Earlier this week, we reported the impressive fact that Sony has sold over 500 million total PlayStation consoles since the original PlayStation debuted in 1994. It made me think of another titanium in the industry with an even longer story. Nintendo has officially released sales data for all its major hardware releases since Famicom in 1983, so I did a little digging to see what numbers they've stacked over the years and how they compare with Sony.
Clean Of course, it seems that I had a good timing to pick now to total everything up. Like Nintendo's latest official update on June 30, Nintendo's home console sales only has passed the 300 million mark. Wii accounts for over a third of this amount (and almost all that within the first four years) with over 1
- NES – 61.91
- SNES – 49.10
- N64 – 32.93
- GameCube – 21.74
- Wii – 101.63
- Wii U – 13.56
- Switch – 19.67
- Total: 300.54
The sales figures for Famicom are added to the NES sum in Nintendo's official data. 35 years after it was eaten in living rooms in Japan, Nintendo has sold more than 300 million home consoles worldwide. It takes care of the living room, but a large part of the Nintendo experience is on the go. What do their handheld sales figures look like?
- Game Boy – 118.69 (includes Color)
- Game Boy Advance – 81.51
- DS – 154.02
- 3DS – 72.89
- Total : 427.11
As you can see, Nintendo's handheld business has proven even more successful than their home console setup. DS accounts for over a third of total sales, and it is sold next to Wii, making it one of the most lucrative in Nintendo's history. The original Game Boy expanded its life with the Color version (which Nintendo considers as part of the same family, much like DS and DSi) and eventually sold over 118 million.
Combining home console and handheld totals gives us a grand total of 727.65 million. All of these numbers come from Nintendo's investor relations website, which does not contain official data for NES Classic Edition, SNES Classic Edition, Virtual Boy (all three combine slightly less than 10 million), or any of the different Games & Watch lines. For comparison, we will only use Nintendo's officially listed figures.
So how is it stuck to Sony? Famicom debuted in July 1983, giving Nintendo 35 years and one month in business. PlayStation launched in December 1994, giving Sony 23 years and 8 months in hardware business. If you make math, it comes to 20.7 million units of hardware sold per year by Nintendo and 22.12 million hardware sold per year by Sony.
The two companies have combined to sell astonishing 1,253 billion consoles completely and bring joy to hundreds of millions of players along the way. Here's another billion!