12 Most Sold Gaming Consoles of All Time

Video games and gaming consoles are some of the favorite means of entertainment for many worldwide. People like playing video games; hence, the video game industry has always been lucrative.

In today’s time, almost all homes have a gaming console. So one can imagine just how many units of video gaming consoles are being sold worldwide.

Moreover, different companies come with a new generation of gaming consoles every year, from handheld to bigger ones.

Dreamcast-Console-Set
Dreamcast Console Set (Source: Wikimedia.org)

As technology keeps getting advanced, so does the video gaming industry. As a result, the manufacturer sometimes revisions the older versions to figure out some drawbacks to launch a newer, better version of the old.

People love a better version of video games, but they also want the product to be affordable and budget-friendly. 

So, here we have made a list of the most-sold gaming console of all time. So, without further ado, let us look at the list.

12 Most Sold Gaming Consoles of All Time

We have prepared the list from various trusted sources on the internet, like Wikipedia and some others. Before proceeding with the details, let’s take a quick look at the table below.

Game consoleUnits sold
12. Nintendo Entertainment System (NES)61.91 million
11. Game Boy Advance81.51 million
10. PlayStation Portable (PSP)80-82 million
9. Xbox 36084 million
8. PlayStation 387.4 million
7. Nintendo Switch92.87 million
6. Nintendo Wii101.63 million
5. PlayStation102.49 million
4. PlayStation 4116.4 million
3. Game Boy118.69 million
2. Nintendo DS154.02 million
1. PlayStation 2155 million

12. Nintendo Entertainment System (NES)

Units Sold:

  • Worldwide: 61.91 million
  • Japan: 19.35 million
  • America: 34.00 million
  • Other: 8.56 million

We will start our list with an 8-bit third-generation video game console, the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). Nintendo is the developer and manufacturer of the console. The system was released in 1983 in Japan as the Family Computer.

The NES hardware was primarily based on arcade video games. Its main objective was to match the console’s powerful sprite and scrolling capabilities in a home system. The console used ROM cartridges.

Although the console’s design was simple, it featured some of the ground-breaking games of the period. It had games like Super Mario Bros platform games, action-adventure games, The Legend of Zelda, etc.

Nintendo-Entertaiment-System
Nintendo Entertainment System (Source: Wikimedia.org)

Some notable features of the NES are the Ricoh 2A03 8-bit processor CPU and the two controller ports and one expansion slot as controller input.

The NES’s redesigned version made its debut in the American test markets in 1985. The console helped to revitalize the US video game industry. The Nintendo Entertainment System is one of the best-selling consoles of its time.

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11. Game Boy Advance

Units Sold:

  • Worldwide: 81.51 million

TheGame Boy Advance is a handheld game console that is a successor to the Game Boy Color. It was released in Japan on March 21, 2001. Nintendo developed and manufactured the console.

This 32-bit game console is the sixth generation of video game consoles. Although the original model did not have an illuminated screen, the redesigned model was released with a front-lit screen.

Game Boy Advance has better hardware performance comparable to the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. In addition, its system library includes SNES-like role-playing video games and games ported from previous generations.

Nintendo-Game-Boy-Advance
Nintendo Game Boy Advance (Source: Wikimedia.org)

The notable features of the Game Boy Advance are the 32 KB internal, 256 KB external, 96 KB VRAM memory, TFT LCD, 240×160 pixels display, and it requires 2×AA batteries for power.

The console has some iconic video games like Pokemon: Ruby and Sapphire, Super Mario Advance Series, etc. Moreover, its system’s backward is compatible with all earlier Game Boy titles.

The Game Boy Advance is not only one of the most sold gaming consoles; it is also one of the best-looking consoles of all time.

10. PlayStation Portable (PSP)

Units Sold:

  • Worldwide: 80-82 million
  • Japan: 19 million
  • America: 17 million
  • Other: 44-46 million

The PlayStation Portable (PSP) is a handheld game console released in Japan in 2004. The console was developed and marketed by Sony Computer Entertainment. It is the seventh generation of home video game consoles.

The PSP is the first handheld installment in the PlayStation product family consoles. Moreover, the portable was the most powerful console and competed with Nintendo’s handheld console during its release.

