PS4 was a big success, right? Sure, but the Nintendo Switch is shaping up to be something else entirely. As part of its quarterly results, the House of Mario announced overnight that its hybrid console has now surpassed over 122.5 units sold worldwide, which actually puts it ahead of Sony’s previous platform. While the PS4 is technically still selling, its current tally sits at 117.2 million units, and it’s unlikely to improve dramatically on that figure over the coming years.
It means that Nintendo now has the PS2’s previously unrivalled record in its sights; there’s still a little way to go before it touches the legendary system’s 155 million units sold, but would you bet against it at this point? Honestly, with The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom still to release and no sign of an immediate successor in sight, it feels inevitable that Sony’s sophomore system will be toppled over the coming couple of years.
It’s perhaps worth pointing out that Nintendo Switch’s portable format lends itself well to multiple purchases, whereas most households will likely settle for a single PlayStation under their television. Nevertheless, the real story here is just how well Nintendo’s software is selling: Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, for example, has now sold 52 million units worldwide. Sony’s doing a great job with its own software sales – God of War Ragnarok just passed 11 million units, for example – but its Japanese rival is in a different stratosphere in this department.
[source nintendo.co.jp, via nintendolife.com]
There's massive differences between the PS2 and the Switch... primarily, Switch Lite is only a handheld while the regular Switch can be handheld or home console.
A home console... only 1 per house would be the usual.
A handheld... could have multiple. As an example, each of my kids has a 2/3DS.
I would say that consoles and handheld markets are vastly different and due to that, the two should be counted separately. If we removed just the Switch Lite numbers, how close to PS2's total sales would Switch actually be?
Don't get me wrong, I congratulate Nintendo for reversing course from the brink the Wii-U brought them too. The Switch has been very successful and it's a great system. Definitely the best Nintendo since Gamecube.
@Uncharted2007 you’ve missed one big difference and thats the size of the video games market compared to early 2000’s.
Simply the size of the market should make this easily obtainable.
@Uncharted2007 I actually don't think the Switch Lite has done that well for Nintendo in the grand scheme of things, but you're right of course. Like I said in the article, you're more likely to have multiple Switches per household than any PlayStation (though there will be exceptions, of course!)
@Jacko11 Also a good point! But then by that measure, shouldn't the PS4 have been closer?
I do think the pandemic curtailed PS4 a lot quicker than maybe it was supposed to. Having said that, Sony has seemed eager to transition players as quickly as possible.
Not surprising Nintendo handhelds sell really good
Switch will not outsell the ps2. I think the switch sales will start to slow down by the end of this year.
It's a fantastic achievement by Nintendo, especially after the latter Wii days and then the Wii U. Certainly multi Switch households have helped with this number, then again being the best value DVD player helped the PS2 but overall they are 2 great consoles and it'll be fun to see if it does catch it
@get2sammyb true but the value proposition wasn’t a strong imo.
The PS2 had the DVD drive and propelled a new way to watch films at home. PS4 didn’t really change the game all that much for non gamers.
The switch was a perfect hybrid that greatly benefited from a global pandemic where household televisions may have been occupied meaning less gaming on PS4 etc, and more handheld play.
It obviously comes with the pretty major caveat that the Switch isn't really a home console and even calling it a hybrid is perhaps overselling what amounts to a handheld with an HDMI out port, but I do think there's a good chance it could do it and become the best selling console ever. God knows how - I personally think it's a garbage console with a decent if unspectacular line-up of games, but then I also think the PS2 is the worst PlayStation so what the hell do I know about anything.
@Jacko11 @get2sammyb Yes the industry was a little smaller then but a major part of the PS2's success was how (relatively) weak the competition was. I'm not saying they were bad consoles btw, put your pitchforks away gamers, just that they had a low share of the market.
Dreamcast 'only' sold 9 million, GameCube <22 million and Xbox 24 million. That gave PS2 with >155 million around a 75% market share of the 210 million consoles. (not incl. handhelds)
Compare that to last gen PS4 has 117 million (40%), Xbox One 51 million (17.5%) and Switch >122.5 million (42%), 1 less console but all bigger comparative successes.
Also bear in mind that the total number of consoles (around 290 miilion) includes handhelds too unlike the sixth gen.
I would frankly be surprised if Switch ends up topping PS2. It would probably mean we are waiting even longer for a Switch successor till late 2024 early 2025.
I doubt it, as soon as the Switch 2 is announced sales will slow down
Unless Nintendo wait another 3 or so years for the Switch 2
Size of the gaming markets has exploded since early 2000s. It was going to happen. Hopefully the PS5 can approach these numbers in growth
@themightyant another good reason for the PS2s success was the fact that it was a cheapish DVD player
My Gran dad had 3 PS2s just to watch DVDs in different rooms never once played a game on them himself
@get2sammyb Is the PS2 really 155m b/c NL has DS at 154m and I didn’t realize they were that close. Surprised Nintendo didn’t have a big sale at the end to get that extra million for the crown before launching 3DS that March. Had they waited until November maybe DS would be #1? 🤷🏻♂️
Switch is about 30m short of PS2/DS and it has been selling about 15m a year so it’s possible Switch takes the crown in 2 years but as I said in the paragraph above I think that’s up to Nintendo when they launch the Switch 2 or whatever their next gen console is called. And how many years of dual release games are there or does Nintendo pull a fast one without backwards compatibility so they can resell all of their Switch games as 4K versions?
