Best Selling Consoles of All Time—PS5, Xbox, Switch Ranked (2023)

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Read our article for 2023 statistics about the best selling consoles, which handheld games console has sold the most units, and history of video games consoles

  • This article will tell you how many games consoles have been sold for each model.

  • You can find out what is the best-selling games console of all time.

  • You’ll discover what was the first ever games console, and also what was the first console for brands like Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft.

SellCell Key Findings:

  • The Sony PlayStation 2 is the best-selling console of all time, shifting 159 million units in total during its life cycle.
  • Of the major players, SEGA’s often overlooked Dreamcast is the worst selling console, with only 9.13 million people buying the device.
  • Nintendo’s best-selling console is the Nintendo DS handheld, which sold 154 million units when Nintendo was manufacturing the device.
  • Nintendo rules the handheld market, with its DS, Switch, and Game Boy/Game Boy Color being the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th best-selling consoles.

The aim of this article is to find out which are the best selling consoles, historically, up to the present day. It will show how many PlayStations have been sold, through all five generations, alongside how many Xboxes have been sold, and how many Nintendo Switches have been sold. The article will also look at other brands, such as discussing how many consoles SEGA sold when it still manufactured them, and you can also discover what the first games console was, and when it was released.

Best Selling Consoles of All Time: Sales Statistics

Games consoles have been immeasurably popular since they were first launched as a device consumers could have in their own home. Hundreds of brands have stepped up to the plate and launched their own games console (or consoles) but not all have been popular. Some, however, have far exceeded expectations. Here we will look at the highest selling consoles ever, including handheld consoles, and see how they stack up against one another.

Release dateUnits sold in millions
1PlayStation 204/03/2000159
2Nintendo DS21/11/2004154.02
3*Nintendo Switch03/03/2017122.55
4Game Boy/Game Boy Color21/04/1989118.69
5*PlayStation 415/11/2013117.2
7Nintendo Wii19/11/2006101.63
8PlayStation 311/11/200687.5
9Xbox 36022/11/200585
10PlayStation Portable12/12/200482
11Game Boy Advance21/03/200181.51
12Nintendo 3DS26/02/201175.94
14Xbox One22/11/201350
15SNES/Super Famicom21/11/199049.1
16Sega Genesis/Mega Drive29/10/198835
17Nintendo 6423/06/199632.93
18*PlayStation 512/11/202032.1
19Atari 260011/09/197730
22Sega Master System/Mark III20/10/198520
23*Xbox Series X/S10/11/202018.5
24PlayStation Vita17/12/201114
25Sega Game Gear06/10/199013.9
26Wii U18/11/201213.56
27Sega Saturn22/11/19949.26
28Sega Dreamcast27/11/19989.13
*Production status ongoing so units sold is subject to change
  • The best-selling games console of all time is Sony’s PlayStation 2. The PS2 (as it is also known) sold a massive 159 million units during its lifespan 1.
  • The Nintendo DS handheld isn’t far behind, selling 154.02 million units during its lifetime, which is more than the 118.69 million units original Game Boy and Game Boy Color managed. The Wii is Nintendo’s best-selling (non-handheld) console, with 101.63 million units sold.
  • Former console titan SEGA’s best-selling console was the 16-bit Genesis, which sold 35 million units. This is more than the SEGA Dreamcast (9.13 million), SEGA Saturn (9.26 million), and the SEGA Game Gear handheld (13.9 million) combined!
  • Microsoft holds its cards close to its chest with sales figures, especially with the current generation Xbox Series X/S. According to data, its best-selling Xbox was the Xbox 360, which sold 85 million consoles.
  • Atari managed to enter the best-seller list, with the original Atari 2600 selling 30 million units for the brand.

How Many PS5 Have Been Sold?

  • The PlayStation 5 was released on November 12, 2020.
  • Since launch to the time of writing, there have been a total of 32.1 million PS5 units sold 1.
  • This number is likely to increase significantly as the PS5 is a current-generation device and Sony is still manufacturing and selling the console.

