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The Best-Selling Video Game Consoles of All Time

Sony's PlayStation 2 has long reigned as the best-selling video game console of all time. PS4, despite its massive sales success, ended its run roughly 40 million units behind its older sibling. And while it, too, is still a long way from the top, Switch's extraordinary sales performance has earned it a spot on the podium of best-selling consoles.


With Switch and PS4 having secured their spots among the all-time best-selling consoles, we set out to discover how the rest of Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft's hardware stack up. Scroll down or click through the gallery below for our list of the 28 best-selling video game consoles of all time, with additional information on release dates, highest-rated games, and more.

(Some sales figures come straight from the hardware manufacturers, while others are estimated based on the most recently reported numbers and market analysis. Unofficial sales totals are marked with an asterisk (*). The highest-rated games, meanwhile, come from
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.)

If you only care about the biggest sellers, here's the TL;DR Top 5 Best-Selling Consoles list, in order. Scroll down for more details and breakdowns:

  1. PlayStation 2 (Sony) – 159 million*
  2. Nintendo DS (Nintendo) – 154.02 million
  3. Nintendo Switch (Nintendo) – 139.36 million
  4. Game Boy/Game Boy Color (Nintendo) – 118.69 million
  5. PlayStation 4 (Sony) – 117.2 million

28. Sega Dreamcast – 9.13 million*​

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  • Initial release date: November 27, 1998 (JP)
  • Production status: Ended
  • Highest-rated games:
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    (98), Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 (97), NFL 2K1 (97)

*According to Sega’s 2001
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, lifetime sales for the console had hit 8.2 million by March 31, 2001 — the day Sega ended Dreamcast production. In the first half of the following fiscal year, the company
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it had sold an additional 130,000 units in Japan and 530,000 in the U.S, bringing the sales total up to 8.86 million. Remaining inventory for those two territories at the time, according to that same report, totaled 270,000 units. We know, thanks to
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, it eventually sold through all of that remaining inventory, bringing our sales total up to 9.13 million.

Now, the only figures missing are sales and inventory in Europe and Asia (outside of Japan) after March 31, 2001. However, we can seemingly discount Europe, as remaining European inventory was sold to
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around the time production ended. It’s unknown how many units were left in Asia, though it’s likely a fairly insignificant number considering it was the lowest performing of those four markets. As such, we’re sticking with the known total of 9.13 million.

27. Sega Saturn – 9.26 million*​

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  • Initial release date: November 22, 1994 (JP)
  • Production status: Ended
  • Highest-rated games: Panzer Dragoon Saga (92), Dragon Force (90),
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    (89)

*As of March 31, 1998, Saturn had sold 8.8 million units when it was
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in the U.S. That was the last
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, though the console would continue to be sold in Japan for another two years. 9.26 million is the final estimate given by research firm
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. While we don’t have any official numbers to bridge that gap between 8.8 and 9.26 million,
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proved accurate (according to our math), and so we’re going to accept its Saturn total as the best available guess.

26. Wii U – 13.56 million​

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  • Initial release date: November 18, 2012 (NA)
  • Production status: Ended
  • Highest-rated games: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (96),
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    (93), Super Smash Bros. for Wii U (92)

With 13.56 million units sold, according to
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, Wii U is Nintendo’s worst-selling console of all time by a wide margin. However, as former Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aimé told
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, the lessons learned from
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were crucial in propelling the Switch to success.

25. Sega Game Gear – 13.9 million*​

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  • Initial release date: October 6, 1990 (JP)
  • Production status: Ended
  • Notable games (review data not available): Sonic Chaos, Gunstar Heroes, Streets of Rage 2

*There are several Game Gear sales totals floating around the web: 10.62 million (from a data compilation on
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), 12 million (from late Sega executive
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, and “about” 14 million (from former Sega president
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). Considering those three sources, we’ve opted to go with the company’s former president, assuming “about” means slightly less than 14 million.

24. PlayStation Vita – 14 million*​

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  • Initial release date: December 17, 2011 (JP)
  • Production status: Ended
  • Highest-rated games:
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    (93), Velocity 2X (90), Spelunky (88)

*Despite a
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, Sony’s follow-up to the PSP failed to gain a similar foothold in the handheld market, falling well short of its predecessor's sales total. Sony stopped reporting sales figures for
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fairly early on in its lifecycle, though estimates — from
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and industry
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— put the total somewhere between 10 and 15 million.
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reported Vita “sold south of" 15 million units, yet ended its run “marginally ahead” of Wii U, leading us to our rough estimate of 14 million.

