A handheld game console is a lightweight device with a built-in screen, games controls, speakers, and has greater portability than a standard video game console. It is capable of playing multiple games unlike tabletop and handheld electronic game devices. Tabletop and handheld electronic game devices of the 1970s and early 1980s are the precursors of handheld game consoles.Mattel introduced the first handheld electronic game with the 1977 release of Auto Race. Later, several companies—including Coleco and Milton Bradley—made their own single-game, lightweight tabletop or handheld electronic game devices. The oldest handheld game console with interchangeable cartridges is the Milton Bradley Microvision in 1979.Nintendo is credited with popularizing the handheld console concept with the Game Boy's release in 1989 and continues to dominate the handheld console market.
The Game Boy (combined with the Game Boy Color) was the first handheld system to sell over 100 million units, selling 118.69 million units worldwide. It popularised the handheld gaming market.
The Nintendo DS product line are the best-selling handheld consoles, selling 154.02 million units worldwide. The original DS sold 18.79 million units. The majority of sales came from the DS Lite at 93.86 million units.
Latter two members of the DS product line, the DSi and DSi XL, helped to further drive sales by moving 41.37 million units combined.
The first popular home console, the Atari 2600 (1980 version pictured), was released in 1977.
Sony's PlayStation Portable signified the company's debut in the handheld market. Forbes editor Penelope Patsuris noted "The competition marks the first time that a company with real clout has challenged the lock that Nintendo has had on handheld gaming for 15 years."
The following table contains video game consoles that have sold at least 1 million units worldwide either through to consumers or inside retail channels. Each console include sales from every iteration unless otherwise noted. The years correspond to when the home or handheld game console was first released—excluding test markets. Each year links to the corresponding "year in video games".
#Background shading indicates consoles currently on the market.
>Final sales are greater than the reported figure. See notes.
^ abcdSony stopped reporting individual platform sales on a regular basis in 2012 but continues to do so sporadically.PlayStation 2: 155 million units sold as of March 31, 2012. It was discontinued worldwide on January 4, 2013.PlayStation 3: Sony corporate data reports 87.4 million sold as of March 31, 2017. PS3 shipments to Japanese retailers, the last country Sony was selling units to, ceased by May.PlayStation Portable: 76.4 million units sold as of March 31, 2012. A June 3, 2014 Associated Press report noted this was "the last time a tally was taken."IGN's Evan Campbell reported on the same day around 80 million sold, and Jordan Sirani reaffirmed Campbell's estimate 5 years later. Shipments to North America ended in January 2014, and to Japan in June 2014; shipments to Europe ended during the latter part of the year. IGN's Colin Moriarty reported in mid-November that 82 million PSPs were manufactured and shipped at the end of production.PlayStation Vita: Third-party estimates range from 10–15 million.Glixel stated in June 2017 that 15 million were sold, while the Electronic Entertainment Design and Research suggests several million less by the end of 2015. Production ceased in Japan in March 2019.
^Nintendo only provided a combined sales total. Before Game Boy Color's release in late-1998, previous models sold 64.42 million units combined worldwide.
^ abMicrosoft announced in October 2015 that individual platform sales in their fiscal reports will no longer be disclosed.
The company shifted focus to the amount of active users on Xbox Live as its "primary metric for [sic] success". Monthly active Xbox Live users reached nearly 90 million by Q3 2020.Xbox 360: Production ended in 2016; 84 million in total lifetime sales.Xbox One: Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella unveiled at a December 3, 2014, shareholder presentation that 10 million units were sold. Most third-party estimates put the total number of Xbox One units sold by the end of 2019 at "around 50 million". Market data and analytics firm Ampere Analysis Insights estimated the Xbox One had sold 51 million units by Q2 2020. Microsoft announced on July 17, 2020, that they would cease manufacturing the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition and Xbox One X, though production of the Xbox One S would continue.
^30.75 million sold by Sega worldwide as of March 1996, not including sales of third-party licensed consoles from manufacturers such as Majesco Entertainment in the United States (which projected it would sell 1.5 million) or Tec Toy in Brazil (listed separately).
^10–13 million, not including Brazilian variants.Screen Digest wrote in a 1995 publication that the Master System's active installed user base in Western Europe peaked at 6.25 million in 1993. Those countries that peaked are France at 1.6 million, the United Kingdom at 1.35 million, Germany at 700 thousand, Spain at 550 thousand, the Netherlands at 200 thousand, and other Western European countries at 1.4 million. However, Belgium peaked in 1991 with 600 thousand, and Italy in 1992 with 400 thousand. Thus it is estimated approximately 6.8 million units were purchased in this part of Europe. 1 million were sold in Japan as of 1986. 2 million were sold in the United States. Not including sales of licensed Tectoy variants in Brazil (listed separately).
^Designed by Hudson and manufactured and marketed by NEC.
^Sega sold this amount as of April 2005. Its successor launched on August 6, 2005. Majesco re-manufactured and distributed the Pico in the United States starting at the end of 1999.
^Bandai released three WonderSwan iterations. A March 2003 Famitsu article reported the original (March 1999) and color (December 2000) versions sold approximately 3 million units combined, while the SwanCrystal (July 2002) sold over 200 thousand units. Bandai announced the transition from hardware to third-party development in February 2003 due to declining sales and will supply software to the competitor's Game Boy Advance by March 2004. Average weekly Famitsu sales during the transition were only a couple hundred units, and the SwanCrystal went build to order starting in autumn 2003. WonderSwan hardware designer Koto claimed over 3.5 million were sold.