The operating system used by this console is the PlayStation Portable system software. It has advanced graphics capabilities that can connect to the PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 3, any computer with a USB interface, and other PSP systems.

Original-model-of-PlayStation-Portable-console
The original model of the PlayStation Portable console (Source: Wikimedia.org)

The PSP can also connect to the internet to play online games. Similarly, it also has many multimedia features, making it a portable media player.

This only handheld console uses an optical disc format as its primary storage medium. The PSP has a display of 480 × 272 pixels with 24-bit color.

It was one of the best consoles released by Sony Computer Entertainment. Over the year, various console models were released; however, in 2014, Sony ended the hardware shipment of the PSP.

9. Xbox 360

Units Sold:

  • Worldwide: 84 million
  • Japan: 1.63 million
  • America: 38.8 million
  • Other: 43.57 million

The Xbox 360 is a seventh-generation home video console developed by Microsoft. It was released in 2005 as the successor of the original Xbox at the 2005 Electronic Entertainment Expo.

The console’s central unit has a slight double concavity in matte white or black. It uses the Xbox 360 system software as an operating system and has a 3.2 GHz PowerPC Tri-Core Xenon central processing unit.

The home console’s original graphical user interface was the Xbox 360 Dashboard. After the release, Microsoft updated the Dashboard software several times. In addition, it popularized HD visuals that provided a fantastic experience to gamers.

Xbox_360_console
Xbox 360 console (Source: Wikimedia.org)

The Xbox 360 was named the sixth-greatest video game console in 2009. It has an online service and Xbox Live. The Xbox Live has free and subscription-based varieties that allow users to play online games, download games, etc.

Additionally, the console also has an online multimedia feature. One can stream and purchase music, TV programs, and movies through Xbox Live. Moreover, it had some high-profile games from first-party and third-party developers like Call of Duty, Halo, GTA, etc.

The Xbox 360 helped to strengthen Microsoft in the video game console market. In addition, the console sold more units than its predecessor.

8. PlayStation 3

Units Sold:

  • Worldwide: 87.4 million
  • Japan: 9.3 million
  • America: 22.9 million
  • Other: 55.2 million

The PlayStation 3 is a successor of the PlayStation 2, released in 2006. Sony Computer Entertainment developed and manufactured this console, the seventh generation of video game consoles.

The PlayStation was first announced in 2005 before releasing in 2006. It was the first console of the PlayStation family to integrate social gaming services and PlayStation Network.

Playstation_3_and_controller
PlayStation 3 and controller, one of the most sold gaming consoles of all time (Source: Wikimedia.org)

Likewise, this is also the first to be controllable from a handheld console through its remote connectivity with PlayStation. Moreover, it uses Blu-ray Disk technology as its primary storage medium. During its release, this Blu-ray Disk technology was highly praised.

The operating system used by the console is the PlayStation 3 system software. Its original version can install other operating systems like Linus. It displays video output formats and graphics of 550 MHz Nvidia/SCEI RSX Reality Synthesizer.

The other notable features include Bluetooth 2.0, Gigabit Ethernet, USB 2.0, HDMI 1.4, 256 MB of XDR DRAM main memory, and 256 MB of GDDR3 video memory RSX.

Sony discontinued the PlayStation 3 worldwide in 2017. However, before being discontinued, the game console sold 86.90 million units worldwide.

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7. Nintendo Switch

Units Sold:

  • Worldwide: 92.87 million

The next on our list is Nintendo Switch, released in 2017 and developed by Nintendo.

The Switch is a hybrid console as the tablet can be docked for use as a home console and can also be used as a portable device. It has wireless Joy-Con controllers with standard buttons and directional analog sticks for user input and motion sensing.

The Nintendo Switch is the eighth generation of video game consoles. It uses the Nintendo Switch system software for its operating system. Additionally, its software supports internet connectivity and local wireless ad hoc connectivity with other consoles.

Nintendo-Switch-console
Nintendo Switch console (Source: Pixabay.com)

Since the console has internet connectivity, the Switch supports online gaming aside from physical flash-based ROM cartridges, and digital distribution is done through Nintendo eShop. 

Some of the notable features of the console are the 4GB LPDDR4 memory, 32 GB eMMC, 64 GB (OLED model) storage, and a 6.2-inch display screen. The Switch also has an ambient light sensor camera.

