PlayStation 4 Sales Crest 102 Million Units Worldwide

The people love Knack.

It’s Quarterly Earnings Report Timeā„¢ in the world of business, which means that publicly-traded video game companies must trot out their shames and triumphs for all the world to see. Sony took its turn releasing its financial data today, and it definitely had a new feather to put in its cap, despite the fact that growth is slightly down compared to last year. As the “Game & Network Services Segment Supplemental Information” section of its quarterly earnings report confirms, PlayStation 4 sales (including sales of the PS4 Pro) have now reached 102.8 million units worldwide.

This makes the PlayStation 4 (and derivatives) the second-best selling home video game console of all time, coming in behind the PlayStation 2’s 155 million units, and just ahead of the original PlayStation’s 102.49 million units sold. That’s right folks — Sony now owns the entire best-selling home console podium, with Nintendo’s Wii and its 101.63 million units sold now relegated to fourth place.

Sony’s achievement comes in spite of the fact that PlayStation 4 sales for the second quarter of fiscal 2019 are actually down by 1.1 million units, as compared to the same period last year. This isn’t tremendously surprising — console sales tend to slow down once their successors have been announced, and Microsoft and Sony both have new devices arriving in the 2020 holiday season. PlayStation hardware sales might see a slight boost during Q3 thanks to the release of Death Stranding, but nothing spectacular.

For comparison with the rest of the modern console generation, the Xbox One family of consoles has sold an estimated 41 million units since it launched in 2013, which is also when the PlayStation 4 hit the scene. Nintendo has moved 36.87 million Switch devices since the hybrid’s meteoric launch in 2017, rapidly approaching Microsoft’s total in barely a third of the time. Here’s how the top 10 best-sellers list currently stands:

  1. PlayStation 2 (155 million)
  2. PlayStation 4 (102.8 million)
  3. PlayStation (102.49 million)
  4. Wii (101.63 million)
  5. PlayStation 3 (87.4 million)
  6. Xbox 360 (84 million)
  7. Nintendo Entertainment System (61.91 million)
  8. Super Nintendo Entertainment System (49.10 million)
  9. Xbox One (41 million)
  10. Nintendo Switch (36.87 million)

Poor ol’ Sega doesn’t even make it into the top 10 anymore, but the Mega Drive/Genesis does still cling to eleventh place with 35 million units sold. (The Dreamcast, if you’re curious, sold 9.13 million units, just barely less than the Saturn’s 9.26 million.) It’s worth noting, however, that this list changes pretty dramatically when you throw handheld devices into the mix:

  1. PlayStation 2 (155 million)
  2. Nintendo DS (154.02 million)
  3. Game Boy/Pocket/Light/Color (118.69 million)
  4. PlayStation 4 (102.8 million)
  5. PlayStation (102.49 million)
  6. Wii (101.63 million)
  7. PlayStation 3 (87.4 million)
  8. Xbox 360 (84 million)
  9. Game Boy Advance (81.51 million)
  10. PlayStation Portable (80 million)

So what do we learn from the addition of handhelds to this list? Well for one, Nintendo’s market share of the whole video game picture is much greater than its share of just the home, though it’s no slouch in that regard either. We also learn that region and context matter: The Nintendo DS outsold the PSP two-to-one in the United States, but PSP sales were much stronger in Japan, thanks to the enormous popularity of the Monster Hunter and Hatsune Miku franchises, which were exclusive to that system at the time. These regional (and cultural) differences were enough to keep the PSP going for an entire decade, despite how low the odds of spotting one in the US were.