Can the PS4 match the sales of the PS2? Sony weighs in

Executive Hiroshi Kawano says "I think we shouldn't say it's impossible" for new console to sell 150 million units or more.

The PlayStation 2 is the best-selling home console of all time, with more than 150 million units sold since its initial introduction in 2000. The PlayStation 3 failed to reach that mark (as did the Xbox 360 and Wii), and while that number may seem too high to reach for any new console, Sony has now said it's not impossible for the PlayStation 4 to meet or exceed that lofty figure.

Speaking with Inside Games (translated by DualShockers), Sony Computer Entertainment Japan and Asia president Hiroshi Kawano acknowledged the challenges that Sony faces but said Sony will at least be able to "expand the popularity" of the PS4 by focusing on games and network services.

"As we all know, unfortunately the sales of the PS3 didn’t even get near the sales of the PS2. It may be difficult for a home console now, but I think we shouldn’t say it’s impossible unconditionally," Kawano said. "However, I believe it’s possible to expand the popularity of the PS4 by providing a rich gaming experience and making use of the fusion of network service and high performance that is possible only on home consoles."

Part of the "rich gaming experience" Kawano is speaking of is likely PlayStation Now, Sony's new cloud-powered service, which will allow gamers to stream back-catalog titles for a subscription fee.

Kawano explained that Sony will continue to ramp up its marketing efforts for the PS4, to inform consumers about the console's unique features like Remote Play, which allows PS4 games to be streamed to the PlayStation Vita.

"When we talk on whether it’ll match the sales of the PS2 numerically, we’ll have to do our best in the future," Kawano said.

As of February 8, Sony had sold 5.3 million PS4 consoles worldwide. The system launched in Sony's home region of Japan on Saturday.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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Discussion

414 comments
02050muh
02050muh

impossible to reach 150 million... because ps4 needs subs to play online, xboxone in the market, higher price of games, and no pirated games is a major turn off in any third world country in the world

VegasAceVII
VegasAceVII

The Ps4 is off to a phenomenal start; but it is doubtful it could reach those numbers again.  Although, it matters little in the end when the games are what sell a console.

chaos-commander
chaos-commander

PS2 was amazing the have the original from launch and still runs perfectly without any problems.

BarbieFu
BarbieFu

they cant, unless the ps4 is just as crappy as the 2 was. I didnt have a single ps2 work for even a year, making me buy four of them just to keep playing... the ps2 was so jenky, i was forced to buy the competition. I got lucky in the 360s, i bought four of them, and only the og premium one has two red quadrant overheating ring after 20mins- half hour or so...

toffifee
toffifee

I hope the PS4 holds together better than the PS2. I bought three because they stopped working.

slainta
slainta

It is possible actually. The 7th generation sold more than 260 million consoles. And let's be honest, it hasn't been the best generation. Now the PS4 already outsold the Wii U, which came out an year earlier. And soon it will double the Xbone sales. (only about 1 million to go). Unless Sony screws up the goal is reachable. Many games will come as usual, and being the undiscussed leader even more. Just make it a great media player, even better than the PS3, and it's half done.

joey2010
joey2010

LOL..... The PS2 is one pompous bitch!

fnevaeva
fnevaeva

lol, so this is why gamestop got rid of their old games, haha, jk. But sounds like a good idea. Get used games companies to sell or get rid of ps2 games to make way for cloud streaming, cause you can't find them anywhere else...mostly. exept for ebay, but that's not convenient.

snxx
snxx

"The PlayStation 2 is the best-selling home console of all time."

but not for long... PS2 sold 155 million units, yes, but soon, the benchmark to beat will be the DS: as of December 31 it was only one million units behind PS2 and, contrary to the current "king of consoles", it is still being manufactured and officially sold. ;)

BrassBullet
BrassBullet

PS2 was a masterpiece and the pinnacle of home console gaming.  Its going to be down hill from here.  But do not fret, gaming will live on in evolved forms.

Tauu
Tauu

PS4 needs some games. I'm not interested in anything except maybe the PS4 version of FFXIV when it launches.

kgallis21
kgallis21

itll be close but ps2 is hard to top

nep321a
nep321a

I believe it will sell about as much as the PS2. Absolutely. It's off to a crazy good start. PS4 has the momentum, the developer support (over 180 games in development). And it's outselling the Xbone by 2:1 and the Wii U by even more. I don't want to hear about PC gaming killing consoles. PC's and consoles have been around for decades. PC gamers have been saying for YEARS that consoles are dying. But most people are not sophisticated enough to build a PC gaming rig. I'm convinced that the only people who actually believe that PC gaming will kill console gaming are single males who have above-average technical savvy. Most people just want to buy a device that plays games, and you start the game and you're good to go. And gaming on a smartphone just isn't that great for most types of games unless it's something like Angry Birds or some casual crap. Consoles will continue to exist for many generations to come.

mikemaj82
mikemaj82

Great article: http://www.lazygamer.net/xbox-360/this-is-why-gta-v-isnt-on-pc-yet/


Consoles vs The Master Race

In the 2012 financial year the breakdown was as follows

  • Console – 80%
  • PC – 18%
  • Mobile – 2%

A clear lead for the console market which is a bit of a shock since Max Payne 3 was released during that time on all platforms.

