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Gaming • May 16, 2019

With the PS5 and Xbox 2 looming, what are the best selling consoles of all time?

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With the PS5 and Xbox 2 looming, what are the best selling consoles of all time?

Announcements confirming Microsoft and Sony's next generation consoles are expected shortly, possibly at E3 2019. The PS5 title is inevitable, but the name of the next Xbox is still unknown.

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Naturally, the period before major console releases brings excitement and anticipation throughout the gaming industry. While some consoles fail to live up to the often huge hype, others surpass expectations.

In light of the upcoming PS5 and "Xbox 2" releases, let’s take a look at the best selling consoles of all time. A lot of those on the list are expected, but others may surprise you.

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Best selling consoles of all time

Here are the top 10 selling consoles of all time. Interestingly the list is dominated by Sony and Nintendo, with Microsoft only featuring once.

Rank

Console Manufacturer Release Year Units Sold (millions)
1 Playstation 2 Sony 2000 157.68*
2 Nintendo DS Nintendo 2004 154.02**
3 Game Boy, Game Boy Color Nintendo 1989, 1998 118.69**
4 Playstation Sony 1994 104.25*
5 Nintendo Wii Nintendo 2006 101.63**
6 Playstation 4 Sony 2013 88.06*
7 Playstation 3 Sony 2006 86.9*
8 Xbox 360 Microsoft 2005 85.5**
9 Game Boy Advance Nintendo 2001 81.51**
10 Playstation Portable (PSP) Sony 2004 80.82*

*Source: Guinness World Records
**Source: Nintendo

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Playstation 2

Many would have guessed that the Playstation 2 would be the best selling console of all time. It seemed every household in the early 2000s had one.

The consoles vast array of titles, coupled with its PS1 backwards compatibility, made it a juggernaut.

Astonishingly, the PS2 has out sold all of Microsoft's console offerings combined.

Sony/Microsoft
The PS2 is the best selling console of all time. Microsoft first console, the Xbox, failed to get anywhere near it...

Nintendo DS

The Nintendo DS marked Nintendo's first handheld console that wasn't called the Game Boy in some form. It followed on from the Game Boy Advance SP with its clam-shell design.

Improvements on the somewhat clunky original design of the DS were made in the form of the DSi and DSi XL.

Given the DS appears second on the list, it makes it the best selling handheld console ever.

Nintendo
To the surprise of some, the Nintendo DS is the second best selling console of all time...

Game Boy and Game Boy Color

It's perhaps a little questionable to compare these two mammoth consoles. However, as their games were compatible with one another, it is fair to do so.

By today's standards, both of these consoles are ancient, but true portable gaming in the 1990s resulted in more than 100 million sales between them.

Wikipedia
The Game Boy was the first mainstream handheld console...

Playstation 1

The Playstation 1, or often referred to as the PS1, was Sony's furore into gaming. It was the beginning of Sony arguably becoming the most important player in the console market.

It ushered in the fifth generation of consoles, following on from the iconic SNES and Sega Genesis systems.

Sony/Nintendo/Sega
The PS1 competed with the N64 and Sega Dreamcast, beating them both...

Playstation 4

Sony's PS4 is the only console on the list that is currently available in retailers. It has sold nearly 97 million units and will likely break the 100 million mark before it is discontinued.

Prior to its release, the battle between the PS4 and Xbox One was billed to be one of the biggest ever. However, several years later, Sony have won the battle and done so convincingly.

Surprisingly, the Xbox One failed to sell anywhere near as well the Playstation 4 having sold only 39.1 million units. Microsoft's only entry into the top 10 came with the Xbox 360 with 84 million sales. This still fell short of its main competition at the time, the PS3.

Sony/Microsoft
The PS4 massively outsold the Xbox One...

How will the PS5 and Xbox 2 fair?

The gaming industry, as a whole, continues to grow. Based on this it's reasonable to expect both of Sony and Microsoft's new consoles to be successful.

Historically, Microsoft have failed to reach the heights of their bitter rivals Sony. Both are expected to have PC level power, capable of 4K gaming at a minimum. With that power will come a relatively hefty price tag though.

This could diminish sales somewhat in terms of units sold, while keeping revenues high. How the dynamic will play out between the two remains to be seen, but anyone with an interest in gaming will be watching on the edge of their seat.