly with Sony’s PlayStation Portable (PSP).
The DS became a hit for its innovative features, including the touchscreen, microphone, and Wi-Fi capabilities.
Besides hits like New Super Mario Bros and Mario Kart DS that drew in gamers, the console also appealed to the non-gaming demographics with titles like Brain Age and Nintendogs.
3. Nintendo Switch
Units sold: 131 million
Released: March 2017
The Nintendo Switch was a hybrid between a home console and a portable device. It marked a major innovation in console design and was part of the eighth generation of video game consoles.
The Switch was successful because of its versatility and potential use a handheld and a home console. It appealed to traditional gamers, families, and casual players.
Also contributing to its success were popular titles with a sizeable fanbase such as The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey. drove its popularity.
4. Sony PlayStation 4
Units sold: 118.7 million
Released: November 2013
PS4 was part of the eighth generation of video game consoles and developed as the successor to the PS3. It competed with Microsoft’s Xbox One, Nintendo’s Wii U, and later the Switch.
Why did the PS4 sell so well?
Well, a strong gaming library, including critically acclaimed titles certainly helped. But also, the console provided online multiplayer capabilities and focused on ‘gamer-centric’ features like advanced graphics.
A user-friendly interface also helped it push its widespread appeal.
5. Game Boy
Units sold: 117.2 million
Released: April 1989
Seeing the Game Boy on this list is no surprise, given how it revolutionized portable gaming.
The Game Boy was Nintendo’s first handheld console under the Game Boy line and competed with devices like Sega’s Game Gear and Atari’s Lynx.
The Game Boy became immensely popular due to its durable design, long battery life, and the success of its titles like “Tetris” and the “Pokémon” series. It literally gave birth to modern gaming.
It was also affordable and portable which made it incredibly successful back in its days.
Units sold: 102.5 million
7. Nintendo Wii
Units sold: 101.6 million
Released: November 2006
The Nintendo Wii was part of the seventh generation of video game consoles, competing against the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. It was known for its unique motion-sensitive controller, the Wii Remote.
The Wii became popular for its motion-control gaming, family-friendly titles, and approachable design.
It also attracted a wide demographic, including non-traditional gaming audiences, making it a hit in both casual and party gaming scenes.
8. PlayStation 3
Units sold: 87.4 million
Released: November 2006
The PS3 launched in 2006 and was part of the seventh generation of consoles, competing directly with Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and Nintendo’s Wii.
PS3 was notable for its advanced graphics capabilities, including support for Blu-ray discs, a robust online gaming service with PlayStation Network, and a strong lineup of exclusive titles.
It was initially criticized for its high price but gained popularity later when costs dropped and its game library expanded.
9. Xbox 360
Units sold: 85.7 million
Released: November 2005
The Xbox 360 by Microsoft was a key player in the seventh generation of consoles. It was the successor to the original Xbox and competed with Sony’s PlayStation 3 and Nintendo’s Wii.
The console was another that gained popularity for its online gaming service called Xbox Live, a strong portfolio of games, and focus on HD graphics.
Microsoft also introduced a Kinect, a motion-sensing device that tracked body movements and voice commands of players without the need for a handheld controller, for the Xbox 360 which further broadened its appeal.
10. PlayStation Portable
Units sold: 82.5 million
Released: December 2004
Sony introduced the PlayStation Portable (PSP) as part of its first foray into the handheld gaming market, competing mainly with the Nintendo DS.
The PSP was praised for its high-quality graphics (for a handheld device of its time), multimedia capabilities, and the ability to play UMD (Universal Media Disc) movies and games.
Its popularity was further bolstered by a strong lineup of games, including titles from famous PlayStation franchises.
Create beautiful infographics with Venngage
Like the infographics in this post? Want to make your own?
Check out our Infographic Maker! Venngage is an easy-to-use editor tool that makes it easy to create beautiful infographic in seconds, literally.
To get started, just sign up for a free account.
You’ll also get access to cool features such as AI-enabled alt text and the ability to create an entire infographic from a prompt. Alternately, pick a infographic template from our library of professionally-designed creations, swap in your content, and you’re ready to go!