But fast forward to today and the breakdown for 2013 sales is vastly different

  • Console – 97%
  • PC – 3%
  • Mobile – 0%

Chaoslight
Chaoslight

I don't think the PS4 can match the sells of the PS2 seeing as I think that SONY is still lying about the sells seeing as the PS4 has only sold just over 4 million units and yet SONY is still saying that its has sold over 5 million units of the console, are they including some of the sells from the PS3 into this or are they doing the BULK adding of what stores buy to sell and stuill there isn't enough units for those that pre-order the console.


Also I don't see the VR headset doing to well either. In my opinion its a waste of tech for right now when Second LIFE and a lot of games are still kicking and alive on PC

Enforcer246
Enforcer246

PS2 came out back when games were actually good and fun to play. I doubt the ps4 will match it's sales.

kingfish1984
kingfish1984

I don't think so.  PS2 came out at a time when its only real competition was Sega Dreamcast (which was a way cooler machine but Sega was broke and couldn't market it).  Microsoft was still new and a year away, and Gamecube was a year away.

los101278
los101278

You guys seem to forget that the x box one is on its way to break the ps2 record!!! Yeah right!!! Lol

Keep dreaming Microsoft!!! I has to throw that dagger in couldn't help myself

timothyt
timothyt

What we all tend to forget is that the ps2 broke a lot and everyone of my friends had to buy a replacement unit. I actually went through 3... Sony can't tell why a unit gets sold so they treat each one as a new customer. I suspect the real number of unique owners was probably closer to 80 million. Still impressive but hard to match today. The build quality of the PS4 seems really good compared to the PS2, especially the disc reader, which is what generally broke on the PS2 (remember, there was no HD it was spinning the disc nonstop)

Reuwsaat
Reuwsaat

@BarbieFu  You must treat your stuff like shit then, I've been playing on a Master System, a Genesis, a Saturn, the original GameBoy, Nintendo 64, Playstation 2 and finally a PC, and all of them are in perfect working condition, even after a shit-ton of years of use.

taggartaa
taggartaa

@snxx A handheld console is not a "home console"... In fact they use the term "home console" specifically to exclude handheld consoles...

02050muh
02050muh

@snxx so, will u agree with me if we compare apple and orange? coz u know, they are both fruits! "Mind Blowing"

burn_cooper
burn_cooper

@snxx  the ds can't be compared to the playstation 2, the ds has like 10 different models, the ps2 has 2. it is stupid to compare a system that has so many different models, it is acceptable to compare the original ds to the ps2, OR the dsi to the ps2, or even the 3ds to the ps2, not all of them together :) 

slainta
slainta

@snxx  An handheld is not a console by definition. Check the dictionary.

white_wind
white_wind

@snxx home console vs. handheld consoles is like comparing handheld to mobile phones. different categories.


snxx
snxx

@BrassBullet PS2 was a great console, there's no arguing that, but it wasn't the pinnacle you speak of. Actually, back at the 6th gen, lots of developers were complaining that they just couldn't do complex games or use much AI because PS2 main power were on the graphics department, while it's main processor lackluster and was holding development down. I've read many times how some games had to be scaled down or "dumbfied" to accommodate PS2 lack of main processor power. It held down gaming for quite a few years.

omgmike23
omgmike23

I 100% agree. Although I'm sure some PC gamer will comment saying otherwise. I actually seen a very naive PC gamer post that they've been doing games longer than home consoles. lol hard when the first home console came out in 1972 and the PC wasn't available for home distribution until about 1978. Home consoles have been around for 40+ years and as you said, I don't think they're going anywhere.

crognalsen
crognalsen

@mikemaj82  

I think something is off with this data.  Most games on Steam are selling really well.  Is this from all digital sales on the PC.  I'm sure different retailers sold digital copies on the PC platform.  I know Skyrim did really well on PC.  Also since they made Grand Theft Auto 5 on Console only that would explain why their 2013 sales are mostly on Console during that time period.  If they had brought games like Red Dead Redemption and Grand Theft Auto 5 to PC the sales would have been quite a bit higher.  To be honest I don't really care that much if they make PC games for the PC or not.  I'm not a big Grand Theft Auto fan.  The only game I liked a lot from them is Red Dead Redemption, but I can live without it.