In the first month of the release, the console shipped nearly three million units. It exceeded Nintendo’s initial project of shipping two million units.

6. Nintendo Wii

Units Sold:

  • Worldwide: 101.63 million
  • Japan: 12 million
  • America: 48 million
  • Other: 41.63 million

Nintendo Wii is one of the most unique and different consoles among others. It was first released in 2006 and is a seventh-generation home console. Nintendo is the developer and marketer of Wii.

Wii was developed under the codename Revolution. It integrated a wireless controller with both motion sensing and traditional controls. These controls are used to point towards the TV screen and gesture recognition.

Similarly, Wii was the first Nintendo console that directly supported Internet connectivity, supports online games, and digital distribution of games. In addition, the console has media applications through the Wii Shop Channel.

Nintendo_Wii_console
Nintendo Wii console (Source: Wikimedia.org)

In addition to these features, Wii also supports wireless connectivity with the Nintendo DS handheld console for selected games. One of the notable features of this console is that an IBM PowerPC-based processed named Broadway as its CPU.

The console uses Wii system software as the operating system and has 512 MB NAND flash memory storage. It also supports removable storage of SD/SDHC cards and GameCube Memory Card.

The motion-controlled games introduced by Wii led its competitors to develop their competing products. It got immense popularity when Sony released the console sold out everywhere one or two after it launched.

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5. PlayStation

Units Sold:

  • Worldwide: 102.49 million

The next on the list of the most sold gaming consoles is the PlayStation, commonly known as PS and PS1. It was first released on December 3, 1994, in Japan. Sony Computer Entertainment is the developer and manufacturer of the PSP.

The PlayStation was the first of the PlayStation family of the video gaming console. After a failed venture with Nintendo, Sony developed the console to create a CD-ROM peripheral for the Super Famicom in the early 1990s.

It is the fifth generation of video gaming consoles; the PlayStation was a massive success during the release. It had an extensive game library and various franchises that enticed adolescents and young adults.

Sony_Playstation_1994
Sony Playstation 1994 (Source: Wikimedia.org)

The PlayStation solidified Sony’s place in the video gaming industry. It became the first company to ship over 100 million units in less than a decade. Moreover, the consoles which used cartridges in the era, PlayStation was the first to use compact discs for gaming.

Some of the notable features of PlayStation aside from the compact discs are the console used R3000 @ 33.8688 MHz as CPU and had 2 MB RAM, 1 MB VRAM memory.

Likewise, the PlayStation used a memory card as storage, and for control and input, it had PlayStation Controller, dual analog controller, and Dualshock. The original games for this PlayStation continue to be used by its successor.

The PlayStation sold 102.49 million units worldwide in its lifetime. It became one of the popular consoles for video gamers when it was first released.

4. PlayStation 4

Units Sold:

  • Worldwide: 116.4 million
  • Japan: 8.3 million
  • America: 30 million
  • Other: 78.1 million

On our fourth list of the most sold gaming consoles is PlayStation 4. It was first released in 2013. Sony Computer Entertainment is the developer and manufacturer of this console.

The PlayStation 4 is the eighth-generation video game console. It is the successor of the PlayStation 3. The PlayStation features an AMD Accelerated Processing Unit (APU) built upon the x86-64 architecture compared to this console’s predecessor.

The console gave more emphasis on social interaction and integration with other devices. Additionally, the gamers could play games off-console on PlayStation Vita and other supported devices.

Likewise, the console can also stream gameplay online and share play features, remotely controlling gameplay. In addition, it has more improved buttons, analog sticks, and an integrated touchpad.

PlayStation4_slim
PlayStation 4 slim (Source:Wikimedia.org)

The PlayStation 4 uses Orbis OS as an operating system. In addition, it introduces a customizable menu interface called the “PlayStation Dynamic Menu” and also has a multimedia feature.

The home console supports Blu-ray, DVD playback as well as 3D Blu-ray. It also allows users to access various free and premium PlayStation Network services. Moreover, smartphones and tablets can interact with the PlayStation 4.

The NES’s redesigned version made its debut in the American test markets in 1985. The console helped to revitalize the US video game industry. It is one of the best-selling consoles of its time.