But it will probably happen as they sell Switch 2 for $400 but keepSwitch Lite around awhile for the kids to play.
@The_Great_WmR I know that people have said this before, just personally never knew anyone that did it. It's an interesting aside.
@get2sammyb A long time ago (back when I was still going by NintendoFan4Lyf) you were very skeptical of the Nintendo Switch and you would only consider it a hit if it reaches 100 million units sold.
Pretty sure Nintendo just "Luigi Death Stared" Sony as it passed the PS4 sales numbers. LOL!
I enjoyed my Switch but PS5 has taken over. I doubt I'll buy another Nintendo console, they are too far behind on the hardware side. By the time they release a new console Microsoft and Sony will be preparing to release a new gen console in a year or two.
As a Nintendo fanboy, I revel in the panic instilled by this little tablet 😈
Hard to say. It has amazing momentum and will certainly get close, but I do think whether it topples PS2 or not is heavily dependent on three factors:
1) When Nintendo announces the successor
2) How popular the system remains after that point
3) The degree of cross-gen support on the platform after it's replaced
The PS2's sales milestone was hard carried by its DVD playback capabilities, which attracted people who otherwise wouldn't have bought it, and Sony slashing the price and selling it for several years after the release of the PS3, getting as much blood from that stone as humanly possible. PS2 sales only fully died off in 2013, lol.
Games are selling well on the Switch, so it wouldn't surprise me if, as with the PS2, it continues to enjoy support long after other platforms would have died off.
"but then I also think the PS2 is the worst PlayStation so what the hell do I know about anything."
Can't change the past, but I'll always enjoy speculating how things may have played out had the pandemic not happened. Imo, it really helped the Switch. Had the PS5 and the Xbox Series X been readily available and shopping habits not interrupted, I'm not sure Switch would've kept doing the numbers it did. PS5 and XSX certainly would've sold better than they did.
Of course, another factor is the chip shortage and I'll admit I didn't look into that situation and don't know how much the pandemic did or didn't play a role there. Maybe that still would've been a big issue that hurt the newer consoles.
I love my Switch. So many great games.
The PS2 massively benefitted from the fact it had backwards compatibility and functioned as a relatively cheap DVD player. In theory the PS4 should have outsold the PS2 as the games market is so much bigger, but I just don't think it offered enough new over the previous gen. The PS2 was a huge leap over the PS/Saturn/N64 gen.
It depends on each person's point of view.
Speaking on a personal level my Switch was bought as a home console and I'd say it's spent a good 99% of its life docked and used as a home console.
Personally I've always thought of it as a Home console that has the added bonus of being used as a handheld should I feel the need.
As an example I'll always take it on holiday with me for entertainment on the plane but when at home I'll hardly ever use it as a handheld
But how else would you get your Mario and Zelda fix??
I'm partly joking of course but that's my main reason for buying a Nintendo console. Anything multiplatform I'll always get the PS5 version because I'm a sucker for pretty graphics
@Member_the_game I'm kind of disappointed that we've only gotten one really amazing Mario game this entire generation. Odyssey was amazing and there wasn't a follow up to that and looks like there won't be until next console. Zelda, not a fan of the new direction to be honest.
@Fizza I picked one up on impulse and quickly sold it,I for one wasn't allured by the hype or terrible frame rates 🥱
Well, Nintendo is expecting to sell 30 million units this year no? That will put them ridiculously close.
I know what you mean, they peaked too early with Odyssey.
There is a Nintendo direct tomorrow night. I won't hold my breath but you never know there could be some sort of announcement of a new Mario game to compliment the upcoming Mario movie.
As I said I wouldn't hold my breath but you just never know
Oh and for what it's worth Zelda isn't my thing either
Hard to know world wide but Japan does report model sales. Last week's charts listed:
Switch OLED Model – 28,787 (3,816,361)
Switch – 12,564 (19,150,623)
Switch Lite – 9,757 (5,185,166)
This means, at least in Japan, the lite accounts for 18% of total unit sales. That boost, in Japan alone might make the difference between the Switch outpacing the PS2 or not.
On the multiple console per household thing, though... I had 4 PS4 consoles in my house, gave away one when I got a PS5.
I know the switch has multi home sales advantage but the PS2 sold loads for only dvd use. I bought 2 for my parents as it was the cheapest way to migrate them from VHS. This was peak blockbuster and they sold an official DVD remote bundle. Those PS2's never saw a single game disk but still had many many hours of use. My point is both switch and PS2 have advantages that skew the figures. Don't know how long switch sales will hold up for. I'm guessing that as long as new kids grow into first gaming device, parents will keep buying switches until a replacement comes along. I would think "core" gamer switch sales have been shrinking for some time just to be replaced as the switch is the default kids console purchase now.
@Member_the_game Yeah agreed on the peaking too early. Smash, BotW, and Odyssey are like their holy trinity and it happened so early on. Since then they've had some good stuff but nothing on that level imo. I wasn't aware there was a direct tomorrow. Hopefully Sony has a State of Play soon.
