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Top 10 Best Selling Consoles of All Time!

VO: Dan Paradis
Script written by Nathan Sharp The numbers don’t lie...Welcome to http://WatchMojo.com and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Best Selling Consoles of ALL TIME. Special thanks to our users “Pablo the bear”, “xxpandachuxx” and “XGreenXmer” for suggesting this topic using our interactive suggestion tool at http://WatchMojo.comSuggest
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Top 10 Best Selling Consoles

Show me the money, show me the money! Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top ten best selling consoles.

#10: Nintendo 3DS


Squeaking just inside the top ten of the console heavy hitters is the Nintendo 3DS, although it had quite a battle in getting there. Officially unveiled at E3 2010 and released worldwide beginning in February 2011, the 3DS had a very rocky start, launching to disappointing sales which led to a significant pride reduction from $249 to $169 less than six months later. Luckily for them, this move proved to be an enormous success, and the console’s unique features, like stereoscopic 3D, the StreetPass function, and the Virtual Console helped to move even more copies. As of December 2016, the encompassing 3DS family has moved 65.3 million units.

#9: Game Boy Advance


Fault Nintendo with whatever you want, but there’s no denying that they can make some stellar handheld consoles. Released in Japan in March 2001 and North America the following June, the Advance had a major market domination over its competitors, which included the N-Gage, Neo Geo Pocket Color, and Tapwave Zodiac. Yeah, remember those? No one else does either, and there’s a good reason for that. The Advance saw great success with titles like “Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire,” “Mario Kart: Super Circuit,” and “Super Mario Advance” among many, many others. Over it’s staggering nine-year lifespan which ended in 2010, the Game Boy Advance sold 81 and a half million units.

#8: PlayStation Portable (PSP)


Oh look, another handheld console! But it’s from a different company this time! While it may seem borderline primitive today, the PSP was a major and revolutionary entertainment device at the time, leading to immense success, with 82 million units sold worldwide. Launched in Japan only ten days after its competitor, the Nintendo DS, the PSP shocked the world with its innovations, including the high-end graphics card, massive 4.3 inch viewing screen, and TV tuner. Helped by successful titles like “Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories,” “Daxter,” and “Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII,” the PSP was the first console to finally rival and match, Nintendo in the handheld gaming market.

#7: PlayStation 3


With an underdog tale which could rival the likes of “Rocky,” the PlayStation 3’s storied and troubled history is a thing of beauty. Announced at E3 2005 and released in Japan and North America in November 2006, the PlayStation 3 was basically laughed out of existence due to its extremely high price tag of $599 for the 60 GB model. Shockingly, no one was willing to pay $600 for a console, even with this fancy new thing called a blu ray player, and the PS3 significantly lagged behind. However, after the release of the Slim, the PS3 was given a much-needed adrenaline shot allowed it to recover and move roughly 83.8 million units.

#6: Xbox 360


And here it’s main competitor, which squashed the poor PS3 like a bug under its shoe for the first few years of release, despite some major reliability problems. This generation of gaming is arguably considered to be the biggest and most important in terms of graphical and gameplay innovations, and the 360 certainly did its fair share for that distinction with game-changing titles like “Gears of War,” “Halo 3,” “Mass Effect,” and “BioShock” to its name. The 360 sold 84 million copies throughout its lifetime, making it virtually tied with the PS3, before it was mercifully and honorably put down in April of 2016.

#5: Wii


Anyone not living under a rock for the 2006 Christmas season remembers what a fiasco trying to find one of these bad boys was. Demand for the Wii was extremely high due to the family-oriented demographic and its fancy new motion control technology, and the console sold out everywhere, leading to many a child’s disappointing Christmas. The Wii was still selling well over three years later when it broke the single month sales record in December of 2009, selling nearly four million units in that month alone due to a price cut and notable releases like “New Super Mario Bros Wii.” In the end the console managed to sell 101.63 million units throughout it’s lifetime.

#4: PlayStation


Sony’s debut into the video game market proved to be a monumental success, as the original PlayStation has sold 102 and a half million units over its healthy life and put Sony on the gaming path that it is currently dominating. Throughout the late 90s, games like “Final Fantasy VII” and “Metal Gear Solid” were enormously influential for the future of the medium, and PlayStation games were still being produced until March 2006, less than one year before the release of its grandson, the PS3. At a time when Nintendo and Sega were dominating the home market, in swept Sony, relegating Nintendo to an unforeseen second place and all but eliminating Sega from contention.

#3: Game Boy/Game Boy Color


While most certainly viewed as a dinosaur today, the Game Boy was an unprecedented success when it was released in 1989. While handheld gaming was around before the Game Boy, this console perfected the idea and found the perfect demographic to guarantee immense success. For the first time, female gamers were getting in on the action, as studies showed that 46% of Game Boy players were female, compared to 29% of NES and 14% of SNES players. This, the console’s bundling with the always-popular “Tetris,” and the phenomenon that was “Pokemon Red and Blue” led the Game Boy and its variants to sell 118.69 million units throughout their lifetimes.

#2: Nintendo DS


The console that finally killed the persistent Game Boy, the Nintendo DS is the highest selling handheld console of all time, as all of its models have combined to sell an astounding 154 million units. The DS was not only popular, but is arguably the most influential handheld device of all time, as it proudly introduced many firsts for handheld gaming, including dual LCD screens working together, wireless connectivity, and most importantly: a touch screen. While these are commonplace now, they were groundbreaking in 2004. When you combine these with its great lineup of games, it’s easy to see why the DS is the second highest selling console of all time.


Before we get to the best selling console of all time, here are a few honourable mentions.

Super Nintendo Entertainment System
49.1 million units

PlayStation 4
53.4 million units (as of January 2017)

Nintendo Entertainment System
61.91 million units

#1: PlayStation 2


What is unsurprisingly the highest selling console of all time, the PS2 was a one-of-a-kind device that seemingly everyone owned. The console has sold roughly 155 million units throughout its lifetime before finally being discontinued in 2013 - thirteen long and prosperous years after launch. The PS2 became the first console to sell 100 million units, a feat which was accomplished with the help of some of the most memorable games ever including “Metal Gear Solid 2” and “Grand Theft Auto III” and its spinoffs. A mind-blowing 1.5 billion games have been sold for the console, and those games and the console itself undoubtedly have a place in gaming history.
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