How Many PS4 Have Been Sold?

  • The PlayStation 4 was released on November 15, 2012. In 2021, Sony confirmed it was discontinuing production of most PS4 models 2.
  • During its production lifetime, the PS4 sold 117.2 million units. This makes it the second highest selling console Sony has produced, after the PlayStation 2, which sold 159 million devices 1.
  • The sales figures for the PS4 will not change much going forward, as Sony no longer manufactures the device.

How Many Xbox Series X/S Have Been Sold?

  • Microsoft released the Xbox Series X/S models on November 10, 2020, two days prior to the release of the PS5.
  • Between the launch date and the publication of this article, Microsoft has sold 18.5 million Series X/S units 1.
  • Note that Microsoft is fairly secretive about exactly how many Series X/S consoles it has sold. This figure is likely to increase, as the Series X/S is a current generation device.

How Many Nintendo Switch Have Been Sold?

  • Nintendo released the original Switch on March 3, 2017. It followed with the Switch Lite on September 20, 2019, and the Switch OLED on October 8, 2021.
  • Since launching the three consoles, Nintendo has sold a combined 122.5 million units. Nintendo still manufactures and sells all three models, so this number is likely to increase further 1.
  • Note that Nintendo includes sales data for the original Nintendo Switch, Switch Lite, and Switch OLED as one device 3.

Best Selling Nintendo Consoles: Top 10 Highest Selling Nintendo Consoles

Release dateUnits sold in millions
1Nintendo DS21/11/2004154.02
2*Nintendo Switch03/03/2017122.55
3Game Boy/Game Boy Color21/04/1989118.69
4Nintendo Wii19/11/2006101.63
5Game Boy Advance21/03/200181.51
6Nintendo 3DS26/02/201175.94
8SNES/Super Famicom21/11/199049.1
9Nintendo 6423/06/199632.93
*Production status ongoing so units sold is subject to change
  • The Nintendo DS—released on November 21, 2004—is the best-selling of all Nintendo’s consoles. It sold a total of 154.02 million units during its production 1.
  • The Nintendo Switch isn’t far behind, on 122.55 million sales, but this could surpass the Nintendo DS as the Switch is still in production and all three variations are still on store shelves.
  • Nintendo launched the Game Boy in 1989, with the Game Boy Color following in October 1998. Combined, the two variations saw sales of 118.69 million units.
  • The GameCube is the worst performing console on the best-selling list. It shifted 21.74 million units, with poor performance attributed to its inability to stand up against the PlayStation 2, and a limited feature set 4.

Best Selling PlayStation Consoles: Top 5 Best Selling PlayStation Consoles

Release dateUnits sold in millions
1PlayStation 204/03/2000159
2*PlayStation 415/11/2013117.2
4PlayStation 311/11/200687.5
5PlayStation Portable12/12/200482
*Production status ongoing so units sold is subject to change
  • Sony has released seven consoles in total, including two handhelds (but not the PlayStation TV, which wasn’t technically a console). The PlayStation 2 is the best-selling PlayStation console of all time with 159 million units sold, and is currently the best-selling console of all time, barring none 1!
  • The PlayStation 4 is the second highest selling console in the PlayStation portfolio. It amassed 117.2 million sales until Sony ceased production.
  • The PlayStation Portable is the best-selling handheld console Sony has released, with 82 million sales during its lifetime; the overlooked PlayStation VITA sold only 14 million by comparison.
  • The PS5 doesn’t appear in the top 5 PlayStation consoles… yet. It is still in production and only early in its life cycle. The PlayStation 5 has sold 32.1 million units up to the time of writing.

