How many consoles will be sold in this generation?

4 min read

So Darryn is away testing the wares of New York City and that leaves the team a little short-handed so forgive me for absolutely stealing this idea from neogaf but I thought it was an interesting thread.

The best selling console of all time is still the PlayStation 2 with over 150 million units sold* and since the new consoles now cost a ton more than that I think it would be overly optimistic to think any of the current batch could take its crown.

Currently the PS3 is sitting at total sales of 82 million ahead of the Xbox 360 which has 81 million but way behind the Wii which sold 101 million.

However this generation has started quicker than the last by some margin so I wouldn’t be surprised to see it beat them, even though most of Neogaf disagrees.


Here are my predictions for the sales figures by the time the next generation rolls around in 2020

  1. PlayStation 4 -110 million
  2. Xbox One – 90 million
  3. Wii U – 15 million (I expect the Wii U to be replaced in the next two years)


While the new consoles have great momentum right now, I don’t believe it’ll continue unabated. In fact, I think very many of last generation’s console gamers have become this generation’s PC gamers. I’ve seen more and more people transition to PC gaming, thanks to the relative high cost of the new consoles. Of course, when price drops do start happening, more people will be picking them up. and though the PlayStation 4 feels more like a successor to the PlayStation 2 than the 3 did, I’m not convinced it’ll reach nearly as high a sales total. Why? This gen is the first in my mind where consumers can pick up a comparable PC for a comparable price close to launch – and PC gaming, largely thanks to steam and the like, has matured to a point where fiddling with everything isn’t really necessary. I do, however, agree with Gavin that in about two years time, we’ll be seeing new hardware from Nintendo. 

So here are my completely made up, pulled from my starfish predictions for the generation if it lasts for just 6 years. 

  1. PlayStation 4 – 79 Million
  2. Xbox One – 62 Million
  3. Wii U – 17 Million


I’ve got to say that I’m in between these two opinions. Sure, I agree with Geoff that consoles have been overtaken by PC gamers. Price is a key thing, as is the fact that PC gaming doesn’t require nearly as much technical know-how or tinkering that it used to. There are enough companies that can build you a high-end gaming PC – a machine that will pay for itself when you considering its multi-use functionality and low cost of PC games (thank you Steam sales). That said, console gamers are still a thing – people still want to sit on the couch with a controller and consume entertainment. This brings me to the point that I think we as “core gamers” often forget: the new generation of consoles are targeted at taking over our living rooms. This means that families will be more likely to buy a PS4 or Xbox One to use as a Netflix device that also plays games, rather than maybe picking up a dedicated streaming device like Apple TV. Additionally, while the consoles are expensive, people are more accustomed to forking out money for shiny new tech – if they can spend that much on an iPad or smart phone, why not on a console?

So, here are my predictions that are based on nothing women’s intuition. Oh, and I’m with the guys – the Wii U will be replaced soon.

    1. PlayStation 4 – 100 million
    2. Xbox One – 85 million
    3. Wii U – 20 million


That is of course if this generation is a 6 year cycle with the last generation lasting 8 years it could quite easily do the same or if the virtual reality becomes a reality (sorry) then it could be a short sprint to 2016 and a new roll out then.

My predictions are on the high side compared to most of Gaf but I think once the price drops and these consoles are pushed into the emerging markets the West will suddenly realise how many people exist on the planet that don’t live in Europe and America.

This could make for some interesting games, Sing Star Bollywood anyone? –  but it will be great for the industry as a whole.

*All quoted figures are from

Last Updated: April 23, 2014

Check Also

The Nintendo Switch is expected to sell 40 million units by 2020

According to some number-crunching from DFC Intelligence, the Switch could sell over 40 m…