It might be hard to tell when looking at the sales figures for
latest game machine
, but the console game market is actually growing. In fact, it
has been growing for more than 20 years.
, which chronicles the lifetime sales figures for almost every
console released, Nintendo sold 49 million units of the Super
Nintendo Entertainment System during the '90s. At the same time,
Sega sold 28 million Genesis consoles. With few other gaming
options available (Game Boy and other handheld devices excluded),
it is safe to assume that the industry peaked with those units.
Thus, when the next slate of consoles arrived, manufacturers had
roughly 77 million consumers to go after.
During the next era, Sega dropped significantly, selling only
8.8 million units of the Saturn. Nintendo sold 32.9 million
Nintendo 64 consoles -- a respectable number, to be certain, but
far lower than the Super NES or even the original NES, which sold
61.9 million units.
Sony, however, sold 104 million PlayStations. When the sales
of all three consoles were combined, the market potential had
been raised significantly to more than 140 million consumers.
The trend continued when the next batch of consoles arrived.
Sega's Dreamcast was in-line with its predecessor, selling eight
million units. Nintendo plummeted and sold only 21.7 million
GameCubes. Microsoft (NASDAQ:
), the new kid on the block, sold nearly 25 million Xboxes. Sony,
the reigning champion, sold 153 million PlayStation 2
With those four consoles, the market had risen to more than
207 potential buyers.
The market grew even larger when the next consoles were
released. Microsoft nearly tripled its sales of the original Xbox
by selling more than 74 million Xbox 360 units. Nintendo set a
new record by selling 98.8 million Wii consoles -- double the
number of Super NES units it sold in the '90s.
Sony, however, did not perform as well. The company has only
sold 72 million PlayStation 3 units since it was released in the
fall of 2006. In order for Sony to match its previous record, the
aging console would have to double its sales over the next five
years. That is not likely to happen now that
PlayStation 4 is on the horizon
Even so, the combined sales of these three consoles set a new
record: more than 244 million units.
This could explain why Sony is so eager to
unveil its next console
-- to start cashing in on the millions of consumers that might be
interested in buying the next PlayStation.
(c) 2013 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment
advice. All rights reserved.
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