Console wars. Deep down, we all know they’re stupid. We should just pick the system that has the games we want, and enjoy it. We definitely shouldn’t waste time posting online about why the console we don’t have is rubbish.
Except that… console wars can be fun. When I was 12 or 13, I had a MegaDrive and my best friend Ryan had a SNES. We used to spend ages having stupid conversations about which was better. SNES could show more colours on screen, had ‘Mode 7,’ and it had Street Fighter II. MegaDrive had a faster CPU (like that mattered) and a lot more games. Looking back, it’s obvious both were incredible consoles – I did end up swapping my MegaDrive for a SNES though.
Console sales wars can also be kind of useful, for a simple reason. The better a console sells, the more likely it is to get support from game developers and publishers. And that means more games.
The biggest selling console will have the most people to play online, too.
If you pick a flop? Well, that console is probably going to get discontinued sooner than its better-selling rivals. Which means you’re arguably going to get less value from it.
So here’s a little look at the latest console sales data. Just for fun.
But remember – you really should just ignore the chatter and get the console with the games you want to play. Trust me – I’m a Wii U owner.
PlayStation 4: 35.9 million worldwide in Jan 2016
Sony shared new PS4 sales data on 6th January, which showed worldwide sales are just under 36 million. 5.7 million of those consoles were sold over the 2015 “holiday period” (Christmas).
PS4’s amazing sales numbers make it the most popular PlayStation EVER, according to #1 gaming news site the Daily Mail. (“Unless you consider the Playstation 3 has sold 83.8million worldwide, and the original Playstation 102.49million worldwide. Oh, and the Playstation 2 sold 155+million worldwide, but then Daily Mail are only counting the first two years of a console’s life to determine the most popular PS ever….” Editor – BM)
Xbox One: About 18 million worldwide in Jan 2016
Microsoft hasn’t been sharing its Xbox One console sales numbers lately. But by breaking down the Windows 10 numbers that have been released, tech journalist Mary Jo Foley has calculated there are about 18 million Xbones in the wild.
While the One is firmly number two; those are still really healthy sales. (Except in Japan, where last week only 99 Xbox Ones were sold.) And there’s no doubting the quality of the console, its games and Xbox Live.
Wii U: 10.73 million worldwide in Sept 2015
Wii U has been out the longest of the current three consoles, and it has some of this generation’s best games. But it’s still dead last in the console sales race, with 10.73 million sales.
With Nintendo NX somewhere on the horizon, Wii U might be taking a bow early. But it’s still a must-own if you want to play Mario Kart 8, Smash Bros, Splatoon and other great exclusives.
Have your say
So those are the numbers. It’s not much of a war really, is it? We’ve got a clear leader with tons of great games, a clear loser with tons of great games, and one in the middle – also with tons of great games.
The real winner is obviously us gamers.
If you do happen to take console rivalries seriously and have an irrational obsession, love or hatred for any of the systems above, tell us about it in the comments.
Everyone else – enjoy gaming!