Sony finally overtakes Nintendo in console sales

For the first time in 8 years, Sony has finally dethroned Nintendo. In fiscal year 2013, Sony sold 18.7 million game consoles to Nintendo's 16.3 million -- a difference of nearly 2 and a half million console units, and a huge bump in sales figures from 2012 where console sales across all platforms dropped 27 percent.  

The landmark comes after fledgling sales from the Nintendo Wii U, which bombed heavily upon initial release. Lack of interest from consumers ultimately led Nintendo to slash their sales figures for 2014 from 9 million units to 2.8 million, and while Nintendo has coasted off the sales figures from their handheld devices like the Nintendo 3DS, Sony has finally edged them out. 

With 7 million PS4 units sold worldwide as of April 6th, Sony is gaining a strong foothold in the console gaming industry, and inching closer and closer to Microsoft's fledgling lead. But despite surpassing Nintendo, the sales still aren't working in their favor; in fiscal year 2013, Sony reported a net loss of $1.25 billion. The majority of the sales deficit came from Sony's struggling PC business, but even console sales rivaling those of Microsoft's Xbox One didn't help them turn a profit.

Nintendo isn't much better off, and while they still have a dedicated fanbase, the company is in the same boat as Sony. Nintendo reported a net loss of $229 million in fiscal year 2013, and their damaging console sales in early 2014 haven't helped. While Sony and Microsoft are on the up-and-up, an increasingly bored market and a lack of attention for Nintendo's home consoles could eventually be a death knell for the company if they don't take steps to improve.

Source: NikkeiImages via Shutterstock - Sony store in Beijing, Gotgame.com

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"The landmark comes after fledgling sales from the Nintendo Wii U"
"Sony is gaining a strong foothold in the console gaming industry, and inching closer and closer to Microsoft's fledgling lead."

"Fledgeling"...you keep using that word. I do not think that word means what you think it means.

Mirriam Webster Full Definition of FLEDGLING:
1: a young bird just fledged (learned to fly)
2: an immature or inexperienced person
3: one that is new <a fledgling company>

Neither Microsoft or Nintendo are new, immature, or learning to fly.

There was new super mario bros wii u and Super Mario 3d World, which were great games and these are normally always the starting game, plateformer. Then, you have Zelda WW HD. Mario Kart, Smash, Zelda and Metroid game always come out later.

Like there was any big game on the launch of XBOne and PS4 anyway. Where was forza, halo, gt...?

While Sony and Microsoft are on the up-and-up, an increasingly bored market and a lack of attention for Nintendo's home consoles could eventually be a death knell for the company if they don't take steps to improve.

Guess someone hasn't been paying attention to Mario Kart 8 and Wii U sales the past week or two because both of those have been doing really really well.

Now sure one game isn't going to save the company but if they capitalize on this, get the new Zelda and Smash Bros out sooner rather than later, they might still be able to turn things around.

They need to stop apologizing (which is nice but it doesn't sell anything), and start marketing better. The biggest problem the Wii U had was that on launch day there wasn't really any mega selling game, hell it took more than 1 1/2 years to get Mario Kart onto the thing and that's Nintendo's best selling franchise. It's sad because originally I was never a fan of the console, and if you go back to 2012 there was no way in hell I was going to shell out any money for it. The gamepad looked like a gimmick, the games weren't that great etc. But a week ago I ended up buying the MK8 bundle and I love the dam thing. I can honestly say I haven't had this much fun playing games in ages. MK8 is great, SM3DL is great, NSMBU is great, WindWalker HD is amazing and so on.

The problem continues to be that Nintendo is relying on their own game sequels to support the game system. New games rarely do well and realistic looking games do even worse. I think the Wii U is a nice system, but I don't like the gamepad. Yes I know you can play without it, but don't believe you can with all games and even so it, Wii U is focused away from the older audience for the most part.
I'd been solidly in Nintendo's corner since the NES, but I just don't see the lure anymore. The games are basically all the same as previous games, there is little innovation happening. A totally realistic-looking Mario Kart might have set the world on fire, yet they stayed safe. I think Nintendo needs to stop going the safe route. It's boring.

Never been a fan of Nintendo anyway and I don't know a soul that owns a Xbox either, if you can believe that?!