Man, I remember being on NL when "NX" was announced amidst WiiU drama, all the naysayers were ranting about how it would fail horribly, it doesn't come close enough to PS4's power, PS 4 would destroy it, NintenDOOMED!!1 Nintendo needs to make a real console, not a glorified handheld! Heck even Gamefreak laughed and thought it would fail and didn't start making a Pokemon for it. And in the beginning PS4 certainly roughed it up in sales. And now here we are, and it's the other way around. Amazing.
@get2sammyb @Uncharted2007 IDK about the metrics of "handheld vs home console". These days why would households with multiple games players not need mulitple PS's? Japan still has "one TV per house" but outside Japan multiple TVs, kids with a TV and console in their own room etc isn't odd. The idea of one TV with one console where one person plays and everyone else watches unless its couch co-op sounds as retro as those Wii commercials. 2 family members that want to play Botw need 2 Switches. 2 family members that want to play HFW need 2 PS's.
I don't think the pandemic curtailed PS4 early, they'd already killed PS4 Pro production and were ramping into PS5 production, same for XB, and all inventory sold out rapidly. It caused a gap of NO consoles but Switch on the market for a time which helped Switch, though, because PS and XB slowed to stopped production to focus on the new gen, expecting their existing sold/warehoused inventory would carry them to launch based on sales and instead the inventory that was to last the rest of the year sold out in a week.
@The_Great_WmR If sales are still strong, why release a successor? PS5 wouldn't have been announced when it was, PS4 could have gone on for years, except that MS was going to launch so PS had to keep up. Nintendo's not keeping up with a direct competitor forcing their hand like PS/XB has to.
@themightyant Yeah I had relatives with a PS1 (ironically I didn't, I bought the games and emulated on PC until PS2! Still my fave PS though... ) They used it solely as a CD music player. Never even had it on a TV...
@get2sammyb Typo flag on the article's first hyperlink. Unless you're telling us that the Switch has sold a mere one hundred twenty-two and a half units? In which case, I feel sorry for the gamer who ended up with half a console.
@NEStalgia While some parents allow their kids to have a TV in their bedroom, and a console there, many deliberately don't. In fact of my friends I can only think of a couple that do, and their kids are 16+.
I suppose it depends on who you know and where you are from but to me this is a line a lot of parents won't cross. FWIW I did have a TV in my room, along with SFII on SNES, and look where I am now, what could possibly go wrong
@NEStalgia Maybe I'm old school? My eldest inherited my PS4 the Christmas shortly after the PS5 launch but she barely uses it. The TVs in my kid's rooms are there for watching DVDs... yes... DVDs. Not Netflix, Disney+ or any other streaming service. They aren't connected to those on purpose. And... they only get to watch TV in their rooms on weekends or during the summer. At all other times, they are expected to be out of their rooms and being part of the family... not brooding away alone in their rooms on social media... which they also aren't allowed to have.
@Tharsman Among most of the kids I know the Switch Lite is super popular, they like the slightly smaller size and the bright colours! Parents like that it is cheaper. Definitely see more of those than base Switch's or OLED around here. Not sure how that works out worldwide.
@RogerRoger You're right, I think it was supposed to say "WiiU"
@Uncharted2007 @themightyant Heh, I guess that's a US thing. In the US I think it's rare to find a kid that DOESN'T have one.
I actually didn't, but I was the only gamer so it wasn't necessary And that was a different time when we had 14-16" CRTs with "black levels" that could best be described as "bright silver" LOL
Only place we're in the US norm is that now kids don't even have TVs because they have iPads and that's all they ever will want or need...
More impressive (& more profitable for the companies) is the software numbers. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe selling over 52 million is insane… (compare development cost of MK8 vs GOW Ragnarok)…Nintendo are killing it, and somehow manage to do it their own way - the weakest hardware, last gen graphics, same old IPs regurgitated ( like MK8, Pokémon) or reinvented ( like the Zelda, Mario etc) year upon year to massive success.
Not a great fan of Nintendo games (I appreciate their quality but not really that excited to play them) but you have to give them Kudos.
@NEStalgia Don't be silly. Nintendo never sold that many Wii Us.
Nintendo has an interesting history of industry over-reaction. Do you by any chance remember when the Wii U was announced, and both, PlayStation and XBox scrambled to try to come up with a software-based solution to offer second-screen gaming? You can still download the PS4 Second Screen app off the iPhone App Store. Dont remember what Microsoft called their offering, I dind't care much about XBox at that time.
Both companies just barely managed to offer their response to motion controls, and here came Nintendo with this second screen "innovation" that was about to destroy their hopes... and it crashed and burned like a building made out of coal bricks.
To this day I think some games still have features (that no longer work) locked behind these Second Screen smartphone app solutions.
@themightyant yeap, never underestimate the power of cheap. It was also clear that, during the PS4 days, the Slim units sold more than the Pro units, and the same being true for One S vs One X is likely the reason Microsoft opted for the dual strategy out of the gate this gen.
I seriously can’t believe there’s people genuinely bitter that this is gonna happen, it’s not like anyone will gain or lose anything if this happens…
@Tharsman 100% low cost is always going to appeal.