23. Sega Master System/Mark III – 20 million*​

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  • Initial release date: October 20, 1985 (JP)
  • Production status: Ended
  • Notable games (review data not available): Phantasy Star, Alex Kidd in Miracle World, Sonic the Hedgehog

*According to a compilation on NeoGAF of available sales data, Master System sold 6.2 million units in Europe. In
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, its biggest market, sales reached over 8 million, bringing our total to 14.2 million. Estimates for sales in Japan and the U.S., meanwhile, generally sit around 2 million per territory. Accounting for another 2 million in remaining territories — such as
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and South Korea, where the console reportedly sold fairly well —we arrive at our final estimate of 20 million.

22. Xbox – 21 million*​

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  • Initial release date: November 15, 2001 (NA)
  • Production status: Ended
  • Highest-rated games:
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    (97), Grand Theft Auto Double Pack — GTA 3 and Vice City (96), Halo 2 (95)

*While Microsoft hasn’t announced an official sales total for the original Xbox, an
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from the official Xbox website states "more than 24 million Xbox consoles" had been sold as of May 2006. Total Xbox 360 sales at that time had just hit 3.3 million units, according to
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, leading us to our estimate of 21 million for the original system.

21. Xbox Series X|S – 21 million+*​

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  • Initial release date: November 10, 2020 (WW)
  • Production status: Ongoing
  • Highest-rated games:
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    (96), Persona 5 Royal (94),
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    (94)

While Microsoft has maintained a policy of not disclosing console sales totals since 2015, the company seemingly revealed Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One figures during a presentation at the 2023 Best International Games Festival in Brazil. According to an image posted to
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on June 29, Xbox Series X|S has thus far sold over 21 million units. This is likely partially thanks to the success of
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.

*We're keeping the asterisk on this sales total as we work to verify the figure with Microsoft.

20. GameCube – 21.74 million​

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  • Initial release date: September 14, 2001 (JP)
  • Production status: Ended
  • Highest-rated games:
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    (97), Resident Evil 4 (96), The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (96)

The GameCube ended its run with 21.74 million units sold, according to Nintendo’s official numbers, making it the company’s second-worst-selling console to date. However, with 208.57 million software units sold, the number of
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sold per console is the highest for any Nintendo system at 9.59.

19. Atari 2600 – 30 million*​

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  • Initial release date: September 11, 1977 (NA)
  • Production status: Ended
  • Notable games (review data not available): Pac-Man, E.T. The Extra Terrestrial, Missile Command

*The oldest console on this list, Atari 2600 sold an impressive 30 million units in its lifetime, according to an archived version of a
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from Atari partner AtGames. The 2600 is by far Atari’s most successful console, with none of its successors — 5200, 7800, and Jaguar — selling enough units to qualify for this list.

18. Nintendo 64 – 32.93 million​

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  • Initial release date: June 23, 1996 (JP)
  • Production status: Ended
  • Highest-rated games:
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    (99), Perfect Dark (97), GoldenEye 007 (96)

Nintendo’s third home console ended its run with just under 33 million units sold, according to official sales numbers from the company. N64 Software sales fell just shy of 225 million units, giving it the lowest number of games sold per system (6.83) for a Nintendo home console.

See our picks for the
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ever made.

17. Sega Genesis/Mega Drive – 35 million*​

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  • Initial release date: October 29, 1988 (JP)
  • Production status: Ended
  • Highest-rated games:
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    (89), Sonic the Hedgehog 3 (89), Shining Force 2 (89)

*The sales total of Sega Genesis/Mega Drive is a topic of much debate among game historians. The actual figure is impossible to lock down given the lack of concrete data, but estimates generally range from 30 to 40 million units. Aforementioned Sega executive Joe Miller once said system sales were over 40 million, though that number is highly contested and seemingly contradicted by Sega’s available sales data. Compilations of that data — from
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and professional
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— show first-party console sales hit somewhere between 28 and 31 million units.

Add in estimated third-party console sales from companies such as
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(where the console performed well into the 2010s) and Majesco in North America, and we arrive at our ballpark figure of 35 million — a number seemingly corroborated by a 2017 press release from Sega partner
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.

16. SNES/Super Famicom – 49.10 million​

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  • Initial release date: November 21, 1990 (JP)
  • Production status: Ended
  • Highest-rated games: Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island (96), Chrono Trigger (96), Super Metroid (96)

This sales figure comes directly from Nintendo. While the SNES fell short of its predecessor in terms of sales, the console is remembered fondly for its expansive library of high-quality games, including those listed above. 379 million units of software were sold for the system. The Super Nintendo Entertainment System -- or Super Famicom as it's known in Japan -- often tops "best console" lists thanks to its massive third-party support and iconic single- and multiplayer games.

