Gamers are often eager to debate which console is superior, arguing over the pros and cons of the latest devices from Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo. Ultimately, there's no real winner, as the determining factor is each gamer's personal tastes, but the so-called console wars rage on nonetheless.
While it's impossible to pinpoint which console is the best, it is possible to determine which one has outsold the rest. In a recent market research report by Euromonitor, one console made at least twice the revenue of each of its individual competitors.
Sony's PlayStation 4 is the champion amongst consoles of the current generation, at least as far as revenue goes. During the PlayStation 4's initial release, its performance was nearly tied with the Xbox One, with the consoles each generating about $4 billion in sales. However, the Xbox One subsequently floundered and the PlayStation 4 flourished, with the PS4 doubling its numbers in 2014 to a whopping $8 billion in generated revenue. During the first quarter alone, the PlayStation 4 sold triple the amount of units as the Xbox One. By comparison, the sales of the Xbox One and Nintendo's Wii U combined could only manage $7.2 billion in revenue.
The PlayStation 4 and Xbox One both increased their revenue in 2014, but the Wii U took a heavy hit. While the Wii U has never performed as well as its two competitors, it went from just below $3 billion in revenue in 2012 down to $2 billion in 2014. To this day, Nintendo has only been able to move 10 million Wii U units, and these numbers show that their sales are slowing, rather than increasing like Microsoft and Sony's.
Despite Microsoft slashing the price of the Xbox One and giving players the option of not using a Kinect, the Xbox One hasn't seen the long-term success of the PlayStation 4. It's impossible to pin down the exact reasons for this, but it's probably a combination of the PlayStation 4 initially having the lower price tag, its selection of exclusive titles, and the Xbox One selling poorly in Sony's turf, Japan. However, these numbers could potentially reverse if Microsoft's decision to make the Xbox One backwards compatible encourages gamers to buy the console. In any case, $5 billion in revenue is nothing to scoff at, and it's clear that the Xbox One is selling better than ever.
Gamers can argue about which is the superior console until the end of days, but in terms of revenue, it would seem that the PlayStation 4 is currently King. Thankfully, neither Microsoft nor Sony seem to be giving up the ghost, and Nintendo's slowly but surely been turning things around with its planned mobile games. While disputes can get heated, competition between these developers is part of what helps to create new innovation in gaming, so here's hoping these three companies keep challenging each other for decades to come.