For PS4 Pro XB1X in particular most people didn't have 4K tv's. Statistically many still don't.
Series S was such a smart product, as such i've recommended Series S to many friends who I know just don't care about 4K etc. they don't really know much better and think it all looks great.
I started with a Lite, then also bought an OLED. The Switch has become my main gaming platform as I drifted from PS4, retro games look great on the OLED too.
This is not surprising in the least.
Not sure the PS2 era of gaming will ever be beaten but this is well earned and well deserved. Incredible comeback after the Wii U. Nintendo's first party exclusive output has simply been fantastic, very curious how they handle the Switch successor!
@Tharsman LOL, yeah, I remember that. It was hysterical. Nintendo had their disastrous reveal of a controller without a console, and Sony was already responding with BOTH the app, AND repurposing Vita as a Sony counterpart of the WiiU GamePad (MISSION: ACCOMPLISHED!)
MS had their...something or other "Smart Glass" they called it, which I only remember because every time I search the XB store for Deus Ex: Human revolution Director's Cut to see if it's available for purchase digitally, the only thing that comes up is the app for the Smart Glass thing.
I remember Ubisoft was all over supporting the second screen features as a tentpole that week, because Ubisoft never lets a new trend to chase run past. Shame the Rayman launch on WiiU happened to run past them though...
@NEStalgia I think UBisoft did end up doing some of the best third party use of the Wii U pad, with Rayman and Zombi U.
I could have seen Zombi U becoming a big UBisoft IP had the Wii U and second screen concept been a big success.
@NEStalgia I think most people thought that the Switch would do about as well as the 3ds. Even Pachter thought it would double the WiiU in first year sales, tho that obviously wouldn’t have been a huge feat.
I am very happy for Nintendo to turn things around. I am guessing that it will get pretty close to Ps2 levels with an outside shot at surpassing it.
switch sales have surprised me. i did not see it being this successful. that last 30m to surprass the ps2, though... i don't see it happening, unless nintendo decides not to release a switch successor for another 2 years.
the ps2 had 6 years on the market before ps3 was released. the switch is nearing 6 years on the market this coming march... obviously the release of the ps3 took some wind out of the ps2's potential sales so the release date of the switch successer will have an impact on how many more units the switch will sell.
and yes... as many have already stated here: the market is significantly larger now than it was in 2000 and many households have multiple switches, it being a handheld as well which makes this an apples to oranges comparison. but still, i don't think anyone saw this coming in 2017.
you have to give credit where it is due, though... the switch has not had a single price drop in 6 years! that is absolutely wild and unfounded in the gaming industry. by the 6th year on the market, the ps2 was half the price of the switch, even taking into account inflation! so the fact the switch continues to sell at its current price point is staggering in itself.
i'll give them credit , but even their first party games are having issues now. im curious to see how well the new zelda game runs on the switch.
I don’t agree with the comments arguing for the DVD player narrative, that it was a large reason why it sold so well. Given how many software units were sold (almost 1.4b), and that it had a higher attach ratio than both the GameCube and Xbox shows people bought it to engage in the game library. The DVD player was a very small factor for most I would argue, especially since the PS2 continued to sell well during the PS3 days, not to mention dvd players were cheap following PS2’s launch. Sorry, just don’t buy the notion, and I’m not sure why people keep on with the idea that it sold because it could play dvds. The evidence shows otherwise.
That said, not trying to poopoo on the Switch, and I commented on NL how impressive it is.
@NEStalgia I liked the second screen features in games like AC: Black Flag. Made hunting through the open world for collectibles much easier. I thought it was a shame this didn't become a system level API thing that could be easily hooked into for devs. But respect that was probably niche.
@themightyant Oh I loved dual screen. But I also liked DS/3DS and the Dreamcast VMU. And was always miffed that Supreme Commander was one of the only PC games that supported dual monitor use, so I'm far outside the norm there
@nomither6 I go back in forth with it, I mean I'm the first to tell people it's a handheld with a TV out. On the other hand, put a docked Switch next to a PS4 running the same game and with a "pro controller" and other than resolution or framerate....what's the difference? On a game like Splatoon that runs 60fps, I sure can't tell much difference using a 1080P docked switch vs a 1080p base PS4 running some 60fps game... It's an arbitrary distinction really. If you never undock it, it's a plain old (underpowered) console.
My biggest problem with it at this point is really that I've become a 60fps snob since the new gen, and anything not running 60fps makes me break out in hives. 1080p I can deal with, my screen scales nicely. 480p I can almost deal with, reminds me of PS3. 40fps I will freak out.
@Tharsman Just ZombiU really. They refitted Rayman to be multiplat by the time it released, and yeah WiiU was still the "best" version, but at that point it was a PS4 game.
@rockodoodle Patcher thought Vita would crush 3DS and thought PS4 was doomed because phones.....if Patcher bet in favor of Switch I should have bet against, lol
I had an OG switch and recently got an OLED. Absolutely love this console!
It’s the perfect combo with a PlayStation for me…
Absolutely agree with you. Also PS2 was being sold in different era. I'm from Poland and then PS2 was harder to get than PS4, Switch now.