Reuwsaat
Reuwsaat

@mikemaj82  It wouldn't be a master race if everybody was part of it, would it? Not being serious about it, I just like to kid with it because people get so brutaly buttmad about PCs being more powerful than their beloved consoles. By the way, that was a pure BS article without a single source to back his buttmadness.

omgmike23
omgmike23

How did you get that information?! Sold means sold. Why would they count PS3 sales into PS4 sales that doesn't make any sense. If they shipped consoles they wouldn't call those sold either. Sold Means SOLD. Not Shipped.

Itzsfo0
Itzsfo0

@Enforcer246 I think games are far superior, and more enjoyable now then in 1999 or 2000 - games were fun then, but as technology advances so do storylines, storytelling, graphical comparisons, sound/design, and new innovative gaming engines, etc - etc it was a different market, different period of time, - not that far back of course but nonetheless, and in reality PS2 while it sold 150 million units worldwide, the Wii sold nearly 128 million units worldwide, and I thoroughly enjoyed the wii, and several modern day handhelds, 360 nearly 90 million units still, and PS3 right about the same 85-90 million units, and the ps4 has already (within 3 months of NA release) nearly 6 million units...about a year into the PS4's shelf-life one could easily expect it to have sold 12-18 million units (give or take, maybe a tad more or tad less) IF current trends continue 5-6 mill ever 3 months by early 2015 the system could (in a full calendar year and change) have sold 20 million units...and as more content is released, more cloud-related backwards compatible back catalog is dropped, and updates (as well as numerous other merchandising/paraphernalia related to SONY and the PS4 and its counterpart the PS Vita I think sales will continue in an upward trend - 186 titles are currently in some form of progression as for development - its a fact that in the first 16 months of the PS2's launch they had (in comparison) about 100 titles in current development...I don't know games like GTA V imo are far more enjoyable then anything PS2 or PSX had released - the past is the past - I embrace the present and the near future esp w/ technology and video games (whether its handheld/PC/console) a good game is a good game for instance (2012's) JRPG for the Wii - Xenoblade Chronicles which I'm currently playing (after taking forever to obtain it from gamestop locally here in Maryland) and I'm enjoying the heck out of it...138 hours in, and that's my 37th wii title, 62 PS3 titles, and a combination of (between the DSi XL, and 3DS XL over 40 cartridges/games) and a few dozen PC titles (ranging from MMO's like WOW and other blizzard titles like well the obvious D2/D3 lol) anyway getting off topic - point is a good game is a good game and IDK maybe its just you but I find plenty of quality titles (then again that IS personal taste/opinion) and you know what they say about opinions not an insult towards you or anyone just saying I don't know how a gamer can say "back when games were fun to play" some of the HOTTEST selling games (in gaming history for that matter) have been released in the past 2 generations (7th gen and 8th/current gen in consoles) as well as PC gaming...and yea I know graphics don't make a good game, that's only a "part" of it I'm 33, and have been gaming since Moses wore shorts (first console was the Atari jaguar 2600 that sister handed me when I was 6, she was 16) - and since then I've found quality content in all the systems I've owned over the years and different PC's (from Commodore 64, to a modern day Alienware Desktop (mini) X51 - and from Atari Jaguar 2600, to the NES, SNES, N64, all 4 gens of the PS family, and everything from Microsoft (outside of the Xbox One which I may never get, or if I do, will be years down the road) handhelds...even longer list - so yea I like my golden age of gaming too - have always been a fan of your standard classic retro 16-bit platformer, but I also like my Assassins Creed IV: Black Flag...I guess I'm just easy to please, and a lot of variations of diff games over the years have pleased me...only the lowest quality/lowest rated games I never play...I give nearly every a chance period.

snxx
snxx

@Reuwsaat @BarbieFu Well, to be fair, older consoles were usually more robust than current ones. I also still have a Genesis, a NES and a Saturn, all working, but my Dreamcast has "already" died on me once and had to be sent for repairs. They were all treated in the same way. :)


That being said, PS2 should receive the credit of being more durable than the first PS.

snxx
snxx

@02050muh As I said, given the right parameters and standards, you can compare anything. It really shouldn't be a hard mental exercise to understand that you can compare which one, apple or orange, have more vitamin C or which one have a higher water content, for an instance. Or, to be a bit more on topic, which one of those two fruits sells more - and here you have many options to define that "more". Does "selling more" means selling more units? Does it means selling more tons, comparing the weight distributed (which could be a valid standard when comparing fruits of different sizes, like apples and grapes)? Does it means selling more in dollars? So, yes, directly answering your question, of course I agree, you just have to define what will be used as a comparison standard.

snxx
snxx

@burn_cooper A different form factor or different sku are just that, not different consoles. As you noticed, PS2 also had different models, and when we say it sold 155 million units, we are combining all those models. The same goes for every console in history, including the DS, which had four (not ten) models, and that does *not* include the 3DS models.

snxx
snxx

@slainta Sure!

