Console Wars – Who’s On Top, Nintendo, Sony or Microsoft?

By January 8, 2016
Console Featured

The console war has been an ongoing battle of bragging rights among so many gamers since day one of inception. Whether it is Atari vs ColecoVision or Nintendo vs Sega, or Sony vs Microsoft; to us vid-nerds, it can get rather volatile when it comes to voicing our console of choice.

Many of us have probably lost some friends over said console preference. So in an interest of remaining somewhat neutral, today will be about crowning the winner and loser of the current iterations, based on hard data. The numbers are coming… but first, we should probably look at some of the last cycle of consoles’ winners and losers (numbers courtesy of VGCHARTZ):

Nintendo DOMINATED with the Wii topping out at 101 million units sold - a clear beat down of Sony and Microsoft at the tune of over 15 million units. The wave of party games was intense. People were going down with Wii injuries, breaking TV’s; Wii fever was on.

An aside about consoles and cycles… The Xbox 360 came out in 2005, the Wii 2006, and the PS3 came out in 2006 as well. The current cycle has the PS4 coming out in 2013, the X-box One in 2013, and the WiiU popping onto the scene in 2012.  The generation cycles are usually 5-6 years (WIKI).

Now…? Time has not been kind at all to Nintendo. So let’s look at the winners and losers of the current console lineup.

As mentioned, now, the biggest loser in this cycle is, not surprisingly, Nintendo and the WiiU. The console has struggled out of the gate due to a system lacking the computing power of its rivals, and a huge lack in 3rd party support. Last reports have the WiiU with nearly 13 million units sold. The shelf space for Nintendo products is shrinking, due to a lack of titles. If it wasn’t for Splatoon and Mario Maker, I would have to say the WiiU was a complete failure.

Don’t worry Mario fans, Nintendo is over 100 years old and still has some tricks up their sleeves. Management has heeded the call of a disappointed fan base and a NEW console (nicknamed the NX) is on the way! Nintendo is promising something different, just check out the comments of new Nintendo President, Tatsumi Kimishima.

“As far as NX goes, I’ve said its different and obviously a new experience, if you look back to the beginning of our conversation today, we talked about the transition from Wii hardware to the Wii U hardware and how difficult it is to explain to the consumer base what is different and new about the new hardware. It’s difficult to convince them to switch from their current platform to the next platform.”

So Nintendo, as it were, is clearly in last place when it comes to pure sales (out of the 3 major consoles in the market place) and as a fan of their brand and company, here’s hoping some good things happen for them in the coming years.

Moving on, no one is more surprised by the numbers and actions to avoid talking about said numbers than the company responsible for the 2nd place console: Microsoft.

Microsoft has hit and missed with their Xbox One so far with 19.2 units estimated to have sold. And they know it. The company has stopped issuing sales numbers for Xbox One rather, focusing on using a myriad of cool looking analytics instead. Just look at the comments from the Head of Microsofts X-box Division Phil Spencer (via

“I honestly don’t goal the team on how many units Sony sells. I think about what we’re going to do, and how many Xbox customers we have across 360, Xbox One and Windows – thinking about the combined community of people on Xbox and playing those games, and that number’s never been bigger.”

Translation, there is no way to catch up that is within the realm of feasibility. The people over at Microsoft instead are lauding the hours played by their gamers; as per XBOX.COM

“On Dec. 28 there were more gamers using Xbox Live than any other day in Xbox history, and the number of hours spent gaming on Xbox One and Xbox 360 during Christmas week 2015 were up compared to last year”

Microsoft is jumping around revealing units sold like some kind of surprise. It is an insult to Xbox owners and a slap in the face to those trying to cover the video game industry. Look at Nintendo. The company has reported their sales numbers even though they openly admit they missed the mark with the WiiU. We all know this is a volatile market and Microsoft has gone out of their way to fix initial hardware and pricing issues. This gamer for one, applauds them for the way they have handled scandals. With that being said, it is better to face the facts then run from them.

The winner, nearly doubling the Xbox One estimates is Sony and their PlayStation 4 at 35.9 million units sold. Christmas alone the PS4 sold 5.7 million units (PRNEWSWIRE)! Sony bet that the hardcore gamer would appreciate a system built with power and gaming in mind. Countering Xbox One’s bet on being the center of all things in your living room.

Sony is not without struggle however; current and past hacking scandals (the Phantom Squad claiming the latest) have brought them under fire from critics and fans. To their credit, in regards to latest outage, they plan to extend the subscriptions of PSN services (

And so, the war for console superiority is far from over so I pose the question to all of you out there in the Nation. What do you think about Sony being the King of Consoles? Now, before you tear your friends apart in the comment section remember this:  the more things change the more they stay the same. Games are best enjoyed with friends and family.

Make sure you check back here for more updates — only on GeekNation.

Cory Naught
Cory Naught is a writer, producer, radio talent, and and all around super geek. Originally from a small town called Phoenix, Oregon he is amazed by things like stop lights and escalators. Kidding. A huge tech guy, movie fan and gamer to boot. Find him at Tweet @corynaught
  • Gobsmack Comics

    Sony got off to a great start in this generation, capitalising Microsoft’s awful press announcements but since there has been a huge shortage of quality first party games. That said there haven’t been many great first party games this generation. Only Nintendo can hold up their first party games, with Super Mario 3D world, MarioKart 8 and Splatoon really standing out. It is such a shame that they are so few and far between. Also calling the machine WIIU and then making it look almost identical was a terrible idea. To be honest this generation has probably been the most underwhelming upgrade since the the original Playstation was released, even more so since we were expecting so much more. Generally new consoles are ahead of the curve but these new machines feel a little underpowered. Here’s hoping for some better games this year.

    • Cory Naught

      I agree, I totally agree. When you look at what the jump was from Gen 6 to 7, Gen 8 is more or less a hardware upgrade only. I’m waiting on developers to do something with all the horse power these systems have. Their are some games that look amazing, the re-relase of GTA V is one of the most immersive and impressive feats in gaming history.

      Again I agree with Nintendo. Their old President really stuck to what had worked for them without taking into account the shifting of business. Most casual gamer now play cell phone games. That industry itself makes billions. Shelling out a subpar system with a bunch of party titles just doesn’t work anymore. People want to see that they can play Madden, or Battlefield, or Black Op’s. Then play Mario with their kids. Huge missed opportunity on Nintedo’s party, the market share they had in Gen 7 was unheard of. I hope the NX turns their fortunes around.

      • Gobsmack Comics

        I wouldn’t say the WiiU is a subpar system just badly marketed. I think that MarioKart is one of the best looking games of this generation so far. Every true gamer loves Nintendo for the games they produce and they could easily exist as everyone’s second machine without the backing of third party software if they just got games out more frequently. I do feel as if we will never see Zelda on WiiU now as it will probably be bumped to NX.

        • Cory Naught

          Subpar spec wise (on par with PS3), that and no great third party titles (although they did just get Minecraft). I love all their own IP’s, but as you said they are hard to find especially with Zelda being pushed back to late 2016 or beyond.