@Enriesto FWIW, I had 3 different PS3 Slims I bought for no other reason than to use as a dedicated BD player in the HT setup. And all of them were replaced because their disc drives broke. This was in addition to the 2 PS3's I had for actual game playing (OG Phat + an eventual Slim for a separate TV)!
After all those PS3's died, I finally bought an Oppo. Sadly, they're gone these days, too...
@get2sammyb @Uncharted2007 But it's still a Switch inside the smaller Lite shell, with your comparison Sony's smaller PS2 iterations shouldn't count either.
If a Switch Pro comes along that will secure it for sure, but even without it, Switch will eventually pass the PS2.
What a console the PS2 was though, affordable, DVD player, games for every genre, for all ages and the hardware, Guitars, microphones, quiz shows! The Switch still carries a lot of what the PS2 gave us.
@NEStalgia sheesh, that’s a very sad story lol. I hope at some point you were able to keep a working PS3, sounds like very rotten luck.
My only point, exceptions aside, was that the DVD function served as a temporary draw in for consumers, around launch until about 2 years later (give or take) as dvd players became very cheap following the ps2’s launch. Anecdotes don’t do much for me, as I could easily remember households having both a ps2 and dvd player growing up. I’m just tired of seeing people online, especially content creators, say it sold well because of the dvd player as it lacks analysis.
Not saying you’re doing that 😎 and again, I love that the Switch is doing well.
@get2sammyb I thought the PS2 got to about 158 million units?
You’re 100% right.
The DVD player aspect of it was only important in 2000 and 2001.
By 2002 DVD players were cheaper than the PS2. Hell, VHS DVD combo units were cheaper than the PS2.
It did help it get off the ground a bit (by selling to people who wouldn’t normally buy a game console) but by late 2002 what was selling the PS2 was it’s amazing lineup of games that any gamer HAD TO HAVE.
@Enriesto Haha, the irony is it's the original Phat that's still working! They must have used a much lower quality drive for cost cutting in those slims. The phat had a lot more run time with play-from-disc thrashing than the movie player Slims ever had but is the only one that still has a working drive. The one slim actually probably works still, too, that one never actually had a ton of runtime.
If I had any more "works for digital only" PS3's without a PS3 digital library I could build one of those NASA server farms they were building out of PS3 CELLs at the time!
@KaijuKaiser And Mario Maker 2. #1 game of last decade.
@The_Great_WmR I was going to mention that. And I wonder if the number of households with multiple Switches are indeed significant (especially if you think of the price, it’s not that cheap)
@GamingFan4Lyf why did you decide to change your username?
Loved the Luigi stare reference.
SWITCH is a HANDHELD and NOT a CONSOLE just bc it can plug into the TV. Nintendo already admitted it is primarily used in handheld mode. The graphics are subpar, especially in DOCK mode bc the tech is last-gen. If it is to be considered a console then iPads and other devices have to be as well.
@Dr-M I didn’t want a name that was so one-sided after getting involved in more than just Nintendo Life.
I am platform agnostic - though I will, admittedly, always have a special place for Nintendo consoles: I have had every Nintendo console since the original NES.
@Dreamcaster-X Negative. Here's the difference...
Switch Lite takes away the ability to play the system as a console on the TV. In fact, it doesn't live up to the name at all removing its ability to... Switch.
PS2 on the other hand... the PS2 slim added an internal network card reducing only the size. I guess you could argue that the Slim removed the ability to use the HDD that came with FF11 but the out of the box capabilities remained identical.
@NEStalgia he also thought Nintendo should stop making hardware…. Put IP on mobile and other platforms…. Pretty safe to bet against him…,
We all knew this will come, but passing ps2 sales figures seems unlikely to me
@PushButtons Is PS Vita TV a handheld, or a console? 🤔
Surpassing PS2 sales seems unlikely, at least for a long while.
I'd love to be proven wrong though, as much of a PlayStation fan as I am.
@NEStalgia The WiiU was Nintendo's last console. The tech was built into the console and you could play games w/o the WiiU Gamepad. The Gamepad could play games but had to be within range of the console to function. A true dual-functioning system. Underrated IMO.
The Switch is the opposite. The tech is built into the portable gamepad and the dock is a glorified charger with video output that can not play anything w/o the unit being docked. If we could play w/o then it would be a console. On a side note, this is what I think Nintendo does next, a two-part system that can be purchased together or separately.
Tech built into a stationary unit is a console.
Tech built into a portable device is handheld.
This is the difference and the industry should acknowledge it as such.
@PushButtons I also liked the WiiU.
But I still don't get the distinction "handheld" and "console" here. The distinction is arbitrary. The PS5 isn't a handheld, you can't play games without wires and an external display, sure. But defining the switch as not a console seems strange. If you place it in it's dock, in what way is it functionally different from a PS4? It isn't. It's still more powerful than a PS3.... Why draw dividing lines "this isn't a console because it can be used on own power" if it's functionally identical to, or superior to other consoles?
That's why I bring up PS Vita TV. It's a console right? It's stationary. It's the same hardware inside as "handled" vita. If a "Switch TV" were made, that's a true console.... But is the same hardware inside... Functionally identical to a docked switch.
It's a very arbitrary differentiation. It's just a distinction made for the sole purpose of finding some reason to discount it as "other".
Switch lite certainly is a handheld, as that's all it does.
