May 25, 2020
With video games experiencing a renaissance due in part to homebound gamers in the COVID-19 era, new data from Learnbonds.com finds that more than 1.56 billion game consoles have been sold worldwide through March since the beginning of Sony PlayStation, Atari, Sega, Nintendo and Microsoft Xbox, among other brands.
The gaming resurgence comes following a months-long lull as sales of consoles plummeted as consumers await new-generation PS5 and Xbox Series X systems this fall and winter.
The NPD Group found PC sales in the first quarter increased 16% to $2.4 billion. Further reinforcing the need for additional hardware as more people telecommuted, landline headset sales grew 50.9% and stereo headphones sales skyrocketed 65.4% compared with the prior year.
Learnbonds said PlayStation 2 remains the top-selling console of all time with 157.68 million units sold since its debut in 2000, followed by Nintendo DS with 154.9 million units and Game Boy (118.69 units). The original PlayStation (102.5 million) and Nintendo Wii (101.64 million) round out the Top 5 consoles.
Notably, Europe, not North America, is the largest market for PlayStation, with the PS2 selling more units (55.28 million) across the pond than stateside (53.65 million). In Japan, 23.18 million have been sold compared with 25.57 million globally.
The report suggests the enduring popularity of PS2 (which discontinued production after 12 years) was due to the unit’s DVD playing functionality — a strong selling point at the height of the home video market.
“Even with the release of its successor, the PlayStation 3, the PS2 remained popular with Sony continuing with production until 2013,” analyst Justinas Baltrusaitis wrote in the report.