Best Selling Xbox Consoles

Release dateUnits sold in millions
1Xbox 36022/11/200585
2Xbox One22/11/201350
4*Xbox Series X/S10/11/202017
*Production status ongoing so units sold is subject to change
  • The best-selling of Microsoft’s four Xbox consoles (counting Series X/S as two versions of the same device) is the Xbox 360. This was the second generation of Xbox consoles and sold 85 million units during its production run 1.
  • The Xbox One, released on November 22, 2013, sold 50 million consoles, and is the second highest selling Xbox console.
  • The Xbox Series S and Series X consoles are current generation and are still in production, so the 17 million consoles it has currently sold is likely to increase. Will it be enough to beat the original Xbox, though?

What Was the First Ever Video Game Console?

The first video game console, many video games historians will argue, was the Magnavox Odyssey. This device was manufactured by the Magnavox brand, and was released in August 1982 5. The Odyssey shipped with cartridges, although these held no game data as with later consoles such as the Atari 2600, and Nintendo’s NES and SNES systems. Instead, each cartridge would activate a different game stored on the console itself 6. Magnavox sold 350,000 Odysseys 7.

Magnavox was later to be acquired by Atari, which went on to release its Atari Home Pong console in 1975 (which only sold 35,000 units 8), and later the console that is said to have brought home video gaming to the masses; the Atari 2600, which sold 30 million units, an astronomical figure considering this was the mid seventies, and one which some consoles still couldn’t better 40 years later.

What Was the First Nintendo Console?

The first Nintendo console was the Color TV-Game 6, which it released in 1977 in Japan only. This was part of a series of games consoles Nintendo introduced to the market, and each Color TV-Game came with one game stored on the device, with no way to add more or play via cartridges. Nintendo released a total of five of these devices between 1977 and 1980, and later in 1983 it released the NES globally, also known as the Famicom (a portmanteau of “family” and “computer”) 9.

What Was the First PlayStation Console?

It may surprise you to learn that the first PlayStation console was… you guessed it… the PlayStation 10. Dubbed the PlayStation 1 once further iterations were released (and the PS1), this was Sony’s first foray into console gaming. The PlayStation was originally going to be a Nintendo product, essentially adding a Super Disc drive to the SNES console, until the two parted ways after a fallout 11. Cue Sony releasing the Sony PlayStation on its own, and having a lot of success with it, selling 102.4 million units.

What Was the First Xbox Console?

Those unfamiliar with Xbox would be forgiven for thinking that the Xbox One was the first Xbox console. However, it wasn’t—XBox One was Microsoft’s third generation of the console. The first Xbox console was known simply as Xbox 12, and sold 21 million units after its release on November 15, 2001. Microsoft followed up with the Xbox 360, which it released four years after the original Xbox, on November 22, 2005.

What Was the First SEGA Console?

SEGA’s first consoles—the SG-1000 and SG-3000—were Japan only releases, launched in July 1983. Of course, SEGA had to contend with Nintendo’s NES, and as a result it didn’t do too well with the SG1000/SG3000 13. While the SEGA consoles allowed people to play arcade classics at home, it didn’t quite take off in the same way as Nintendo’s consoles; a rivalry that followed a similar pattern throughout video gaming history, with SEGA seemingly always in the shadow of Nintendo.

PlayStation 2: The Best Selling Console, Ever

So, now we know which console has sold the most units—the PlayStation 2 or PS2. But this could all change as more consoles are released. Saying that, Sony launched the PS2 in March 2000, and it still hasn’t lost its perch at the top of the pile. But, with the Switch hot on its heels, that position is at threat.

About SellCell

SellCell is the US no.1 tech price comparison service, allowing its customers to sell old tech at the best prices available, as well as buy refurbished tech at a fraction of the price. So, if you are looking to sell your old PlayStation to pay towards a new PS5, then SellCell has the certified buyers ready to take your old console off your hands. Likewise, if you want to upgrade to the Switch OLED, you can sell your old Nintendo Switch and get some cash towards a new game. Or, if your Microsoft console is no longer doing it for you any more, you can sell your Xbox and make some cash so you can jump ship to PlayStation… if you dare.

SellCell is backed by its best price promise, so if you find a better price selling for your tech elsewhere, SellCell will give you double the difference.


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