The wiiu distinction is also odd. The switch is more powerful, and the only difference is if the processing needs to be plugged in or not.
I mean I get the idea you mean, but think through it in practical terms. A docked switch and PS3 side by side are not different in any functional way, except the switch is more powerful.
@NEStalgia The distinction is clear and nothing’s arbitrary. It’s portable or it's not. PSVitaTV does not have a built-in screen, no built-in controller, and is simply not a portable gaming device like its better-known version. Even though its tech is mostly identical to the PSVita (handheld) it was not 100% compatible with all PSVita games. Regardless, PSVitaTV is a console and not a handheld just bc it shares tech.
I'm stating the defining differences in functionality such as portability or stationary, console or handheld. And I’m not comparing the differences in power specs, especially from decade-old 2006 tech (PS3) to 2017* tech (Switch). *Outdated tech compared to competing devices.
The WiiU “console” is an excellent example as I explained in the previous comment. The Switch DOCK has no tech built in to play anything w/o the actual hardware of the handheld being placed into it. Again, the dock does not make the Switch a console, it’s a portable handheld gaming device with a charging cradle and video output. If there was a dedicated, stationary Nintendo gaming console with Switch hardware, like the PSVitaTV, no built-in screen, no joy-cons, and had to be connected to a TV and played with pro controllers then it would be a console.
Ah, man, some people need to learn that even if the switch is a handheld (it's a hybrid, by the way), handheld consoles are still consoles.
@PushButtons I actually never thought of it that way. Kind of eye opening
@TeaCatherine Very much this^^ Whether it's plugged into wall power, or powered by a battery, a Switch, 3DS, 3D, GBA, PS5, PS4, PS3, PSP, PSV, Game Gear, Lynx, are all dedicated games consoles on which to play video games, and happen to have proprietary data formats.
@PushButtons Ok, so you're detailing what technical criteria separates whether a console is handheld or not handheld which, was obvious and nobody is questioning. But that doesn't identify why there is a distinction that needs to be made in terms of sales? Whether the device runs on own power or not, whether it is capable of playing handheld or not, doesn't affect its function as a console You even confirmed that you view VitaTV as a console, despite it being the same platform with the same games as "not a console" Vita simply due to removing the screen and battery.
We can all agree that if it's tethered to the wall and has no screen, it's not a handheld. But like @TeaCatherine succinctly stated, that doesn't make any claim that if it is not tethered to a wall and does have screen that it is not ALSO a console.
I'd consider all "handheld consoles" to be "consoles". Previous to Switch there was the argument to be made that the difference is a console can be played on a TV and a handheld can not. But with Switch, since both are true, and it only runs at full power when tethered to the wall, there's not a meaningful distinction.
So yes, we can all agree, Switch is a handheld and PS4 is not. But that does not mean that both are not consoles. We can specify what Switch has that PS4 does not have (a battery, screen and attached controller.) But we can not specify what PS4 has that Switch does not (a power plug, HDMI jack, detached controller, surround sound formats, every feature (other than power) PS4 has, Switch also has.
I am in that number, but Last time I used mine was back in July 2022 for Xenoblade 3
Handheld for work travel was the only reason I had to keep owning Nintendo hardware. My SteamDeck now fits that role.
@TeaCatherine Handheld gaming devices are not consoles. If it is then iPhones, iPads, and other like devices are consoles too.
@PushButtons The difference is that one is sold primarily as a gaming device and one is not, hence why Ipads and Iphones are not handhelds, however the Switch is. It seems you will not concede but that does not change the truth of the matter.
Also, I'd say the design was an important factor as well, handheld consoles tend to have a controller layout with buttons and sticks whereas Ipads and Iphones do not as they only have a touchscreen. Even if they had the form factor, they'd still be something more akin to a Steam Deck, which is not a console but a PC. You wouldn't argue that a PC was a console, due to the fact they're also used for a multitude of other purposes, whereas a console plays games, that is its purpose.
@TeaCatherine Nothing to concede. You can't have it both ways. Mobile gaming is larger than console gaming.
@PushButtons Sorry, I had to add some things to my previous post, I was in a rush before so I just posted it without a few points I was going to make. I've added them now.
@TeaCatherine You can't say the Switch is a console and then then say the Steam Deck is not. All this tech is basically mini PC.
@PushButtons The difference is all consoles, Switch, PS5, Xbox 360, all of them have their own interface and you need to jump through hoops to replace that, which you are strongly advised not to do. The Deck is a compact handheld PC, where you are free to swap out the interface and OS, that's the difference in my opinion at least.
@TeaCatherine It's either a portable handheld gaming device or a stationary console. The technologies used does not matter bc the chips, etc all come from the same manufactures.
Consoles are stationary gaming devices that require a separate TV/screen and controllers.
A portable gaming device is a handheld has a built in screen and controller. A charging dock with a video output does not make it a console.
Handheld gaming console.
It's a console. A console is a device designed for the interface of a user to data in some interactive fashion.
Therefore a device that requires a user to interact is by the broadest definition a console.
Granted, this is in the same way you fridge is a computer.
All medicines are drugs but not all drugs are medicines.
@PushButtons I know this isn't going to help but I do believe you're one of the only people who don't count handheld consoles as consoles.