-
Oxford Dictionaries: [noun] "(also games console) a small electronic device for playing computerized video games".

- Princeton University WordNet: [noun] "
a scientific instrument consisting of displays and an input device that an operator can use to monitor and control a system (especially a computer system".

- Computer Encyclopedia: "a game machine".

- Techopedia: "a video game console is a specialized computer system designed for interactive video gameplay and display. A video game console functions like a PC and is built with the same essential components, including a central processing unit (CPU), graphics processing unit (GPU) and random access memory (RAM)".

Now, let's not stop at that. Let's also look what "handheld" means:

- American Heritage Dictionary: [adjective] "compact enough to be used or operated while being held in the hand or hands: e.g. a handheld video camera".

- Merriam-Webster: [adjective] "held in the hand; especially designed to be operated while being held in the hand. E.g.: handheld computers".


- Random House Dictionary: [noun] "something small enough to be used or operated while held in the hand or hands: She traded in her bulky old movie camera for a handheld".

Wait, does that means that a "handheld console" is "a console small/compact enough to be operated/used while held in the hand"? Mind-blowing!

snxx
snxx

@white_wind Consoles are consoles. You may create distinctions and personal rules to define how you look at the world, but they will remain personal and not applicable to overall reality. When you say "Y is the best selling console", you have to compare all consoles, that should be obvious.

mikemaj82
mikemaj82

@Reuwsaat @mikemaj82I don't get "buttmad" about the power. I could care less about the power. I come from the 80s where games were played because they were fun. We had a blast controlling a freakin' line made out pixels hitting another pixel back and forth across the screen. I just can't find any good reason to play games on a PC over my console, and the fact that I don't care about power is 99% why according to every PC gamers argument on here.


Oh, and if you click on the word "announcement" in that article, it takes you directly to Take2's website with a breakdown of everything in that article. I don't know about you, but a source directly from the company's website is good enough for me.

cd-hunter
cd-hunter

Both of you are wrong... the only sales they can track is "shipped" 


Sony > Retail > You


Sony has already made their money once the retail stores (Walmart, Bestbuy, Gamestop) buy the systems to sell to customers, those retailers order more when customers buy that item quickly... this is called "Demand"... They don't check in with retailers and say..."Hey, by the way... how many of our systems did you guys manage to sell?"... 


Think, Please...

snxx
snxx

@fnevaeva Yes, handhelds are usually cheaper. Yes, it easier to buy a console costing U$120 than a console costing U$400. None of that, however, change the fact that both are consoles and that a console that sells more than PS2 *will* become the best-selling console of all time. Again, you may rationalize and find reasons to *why* a console will become (or have been) the best selling console of all time, but I'm not arguing the whys, just the what is (or will soon be).

And I shouldn't need to say that, but, yes, they are comparable. And actually, anything can be compared, given the right parameters and standards, and the key here is "console". PS2 will probably remain the best selling "home console" for at least quite a few years, but it won't remain the best selling "console" for long.

fnevaeva
fnevaeva

@snxx  ummm, wrong. Game consoles are way more expensive which lowers the amount of sales compared to handhelds. Cause it is much easier for people to buy $120 handheld system. And they aren't even comparable as they are two different styles of play.

Reuwsaat
Reuwsaat

@mikemaj82  True, ignored the link before because I was used to those shitty websites that put adds on words, so I take it back. As for the PC, it's not about the power itself, it's just that this ridiculous little fight is always about this and exclusives between PCs and consoles. There is a point about power though, take a modded Skyrim for example, it looks marvelous and a console would never be able to handle that. Of course it's not like all games out there have mod support, but it's a nice addition, that without counting Steam sales and emulators. I didn't go as far as the pixel lines, I started later on the Master System, glorious original Sonic. Still played Atari games on emulators, loved asteroids, river raid and pitfall, and there was also this cop game that I really liked but forgot its name.

taggartaa
taggartaa

@snxx @fnevaeva You should re-read your own post... the quote you were responding to states: "The PlayStation 2 is the best-selling home console of all time." To which you said "not for long". So it did have the key word "home" in it which discounts handhelds.