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What are the Top-Selling Games Consoles of All Time?

Ross Kelly

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top-selling games consoles
DIGIT has compiled a list of the six top-selling games consoles of all time. Can you guess which console comes out on top?

Last week, Sony revealed the PlayStation 5 became its fastest-selling games console to date, with 10 million units sold since its launch in November, 2020.

The sales surge means the PS5 surpassed the record set by its predecessor by just a couple of weeks.

Launching on 12th November last year, the PS5 has been forced to contend with arguably the most difficult trading conditions in living memory.

A global pandemic, combined with well-documented chip shortages, has stifled Sony’s ability to meet consumer demand. At present, customers are still frustrated by the short supply of consoles.

While frustrating for consumers, this initial success, in spite of difficult conditions, highlights the sheer popularity of the console.

This also applies to the Xbox Series X|S consoles, which recorded a 172% increase in sales during the second quarter of 2021.

There’s no doubting that consumers will continue to lap up both as and when they become available, but will they prove as popular as previous consoles? We’ll have to wait and see.

What we do know is that the PS5 has a monumental challenge ahead if it hopes to to match the numbers posted by previous platforms and become one of the top-selling games consoles.

DIGIT has compiled a list of the six top-selling games consoles of all time. Can you guess which console comes out on top?

Read on to find out more.

The top-selling games consoles of all time


6. Nintendo Wii

top-selling games consoles

The Nintendo Wii is a remarkable console in that its quirky design and interactive nature could motivate anyone to play it.

From young kids to grandparents, the Nintendo Wii appeals to all. One could argue it’s the perfect ‘family games console’.

Launched in 2006 to critical acclaim, the Nintendo Wii has sold more than 102 million units across its 15 year lifespan, featuring all the titles one would expect from a Nintendo console – The Legend of Zelda, Mario games and more.

Wii Sports, a free-to-play launch title, also proved highly popular over the years, providing players with countless hours of fun, frustration and hilarity. And the occasional damaged vase, television, or piece of furniture.


5. PlayStation

top-selling games consoles

There are very few words to articulate just how impactful the PlayStation was. Released in 1994, Sony’s first games console changed the world and set the pace for a new generation of gaming.

The titles alone speak for themselves – Crash Bandicoot, Gran Turismo, Metal Gear Solid, Tekken, Spiro, Tony Hawk: Pro Skater.

Although the PlayStation’s main competitor at launch was the Sega Saturn – also an iconic console in itself – it arrived during the intermediate period between Super Nintendo (SNES) and Nintendo 64 consoles.

It didn’t matter much, however. It outsold both of them combined.

According to Sony statistics, the PlayStation sold more than 102.4 million units over the course of its lifespan.


4. PlayStation 4

top-selling games consoles

Until recently, the PlayStation 4 was the fastest-selling Sony console ever released – and it sure was a beast of a console.

During the last-gen battle between Sony and Microsoft, the former certainly came out on top.

Selling more than 115 million units worldwide, the PS4 not only far outperformed its predecessor, the PS3, but it also outsold the Xbox One by a staggering 70 million units over its lifespan.

Launched in November 2013, the PS4 has featured some of the most popular titles of the last decade, such as Red Dead Redemption 2, Grand Theft Auto V, The Last of Us Remastered and The Last of Us Part II.


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3. Nintendo Game Boy

top-selling games consoles

Without doubt the most iconic handheld of all time, the Nintendo Game Boy still remains one of the top-selling consoles ever, with its first iteration launching in 1989.

With more than 118 million unit sold globally, the Game Boy – and we’re including the Game Boy Color in this – takes third spot in the top-selling list of consoles.

The handheld console was a revolutionary development in gaming, opening up new world’s to millions of players through games including The Legend of Zelda and the Pokémon Red and Blue titles.


2. Nintendo DS

top-selling games consoles

When it comes to handheld consoles, Nintendo is in a league of its own – and the DS is testament to that.

Launched in November 2004, the Nintendo DS was nothing short of revolutionary, providing players with two screens. The biggest eyebrow-raiser being that one of them was touch-sensitive.

As the successor to the Game Boy Advance, the DS had a lot to live up to. And it definitely succeeded.

With more than 154 million devices sold globally, the DS is the second-highest selling console of all time, featuring iconic titles including Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, as well as a host of Mario games.


1. PlayStation 2

top-selling games consoles

The PlayStation 2 takes the mantel as the top-selling console of all time, with more than 155 million units sold globally.

It’s not hyperbole to say that this console revolutionised gaming; providing countless hours of fun for players across literally hundreds of titles.

The PS2 was first released to customers in Japan on 4th March 2000. North American and European players snapped up consoles in October and November that year.

Although the PS2 narrowly edges the Nintendo DS in terms of sales, compared to other Sony products, it’s in a league of its own.

Ross Kelly

Staff Writer

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