The PlayStation 3 was originally launched in November 2006, making the console seven years old now. Since its launch, the PlayStation 3 has endured a series of up-and-down moments. Sony’s console was widely considered a sales failure for a long duration after its release. In April 2007 the console had only sold 812,000 units, less than half of the Nintendo Wii’s sales in the same time frame, and was suffering in the Japanese and European markets. This statistic was more surprising since the Wii console was released weeks after Sony’s release of the PlayStation 3.
Sony has long since turned things around for their home console. Earlier this year the PlayStation 3 managed to catch-up and pass Microsoft’s Xbox 360 in total worldwide sales. It took the system several redesigns, lower price-points, and an improved marketing strategy to go along with Blu-rays catching on, but Sony can celebrate the fact that the PlayStation 3 is widely popular and still a platform worth developing for, even with the PS4 releasing this month.
Sony proudly announced this morning that the PlayStation 3 has sold more than 80 million units worldwide as of November 2, 2013, noting that the aged entertainment console continues to see massive support from third-party developers. Including downloadable PlayStation Network games, the console has a library exceeding 4300 titles, with exclusive critically acclaimed games still releasing such as this summer’s The Last of Us, even with the pending release of the PlayStation 4 on the horizon. Despite the fact that the PlayStation 4 launches this month, Sony noted that 300 more games are already slated to be released by third-party developers for this holiday season.
While the PlayStation Network is not as widely used as Microsoft’s Xbox Live for online gaming, Sony’s online service has surpassed 150 million registered users. PSN also contains more than 222,000 available digital media options, 72,000 of which consist of downloadable game content of some form.
With the Nintendo Wii U already launched, and both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 coming out later this month, now is a good time to compare sales figures for the last generation of consoles. The PlayStation 3 did in fact surpass the Xbox 360 earlier this year, but Microsoft recovered and their console count reached 80 million units last month. However, the Xbox 360 did hit store shelves a full one year prior to the PlayStation 3. The Nintendo Wii, a notably less powerful yet affordable machine, managed to out-sell both the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3 with its unique motion controls. The Nintendo Wii has sold more than 100 million units worldwide since its release in 2006.
Will the PlayStation 4’s launch fare better than its predecessor? How will its long-term sales compare to the Xbox One?
Sources: Nintendo World Report, Sony