Playstation has always ruled, IMO, and everyone else that I know. :)

This is a sad state of affairs for long time gamers...I've grown up with Nintendo at the forefront of gaming innovation, but they have been on the slide for a long time in my opinion it started with their stubbornness around sticking with proprietary cartridges with the N64, that was the beginning of the third party developers leaving to other platforms. By the time the Gamecube came out it was facing a massive uphill battle against Playstation which had since hoarded all of the developers. They got lucky rolling the dice with the Wii, but again, stubbornness and complacency lead to where they are now, with only a tiny fraction of their core audience left and the casual audience long gone onto tablets and smartphones.

As far as I'm concerned, Nintendo makes GREAT games, but very bad consoles (well, the GameCube was the last great one imo)

They're not going in the right direction, sadly

Hah! I don't exactly remember the GameCube having great success competing against the PlayStation 2 and Xbox. In fact, even the Nintendo 64 had trouble competing against the PlayStation.

I'd argue that Nintendo's last great console was the SNES. Now if you were looking at sales alone, you would have to admit that the Wii was pretty successful. But its success was riding on a gimmick that couldn't last. When compared to its competition, it plainly sucked.

When the snes was out, it's only competition was sega genesis (which was really good). Having to compete with only one other console, not aimed for all the family (it was aimed at a more mature generation, while still offering games for all of the family). And with the gameboy being the only handheld at those time (how many here have a gamegear or the rare nomad?) that could plug into the snes, that really helped them.

I didn't like much the N64, there was some nice game. Gamecube was better in my opinion, more great game.

The success of PS1 and PS2 is due to the market growing toward JRPG/RPG and those two consoles were the leader in that domain, specially since it's Japanese market.

Nintendo first party game always had been rock solid, just look at the latest mario kart, as full as all mario kart have been and always adding something new. Compared to other big game that still have new version each year but offer nothing new (COD anyone?) and are still selling big time, I prefer nintendo inovative approach then milking the cow with the samething over and over again.

At the same time, the Wii was so bad that Sony and Microsoft had to "invent" something to compete with it, kinect, PS move.... Then the touchpad on the back (WTF?) of the PS4 remote controller, the return of the PS eye that was dead with the ps2....

It's a shame for Nintendo as the wii U is really good, poor marketing and using the wii name were bad moves for them

most people I've spoken to thought the wii U was just the gamepad for the existing wii console

100 billion dollars loss from Sony since 2000. I would not be surprise if they get bought out by an other company and keep an the name.

Sony is still gigantic and Japan is not going to let one of their most important brands just slip away. And they're on the road to recovery anyway.

Shadowzz said,
Ye Sony aint going anywhere. They still have a bunch of profitable divisions and have over 80billion dollar worth of assets.

have 80 billion in assets really doesn't help them if they are still losing money. It's not like they can just instantly sell a 1 billion dollar factory and get that money immediately. They would still incur costs that would hurt them in the short term if they still did something like that.

Sony's not in the financial position yet where you can say they aren't going anywhere, however if they did get worse, I think it would be over a period of years.

We'll know it's really bad for Nintendo when you see them release their games on something else. I'm betting on older Mario and Zelda games re-released for smartphones as the start.

George P said,
We'll know it's really bad for Nintendo when you see them release their games on something else. I'm betting on older Mario and Zelda games re-released for smartphones as the start.

Hope they bring Zeda to the ONE (fat chance)

Nah, if they were to stop making consoles then I believe they should go to the PC because that means everyone gets to buy their games instead of just Xbox One owners.

Edited by LimeMaster, Jun 9 2014, 8:16am :

George P said,
We'll know it's really bad for Nintendo when you see them release their games on something else. I'm betting on older Mario and Zelda games re-released for smartphones as the start.

That would be massive for ms and Nintendo as Sony is rival to both.

It would be a massive boost to xbox.

duddit2 said,

That would be massive for ms and Nintendo as Sony is rival to both.

It would be a massive boost to xbox.

How do you figure that? Sony makes smartphones too, and IF Nintendo started releasing their games on another platform it would be Androids Play store long before Windows Phone.

Sonne said,

How do you figure that? Sony makes smartphones too, and IF Nintendo started releasing their games on another platform it would be Androids Play store long before Windows Phone.

Sony really isn't doing to well in the SmartPhone area, that's why (read somewhere) they might go WP way

EvilAstroboy said,

Sony really isn't doing to well in the SmartPhone area, that's why (read somewhere) they might go WP way

Actually Sony's mobile division is one of their biggest money makers, they are doing very well in "the SmartPhone area"... And still what if they made WP devices, I still don't see how Nintendo selling games on smartphones helps Microsoft to Sony's detriment...unless Microsoft made some exclusive deal with Nintendo for their games and somehow blocked Sony from making WP devices...neither of which would happen