3. Game Boy

Units Sold:

  • Worldwide: 118.69 million
  • Japan: 32.47 million
  • America: 44.06 million
  • Other: 42.16 million

TheGame Boy is a handheld game console that is a successor to the Game Boy Color. It was brought into the market on March 21, 2001, in Japan. Nintendo developed and manufactured the console.

This handheld console was the fourth generation gaming console. In addition, it was the second handheld game console of Nintendo. Therefore, it combines the features from both the NES home system and Game & Watch hardware.

Similarly, the Game Boy also featured a dot-matrix screen with adjustable contrast dial, five-game control buttons. It also had a single speaker with an adjustable volume dial and cartridges as physical media for games.

Nintendo-Game-Boy
Nintendo Game Boy, one of the most sold gaming consoles of all time (Source: Wikimedia.org)

The Game Boy had a durable build and battery life, making the console famous and outselling its competitors. The console sold one million units in the United States alone within a few weeks.

Some of the notable features of the Game Boy include Sharp LR35902 core @4.19 MHz as CPU, display of the 2.6inch screen, STN LCD 160×144 pixels, and used 4×AA batteries for power.

The Game Boy had released many redesigns during its prominence. However, it is the most recognizable device from the period. It has also become a cultural icon. Production of the Game Boy continued till the early 2000s, but Nintendo ceased the production in 2003.

2. Nintendo DS

Units Sold:

  • Worldwide: 154.02 million

We have another handheld console from Nintendo on our second list. The Nintendo DS was released globally between 2004 and 2005. 

The Nintendo DS is a seventh generation of the video game console. It had distinctive new features: the two LCD screens working in tandem, a built-in microphone, and support for wireless connectivity.

Similarly, the game console also had multiple dual screens to directly interact with each other over Wi-Fi. Again, multiple connections could be made without a wireless network within the short range.

Alternate to this, the players could interact online using the now-defunct Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection service. It used a Nintendo game card and ROM cartridge for media.

Nintendo_DS_Lite
Nintendo DS Lite (Source: Wikimedia.org)

Likewise, the Nintendo DS had the memory of 4MB RAM, and the storage of Cartridge saved 256 KB flash memory. In addition, the dual-screen had the display of TFT LCDs with 256×192 pixels.

In 2006, a littler and slimmer version of this console, the Nintendo DS Lite, was released.
The Nintendo DS and its later models became the best-selling Nintendo system and, to date, is the best-selling handheld game console. 

The console sold 154.02 million worldwide, becoming the third-highest sold gaming console. In 2011, the Nintendo 3DS family succeeded the Nintendo DS line.

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1. PlayStation 2

Units Sold:

  • Worldwide: 155 million

We have reached the end of the list. The number one on our list of most sold gaming consoles is the PlayStation 2 developed and manufactured by Sony Computer Entertainment.

It is a home video game console first released in 2000 in Japan. It is the successor of the PlayStation and is the second installment in the PlayStation console. The PlayStation 2 is the sixth generation of the video gaming console.

It took Sony over two decades to design, build, and release the PlayStation 2. However, Sony had worked to eliminate the problems in the previous console and capitalized on the best elements for PlayStation 2.

The console’s main central processing unit is the 128-bit R5900-based “Emotion Engine,” custom-designed by Sony and Toshiba. It has a memory of 32 MB of RDRAM (system RAM) and 4 MB of eDRAM (video RAM).

PlayStation2-Console
PlayStation 2 console, the most sold gaming console of all time (Source: Wikimedia.org)

Like its predecessor, the PlayStation 2’s DualShock 2 retains the same functions. Additionally, it also includes analog pressure sensitivity. It has an 8 MB memory card capacity.

The PlayStation 2 gave the users the option to play games over the internet, using dial-up or a broadband Internet connection. However, the console did not have a subscription-based online service like Xbox Live.

The PlayStation 2 offered high-profile games like Grand Theft Auto, Final Fantasy, etc.

Conclusion

The list is based on the most sold units of the gaming consoles. However, the estimated units sold do not account for used system sales.

Video gaming has become one of the best ways to pass the time. So why not get yourself a gaming console to fill up your idle time next time if you haven’t already got one?

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