15. PlayStation 5 – 50 million+​

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  • Initial release date: November 12, 2020 (NA, JP, AU)
  • Production status: Ongoing
  • Highest-rated games: Elden Ring (96),
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    (96),
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    (94)

PlayStation 5 is another massive success for Sony, selling over 50 million units as of
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. A semiconductor chip shortage restricted Sony's capacity to manufacture new PS5s during its first two years on the market, though the console is now readily available and tracking with the sales pace of PS4, which went on to sell 117 million units.

See our picks for the
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below.

14. Xbox One – 58 million*​

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  • Initial release date: November 22, 2013 (NA, EU, AU, SA)
  • Production status: Ended
  • Highest-rated games:
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    (97), Grand Theft Auto V (97), Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain (95)

Microsoft stopped reporting Xbox One sales numbers in October 2015, though the company seemingly revealed the console's final sales total during a presentation at the 2023 Best International Games Festival in Brazil. According to an image posted to
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on June 29, Xbox One finished its run with 58 million units sold.

If this number is accurate, Microsoft's eighth-generation console ultimately sold half as many units as Sony's competing PS4.

*We're keeping the asterisk on this sales total as we work to verify the figure with Microsoft.

13. NES/Famicom – 61.91 million​

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  • Initial release date: July 15, 1983 (JP)
  • Production status: Ended
  • Highest-rated games (according to IGN; Metacritic data not available): Super Mario Bros. 3 (95), The Legend of Zelda (90), Super Mario Bros. (90)

Nintendo's official numbers put NES sales at over 61 million units. The most senior entry on this list, Nintendo's first console went on to generate over 500 million units of software sales. The NES is often credited with bringing video games back from the dead after the video game crash that ended once dominant brands such as Atari.

12. Nintendo 3DS – 75.94 million​

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  • Initial release date: February 26, 2011 (JP)
  • Production status: Ended
  • Highest-rated games:
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    (94), Fire Emblem: Awakening (92), The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds (91)

This sales figure comes directly from Nintendo and is current as of December 31, 2020. It encompasses total sales for all systems within the 3DS family, which includes all variations of Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo 2DS. To date, the handheld family has generated 385 million units of software sales. The 3DS didn't see a direct successor, effectively turning Nintendo from a console/handheld maker into a single-system-focused publisher.

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of all time.

11. Game Boy Advance – 81.51 million​

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  • Initial release date: March 21, 2001 (JP)
  • Production status: Ended
  • Highest-rated games:
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    (95), Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 (95), Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3 (94)

This official sales figure comes directly from Nintendo. The company also notes software sales for the handheld closed at 377 million units. The Game Boy Advance line of devices included many different design iterations and form factors, the last of which was the Game Boy Micro in 2005. The top-selling model was the Game Boy Advance SP, with 43.57 million units sold. The Game Boy Micro only sold 2.42 million during its short run.

See our picks for the
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.

10. PlayStation Portable – 82.5 million*​

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  • Initial release date: December 12, 2004 (JP)
  • Production status: Ended
  • Highest-rated games:
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    (91), Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars (90), Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 Portable (89)

*Sony last reported an official sales total for PSP in 2012, when it announced the handheld had sold 76 million units. The system would continue to be produced for an additional two years, during which time it's unknown exactly how many units were sold. However, in a
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, former PlayStation boss Shawn Layden said the handheld sold over 82.5 million units.

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of all time.

9. Xbox 360 – 85 million*​

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  • Initial release date: November 22, 2005 (NA)
  • Production status: Ended
  • Highest-rated games:
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    (98), Grand Theft Auto V (97), BioShock (96)

*In June 2014,
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it had shipped 84 million Xbox 360s to retailers. While Microsoft stopped reporting specific sales figures in 2015, the system remained in
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. During that two-year period, we can safely assume Microsoft converted that 84 million figure from sell-in to sell-through, while, conservatively estimating, moving an additional one million units. If accurate, that would place Xbox 360 in the eighth spot on the list of best-selling consoles.

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of all time.

8. PlayStation 3 – 87.5 million*​

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  • Initial release date: November 11, 2006 (JP)
  • Production status: Ended
  • Highest-rated games: Grand Theft Auto IV (98),
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    (97), Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (96)

*As of March 31, 2017, PS3 had sold 87.4 million units, according to
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. The system would
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through May of that same year. With that in mind, it's likely PS3 ended its run with somewhere between 87 and 88 million units sold, leaving us with our conservative estimate of 87.5.