Go and Wikipedia Playstation Vita, Nintendo 3DS and Gameboy, and read the first paragraph of each.
I think it's reasonable to simply say that a "console" is a dedicated machine for playing games, with a custom interface, that may also function as a media player. Doesn't matter if it's a "handheld console" or "stationary console", it's a console because it's a machine dedicated to games and media playing.
"Not a console" is a general purpose computing device. Phones, tablets, PCs, they're not dedicated games and media devices, they're general purpose machines for any and all software and features, that you happen to also be able to play games on.
Steam Deck may be a gray area, as it's truly a PC, but its form factor, and custom pre-installed OS layer is a custom one for game playing only. I'd be comfortable saying as-delivered it's a console, as you can't just install Excel on it and do some work, you still have to mod it with a custom OS to use the hardware in a general purpose way, in that, it's not different than launch PS3 that also let you install Linux and connect a keyboard and turn it into a general purpose computing machine, officially, but as delivered, it was just a console.
@PushButtons, You've identified the functional difference separating "stationary" and "handheld" consoles, but really haven't identified why hat discrepancy actually matters when talking about the success of consoles. Either way it's a console. A Switch has EXTRA features that let you use it handheld, but it has 100% functional parity to any stationary console of relatively similar power.
It's a console even if it did NOT have a video output, but, if you rip out the screen and battery and glue it to the dock, it's literally no different from any stationary console. It is missing no features that any other console has and is used no different from any other stationary console. It has EXTRA features, but it has no LESS features. That's really the big difference. Being limited to only what can run on a battery means it has less power than stationary consoles made at the same time, but that's irrelevant. It has more power than a PS2, which all can agree is a console regardless of being less powerful than a PS5.
At the end of the day the only, and I mean ONLY difference between a "handheld console with a TV out" and a "stationary console" is relative power for a given year of manufacture, in addition to the EXTRA features it has. They are otherwise functionally identical.
It's arbitrary to try to split categories like that. If you rip out the HDMI jack from a PS4 and build a screen into the lid it doesn't suddenly become "not a console." If you pull a Switch off the dock and use the screen built into the lid it doesn't stop being a console.
3DS, Vita, DS, GBA, PSP were also a console. They had no TV out at all. But at least with no TV out there's a stronger argument that since you can't play it on a big screen on the couch with a detached controller it doesn't have the same feature set as stationary consoles. Switch does.
@PushButtons quotation from Wikipedia.
A video game console is an electronic device that outputs a video signal or image to display a video game that can be played with a game controller. These may be home consoles, which are generally placed in a permanent location connected to a television or other display devices and controlled with a separate game controller, or handheld consoles, which include their own display unit and controller functions built into the unit and which can be played anywhere.
@TeaCatherine Wikipedia is irrelevant bc anyone can edit their opinion/agenda into it. However, even this describes handhelds and consoles as two different types of gaming systems. The only error is handhelds are not consoles.
@PushButtons Also, all lists of consoles if you search them, include handheld consoles and all retailers count handhelds as consoles too. Plus, in your opinion, what's the key difference between home and handheld? Is it one has a screen and the other doesn't?
I don't know why you're getting so het up over a fact of the industry, though.
@TeaCatherine Lol. I'm not heated over this but stand firm on the mischaracterization. This list is comparing Apple's to Orange's. The tech and specs have nothing to do with it. All that matters is portable vs permanent; built-in screen, controller, speaker, and battery vs none of the above. The Nintendo Switch DOCK is a charging cradle w/ video output and does not make the Switch a console bc the hardware is not built into the dock. The WiiU is a console, the Switch is handheld.
If any list is calling handheld gaming devices "consoles" then it must include smartphones/tablets too (which meet the criteria described in the wikipedia you shared) but also as the number one selling console of all time.
@PushButtons If you don't care why are you arguing so adamantly that handhelds aren't consoles?
I think we both know that the most important thing that sets handhelds apart from phones and tablets is what they are marketed as, phones are supposed to be for communication, tablets are a more compact, less powerful computing device that can used for some gaming and handhelds are marketed for the primary purpose of playing games.
By the way, did you know that there was a PS1 that had a screen included and could be plugged into a cigarette lighter jack for playing on car journeys? What would you count that as? It has a screen but also requires a power source to be plugged into, meaning it has aspects of both handheld consoles and home consoles.
@TeaCatherine To my knowledge the PS1 did not come boxed in with a LCD screen built-in, it was an add-on accessory sold separately that attached to the console. And the console still required an external power source and separate controller to play. Those facts still make it a console and not a "handheld" or portable gaming device. Portable means to walk about freely.
As I've said before, tech and specs do not matter. <-Read that again. All gaming devices are mini computers. Does not matter how they're marketed. Mobile gaming on smartphones is larger in use and revenue than console and PC gaming. Video games are video games no matter where you play them.
All that matters is there's a huge difference and belong in separate categories and "most sold" lists. Handheld-portable-gaming-device or home (or plugged into a cigarette lighter lol) permanent console. Devices with a built-in screen, controller, speaker, and battery vs none of the above do not belong in the same list otherwise smartphone devices have to be included as well.
@PushButtons I know that's still a home console, it's just an interesting piece of VG history, I believe there was one that came with it though.
