After the PlayStation 3 fell behind Microsoft’s Xbox 360 in sales during the last video game console generation, Sony has steadily controlled things since the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One launched in holiday 2013. Today, Sony announced a new PS4 sales milestone that puts it well above the competition, in a spot it will almost certainly maintain until new consoles come out.
Announced by Sony and reported by GamesIndustry.biz, the PlayStation 4 broke the 70 million units sold milestone as of Dec. 3. All told, almost 620 million total PS4 games have been sold since the console launched in 2013, between physical and digital storefronts. After just four years on the market, the PS4 is getting close to the PS3’s total lifetime sales of 83 million units. The PS3, for reference, was Sony’s primary development platform for seven years, from 2006 to 2013.
According to GameSpot’s list of the best-selling video game consoles of all time (last updated in October), that puts the PS4 slightly above the Nintendo 3DS as the 10th highest selling console in history. Nintendo’s last financial report had the 3DS (which launched in 2011) at almost 69 million units sold. It should be noted that the 3DS is a handheld device while the PS4 is a home console and the two are not, nor have they ever been, direct competitors, per se.
Another bit of good news for Sony is that the PlayStation VR headset has moved two million units since its launch in 2016. VR is a nascent market that Sony jumped into well before either Microsoft or Nintendo will, but the move seems to have worked out in the short term.
When handheld consoles are removed from the equation, the PS4 is the sixth best selling console of all time. The Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii and all three previous PlayStations sit above it, with the PS2 holding the top overall spot with a staggering 155 million lifetime units sold. The absurdly popular Nintendo DS handheld system sits just behind it with 154 million units sold.
How is the PS4’s most direct competitor faring? Not well, comparatively. The Xbox One is estimated to have sold somewhere around 24 million units. It launched against the PS4 in holiday 2013, but the inclusion of the Kinect motion control camera device made it $100 more expensive than the PS4. The price difference did not carry enough of a perceived benefit to move customers to Microsoft’s corner. Additionally, there was extreme controversy over the idea that the Xbox One X would not play used games and would not work unless connected to the internet, two features Microsoft hastily dropped just months before launch.
Microsoft has not released specific numbers, but the launch of its 4K-ready Xbox One X machine last month seems to have gone well. Bluntly speaking, it is almost impossible for the Xbox One to ever catch up to the PS4 by the time follow-up consoles come out, but a solid recovery is not entirely out of the question.