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of all time.

7. Nintendo Wii – 101.63 million​

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  • Initial release date: November 19, 2006 (NA)
  • Production status: Ended
  • Highest-rated games:
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    (97), Super Mario Galaxy 2 (97), The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (95)

According to official sales figures from Nintendo, Wii ended its run as the sixth-best-selling console of all time. With over 100 million systems sold, Wii generated 920 million units of software sales — the second most for any Nintendo console.

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of all time.

6. PlayStation – 102.4 million​

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  • Initial release date: December 3, 1994 (JP)
  • Production status: Ended
  • Highest-rated games:
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    (98), Tekken 3 (96), Gran Turismo (96)

According to
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, the original PlayStation's final sales total sits at 102.4 million, with over 960 million software units sold. This makes it the third-best-selling Sony console ever behind PS4 and PS2.

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of all time.

5. PlayStation 4 – 117.2 million​

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  • Initial release date: November 15, 2013 (NA)
  • Production status: Ongoing
  • Highest-rated games: Red Dead Redemption 2 (97), Grand Theft Auto V (97),
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    (95)

PlayStation 4 dominated the eighth generation of consoles. After shipping 1 million units during
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fiscal year ending March 31, 2022, PS4 sales now sit at 117.2 million. The console holds the title of "fastest home console to reach 100 million unit sell in," according to Niko Partners analyst
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, beating PS2 to the milestone by two months. To date, more than a billion software units have been sold for the console.

4. Game Boy/Game Boy Color – 118.69 million​

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  • Initial release date: April 21, 1989 (JP)
  • Production status: Ended
  • Highest-rated games: Metal Gear Solid (96), Super Mario Bros. Deluxe (93), The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages (92)

This sales figure comes directly from Nintendo and includes sales of both the original Game Boy and subsequent Game Boy Color. 501 million units of software were sold for the console — good for third on Nintendo's all-time software list.

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of all time.

3. Nintendo Switch – 139.36 million​

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  • Initial release date: March 3, 2017 (WW)
  • Production status: Ongoing
  • Highest-rated games:
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    (97), Super Mario Odyssey (97),
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    (96)

By the end of 2022, Nintendo Switch became the
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of all time, passing the lifetime sales totals of PS4 and Game Boy. Its sales total, as of December 31, 2023, now sits at 139.36 million, 14.66 million units shy of Nintendo's best-selling hardware, the Nintendo DS.

According to
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over 1.2 billion software units have been sold for Switch – the most for any Nintendo console.
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remains the console's best-selling game with over 60 million copies sold. The Switch combines the console and handheld business lines Nintendo formerly supported with separate hardware and software. Also see: The
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and when to buy in 2023.

2. Nintendo DS – 154.02 million​

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  • Initial release date: November 21, 2004 (NA)
  • Production status: Ended
  • Highest-rated games:
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    (93), Flipnote Studio (93), Chrono Trigger (92)

This sales figure comes directly from Nintendo and encompasses total sales for all systems within the DS family, including the original model, DS Lite, and DSi. Nintendo DS is also the company's best-performing system in terms of software sales, with nearly 950 million games sold.

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of all time.

1. PlayStation 2 – 159 million*​

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  • Initial release date: March 4, 2000 (JP)
  • Production status: Ended
  • Highest-rated games:
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    (97), Grand Theft Auto III (97), Resident Evil 4 (96)

*PlayStation 2 remains the best-selling video game console of all time. Sony's beloved system tops Nintendo DS by roughly 5 million units sold, while handily outselling every other console in existence. As of January 31, 2011, Sony had sold 150 million PS2s to retailers. While that was the last official total reported, the console would remain in production through early 2013. Niko Partners analyst Daniel Ahmad (via
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) noted sales climbed to 155.1 million through March 2012. Our grand total of 159 million was reached using Ahmad's continued logic:

"In the fiscal year ending March 2013 a total of 16.5 million PS3 & PS2 units were shipped," he wrote. "PS2 was still being shipped during this period so the info we're missing is how many units were PS2 and how many were PS3. Using PS3's 80m sell in announcements as a guide you can work backwards and ultimately work out that PS2 [sales from March 2012 through the end of its production] must have been close to 4m."

Its software sales sit at a staggering 1.5 billion units, according to
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. This is likely thanks to some of the
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of all time.


Updated August 4, 2022 to reflect changes in Switch, PS5, Xbox Series, and other various console sales since the newest generation of consoles began.

Jordan is a freelance writer for IGN.


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