Honestly, though if you're just going to say mobiles should count as handhelds, by rights, isn't a console just a PC?
A video game console is a console that plays video games, whether it be a home console or a handheld console. Uncharted: Golden Abyss, Persona 4 Golden, Etrian Odyssey, these are all video games (okay, I know some games get mobile ports, but that's not relevant right now.), thus the console they are on are consoles. Mobile games are a completely different subsection of the gaming industry to handheld gaming.
Why did you come up with these unnecessary distinctions between "real" consoles and "handheld gaming devices" (as you call them) anyway? Why do a battery, a display and speakers matter so much, that anything with those is "not a console"?
The whole industry agrees that handhelds are consoles, that said there is still a distinction, all of those things you mentioned make something a handheld console, those that don't are home consoles. Furthermore, I would argue that the marketing is actually way more important than you give it credit for.
I am honestly getting sick of this argument and don't understand why you feel the need to argue a pretty much uncontested industry opinion.
@TeaCatherine If you're sick of facts then stop replying and arguing. It's not a blanket industry opinion and the industry knows there's a distinct difference. Games are developed and/or ported specifically for each category market: PC, console, handheld, mobile. And revenue is calculated in each category. And Xbox this gen is promoting gaming on PC, console, handheld and mobile. This is fact.
FTR, you just agreed with me only to disagree with yourself by saying "...okay, I know some games get mobile ports...". It's absolutely relevant right now. And it's more than "some games" too. Switch is swimming in shovelware with mobile ports and consoles are starting too as well.
And yes. Consoles are just older tech from PC, and Handhelds are older tech from consoles. This is not new info but maybe you need to hear it.
@PushButtons No, I was saying that some games originally on consoles and handhelds get ported to mobile. I'm not arguing that handhelds are home consoles but they are consoles, they are two separate divisions of the console industry but it is the truth that they are part of that industry.
And, obviously I know the last part.
I feel like this could go on for the sake of arguing but quite frankly I'm getting sick of it, neither of us can win. (Most people would probably say I was right though.)
So, yeah, let's just let this die here.
@TeaCatherine I'm not trying to win. I'm just stating the obvious and facts.
Ports go both ways, more so from mobile to console and handhelds.
Illustrate the differences and ppl including industry types will agree with me. The uniformed will agree with you.
@PushButtons Man, okay, if the argument is over I'd like to point out you accidently said "The uniformed will agree with you." instead of "the uninformed will agree with you."
Everyone's entitled to their own opinion and the internet often forgets that.
The reason handheld consoles count differently is 'cause as you said they're underpowered.
@TeaCatherine I rarely edit but I'm just stating facts. Your argument is opinion based.
I never said or implied handheld gaming devices are counted differently bc they're unpowered. Where did that come from? As a matter of fact, I said several times that tech and power specs do not matter in differentiating between portable handheld gaming device vs permanent home gaming console.
@PushButtons Sorry, just going things up, you didn't say they were counted differently 'cause they were underpowered, you just said they were underpowered. That (obviously) is the reason ports to handheld consoles require more effort, (see comment 100).
Anyway, why are you so adamant that handhelds should be called "handheld gaming devices" rather than *handheld consoles"? It's just a word and one that didn't even originate from gaming, anyway. Seems like a weird thing to take offence at.
Once again, I'm sorry, for some reason, I just can't stop.
@TeaCatherine I never said underpowered or require more effort phrasing or wording together at all. You're confusing this convo with someone else. Idk. But I'm certainly not taking any offense here. Handhelds are simply an all-in-one portable gaming device and consoles are home gaming devices that require external power, screen and controller to play.
It's not that hard to understand.
Good bye, again.
@PushButtons You said "Games are developed and/or ported specifically for each category market: PC, console, handheld, mobile." I was just explaining that, that is why handheld ports are developed separately to home console ports.
Again, why does the phrase "handheld console" bother you so much? I don't think anyone ever agreed on a solid definition for the term video game console.
Sorry, just elaborating on why why I brought that point up.
@TeaCatherine Ive given plenty of explanation why they're not the same. The articles title is misleading as best selling console crown.
One. Handheld is not console. Otherwise smartphone/tablets are to be included. No exceptions or excuses.
Two. Apples to oranges, handheld cost less than a home console.
Three. Smartphones/tablets are the top selling gaming platform of all time which by all definitions are handheld gaming devices but are not a console.
Why does these facts bother you so much that you can't accept them?
@PushButtons Same to you on the last part. Let's stop this now otherwise it'll go on for far too long. Neither of us is going to change the other's mind so there's no point continuing.
@TeaCatherine Truth always prevail.
@PushButtons No, it's just there's no reasoning with some people. Now, let's stop this because quite frankly, it's boring. It was fun to begin with but only because it's the first time I've ever got into an argument on the internet.
Also, that should be "Truth always prevails" not "Truth always prevail".
Ive said “good bye” how many times and you kept replying? I never edit, no sense in being grammar police in this day and age or youll drive yourself crazy. Truths be tolds 😆 I was messing with you on the last reply bc you were with me. Anyhow, I guess VR headsets are consoles too. Of course not. I rest my case.
Good bye. 😊
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