Latest sales figures show all three modern consoles now top lifetime NES sales
The Nintendo Entertainment System defied the odds as the 1980s came to a close. Released in a video game market that American retailers had written off as a fad, the NES not only revived the gaming entertainment industry but set sales figures that blew away the earlier console generation and the previous king, the Atari 2600.
The NES lifetime sales figure of 61.91 million consoles became the biggest prize for anything released after it. Going into the current crop of gaming consoles, only two consoles ever topped the lofty mark set by the NES: the original PlayStation and the PlayStation 2.
Now, according to sales-tracking website VGChartz.com the PlayStation 3 has now also topped the lofty NES numbers. Not only does this put all three PlayStation consoles into the top five best-selling consoles of all-time, but it also means the PS3 joins the Nintendo Wii and XBox 360 in that short list. All three modern consoles have now topped the NES lifetime sales figures, a first for any console generation in history. (Author’s note: All three consoles have also topped the NES software sales figures, according to the same website.)
“It was just a matter of time before gaming became so popular that the modern big three topped the original console that revitalized the gaming industry,” said Eric Cummings, founder of the group Gaming World Wide. “I’m happy about it. It means that the industry has really arrived.”
Another gamer who remains an NES player to this day provided similar thoughts.
“I feel this is proof that gaming is more than just people who play games,” said Eric Perez, host of The 8-Bit Eric Show. “It is part of a worldwide culture. The fact that three separate consoles have outsold what I feel was the pioneer of revitalizing gaming shows that the industry is in great shape. The Nintendo Entertainment System will forever hold it’s place in history, but this is also history in the making. The next generation of consoles will be something to watch.”
The Top Ten Selling Game Consoles of All-Time (source: combined data from VGChartz.com and Wikipedia listings. Excludes handheld gaming devices. All stats are as of date of this article’s publishing.)
1. PlayStation 2 (Sony, 2000) – 153.68 million units
2. PlayStation (Sony, 1994) – 104.25 million units
3. Wii (Nintendo, 2006) – 95.25 million units
4. XBox 360 (Microsoft, 2005) – 65.80 million units
5. PlayStation 3 (Sony, 2006) – 62.11 million units
6. Nintendo Entertainment System (Nintendo, 1983, 1985) – 61.91 million units
7. Super Nintendo Entertainment System (Nintendo, 1990) – 49.10 million units
8. Mega Drive / Genesis (Sega, 1988, 1989) – 39 million units
9. Nintendo 64 (Nintendo, 1996) – 32.93 million units
10. Atari 2600 / VCS (Atari, 1977, 1985) – 30 million units