Every PlayStation Console, Ranked By Sales

At one point the young upstart within the gaming industry, these days PlayStation is just as much a veteran as any other company. There are plenty of twenty-somethings who don’t know a world without PlayStation, who weren’t around for the Console Wars of the 1990s. That’s a testament to the company’s ability to weather storms.


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Sony has seen the heights of success, with the best-selling home console system of all time, and seen the troubled years of the early PlayStation 3 era. Their first-party titles have been top-tier over the last generation, with some of the best storytelling and gaming graphics has to offer. It’s no wonder PlayStation continues to be one of the biggest brands around, with PlayStation noting in their sales data nearly all of their consoles have sold over one hundred million units. But which PlayStation consoles have been hits, and which ones failed to catch the attention of gamers?

7/7 PlayStation Vita Came Out At The Wrong Time

Estimated 15 Million Units Sold

The PlayStation Portable was a massive success for Sony, but after six years on the market it was time to upgrade. In December 2011, Sony launched the PlayStation Vita. It was powerful enough to support beautiful games at a handheld level, but it came out at the wrong time.

People weren’t looking for a new handheld console since their phones had become gaming systems. This, combined with the PlayStation Vita’s price tag and the weak first-party support ruined any chance the Vita had. It’s a bit difficult to come up with precise numbers for the Vita, as Sony intentionally doesn’t list them. Studies from NPD research group EEDAR placed estimates as low as ten million, while other companies have estimated around 15 million.

6/7 PlayStation 5 Is A Monster In The Making

25 Million Units Sold

Much like the PlayStation 2, the PlayStation 5 has elevated to the level of status symbol. Sony’s reputation helps, but because the system is elusive, it’s become a trophy for those with the tenacity – and bank account – to find one.

Games like the incredible Horizon: Forbidden West, Returnal,and Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart, are must-plays for anyone who owns a PlayStation 5. But even for people who aren’t ready to let go of their PlayStation 4 games yet, the system is backward compatible, so gamers’ entire PS4 libraries carry over. While the PlayStation 5 has been hard to find, that hasn’t stopped it from selling 25 million units so far.

5/7 PlayStation Portable Was Sony’s Handheld Success Story

76.2 Million Units

The PlayStation Portable, or PSP, launched at the height of the PlayStation 2’s popularity. While the handheld system never stood a chance of competing with the Nintendo DS, Sony was able to find its own impressive level of success. What made the PSP such a surprise was just how powerful it was—players literally got console-quality graphics on a system that fit in their pocket.

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Third-party developers were eager to break into a new market without compromising their games much, so the PlayStation Portable had no shortage of games to play on it. In the end, the PSP moved over 76 million units across a decade of development, making it one of the most successful portable consoles ever.

4/7 PlayStation 3 Showed Sony Could Recover From Years Of Mistakes

87.4 Million Units Sold

The PlayStation 3 was Sony’s true test as a console developer. Their first two PlayStations had everything going right for them, both with fans and developers. The PlayStation 3, however, showed how easily everything could go wrong. At $599, the PlayStation 3 was twice as expensive as its predecessor. The system was notoriously difficult to develop for because of the Cell processor, leading to fewer multi-platform ports, and inferior ones when fans got them.

Finally, Sony launched the PS3 a year after both Nintendo and Microsoft released their new consoles. Sony was forced to overcome all this and a weak launch line-up, but some classic PS3 titles, combined with massive price cuts on their console, got them back to the top of the market by the end of the generation. In the end, Sony moved over 87 million PlayStation 3s, narrowly beating out the Xbox 360.

3/7 PlayStation 1 Was The Beginning Of A Dynasty

102.4 Million Units Sold

The original PlayStation was meant to be a CD expansion to the Super Nintendo, but when Nintendo ended the plan, Sony went through with making its own console. While they were newcomers, Sony made a lot of decisions that made them popular with developers and gamers.

Sony’s shift to CDs over cartridges made things cheaper for developers and fans, dropping prices of games to a more reasonable $40 over Super Nintendo cartridge prices, which could go as high as $70. The PS1 also had a host of amazing games for fans to choose from. All of Sony’s choices led to the PlayStation selling over 102 million units, a first for that era.

2/7 PlayStation 4 Represented Sony’s Return To Being King Of The Mountain

117 Million Units Sold

With the PlayStation 4, Sony learned from every major mistake they’d made during the prior generation. The new console would be $399, a full third less than the PlayStation 3. They switched over to the ubiquitous x86 CPU, which developers loved. Meanwhile, the gaming line-up, though sparse on launch day, grew to be one of the most impressive of all time. Despite not being backward compatible, it didn’t take long for Sony to build up a monstrous first-party line-up.

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Sony created a number of modern classics for the PS4, from 2015’s Bloodborne to 2018’s god of war and beyond, titles that sold millions of copies, becoming the kind of monstrous successes that demanded people try the console out. Though they couldn’t top the PlayStation 2’s success, the PlayStation 4 is the second-best-selling home console and the fourth-best-selling overall with over 117 million consoles sold so far.

1/7 PlayStation 2 Is The Most Successful Home Console Of All Time

155 Million Units Sold

However successful the PlayStation 1 was, the PlayStation 2 surpassed it in every metric. Despite being a more expensive console, fans flocked to it in droves. The PS2 became a status symbol as much as any other piece of pop culture merchandise in the early 2000s.

The PS2’s incredible collection of games, combined with it being a cheap DVD player, and the price dropping down to $99 by the end of its lifespan, made it the most successful console of all time with over 155 million units moved. These are heights that no console developer—Sony included–is likely to ever reach again.

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