^The ColecoVision reached 2 million units sold by the spring of 1984. Console quarterly sales dramatically decreased at this time, but it continued to sell modestly with most inventory gone by October 1985.
^Coleco launched Telstar in 1976 and sold a million. Production and delivery issues, and dedicated consoles being replaced by electronic handheld games dramatically reduced sales in 1977. Over a million Telstars were scrapped in 1978, and it cost Coleco $22.3 million that year—almost bankrupting the company.
^Buchanan, Levi (March 20, 2009). "Genesis vs. SNES: By the Numbers". IGN. Archived from the original on September 18, 2018. Retrieved October 31, 2013. Nintendo moved 49.1 million Super NES consoles over the course of the generation and beyond, far surpassing the Genesis, which sold a still impressive 29 million units. [...] The Master System sold an anemic 13 million to the NES count of 62 million.
^Forster, Winnie (2005). The Encyclopedia of Game.Machines: Consoles, Handhelds, and Home Computers 1972–2005. Magdalena Gniatczynska. p. 139. ISBN3-00-015359-4.
^"Sega Corporation Annual Report 2001"(PDF). Sega Corporation. August 1, 2001. p. 14. Archived(PDF) from the original on February 1, 2017. Retrieved November 2, 2015. A total of 3.39 million hardware units and 23.87 million software units were sold worldwide during fiscal 2001, for respective totals of 8.20 million units and 51.63 million units since Dreamcast was first brought to market.
^"Revisions to Annual Results Forecasts"(PDF). Sega Corporation. October 23, 2001. p. 4. Archived from the original(PDF) on July 26, 2015. Retrieved November 2, 2015. Regarding sales of Dreamcast hardware from inventory resulting from the withdrawal from Dreamcast production [...] the Company exceeded initial targets with domestic sales of 130,000 units and U.S. sales of 530,000 units for the first half. Consequently, at the end of the half, Dreamcast inventories totaled 40,000 units domestically and 230,000 units for the United States, and we anticipate being able to sell all remaining units by the holiday season as initially planned.
^"Sega Corporation Annual Report 2002"(PDF). Sega Corporation. July 1, 2002. p. 6. Archived(PDF) from the original on September 28, 2018. Retrieved November 2, 2015. The year ended March 31, 2002 was a turning point for Sega. We exited the hardware business, ceasing production of Dreamcast and selling through the remaining inventory.
^ abRicciardi, John (October 1, 2002). "Hands-On With Bandai's SwanCrystal; Move over, Game Boy Advance - there's a new bird in town". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 159. EGM Media Group. p. 58. ISSN1058-918X. On July 12, toy giant Bandai unleashed a third iteration (in stylish red and blue models) of their handheld WonderSwan system, the new-and- improved SwanCrystal, in Japan.
^ ab"Bandai to Launch WonderSwan Color in Dec". Jiji Press English News Service. August 30, 2000. A new colored version of Bandai Co.'s <7967> WonderSwan handheld game machine will hit Japanese stores in early December, the Japanese game maker said Wednesday. [...] The original WonderSwan, with its black-and-white displays, has sold 1.55 million units since its debut in March 1999.
^"Bandai to Supply Software for Nintendo's Game Boy". Jiji Press English News Service. February 18, 2003. The move reflects declining sales of Bandai's WonderSwan mobile game machine. The major Japanese toy maker is looking to supply two or three software titles for the rival company's popular game machine by March next year. Bandai will shift its focus from sales of hardware to software for "multiple platforms," including personal digital assistants, Takasu told a press conference.
^Sheff & Eddy 1999, pp. 27–28: "[Color TV Game 6] was followed by a more powerful sequel, Color TV Game 15. A million units of each were sold. The engineering team also came up with systems that played a more complex game, called "Blockbuster," as well as a racing game. Half a million units of these were sold."
^"Coleco Industries sales report" (Press release). PR Newswire. April 17, 1984. Archived from the original on November 4, 2013. Retrieved November 3, 2013. 'First quarter sales of ColecoVision were substantial, although much less that [sic] those for the year ago quarter,' Greenberg said in a prepared statement. He said the company has sold 2 million ColecoVision games since its introduction in 1982.
^"Coleco's Net In Sharp Rise". The New York Times. Associated Press. October 19, 1985. p. 45. ISSN0362-4331. Archived from the original on June 12, 2018. Retrieved January 13, 2014. Thursday, Coleco said the entire inventory of its troubled Adam personal computer has been sold, along with much of its Colecovision inventory. The company's chairman, Arnold Greenberg, said Coleco expects no more charges against earnings from the two discontinued products.
^Pereira, Joseph (November 16, 1992). "Technology (A Special Report): At Our Leisure --- (Not So) Great Expectations: Hand-held Video Games Will Get Better, But Big Improvements May Take a While". The Wall Street Journal. p. R10. ISSN0099-9660. Meanwhile, Nintendo, the first on the market with its black-and-white Game Boy, has sold approximately 7.5 million portable systems, analysts estimate. Sega has sold about 1.6 million units of its color Game Gear system, while Atari Inc. has sold about one million units of its $99 Lynx color portable system.
^Mehegan, David (May 8, 1988). "Putting Coleco Industries Back Together". The Boston Globe. p. A1. ISSN0743-1791. Archived from the original on September 24, 2015. Retrieved April 23, 2014. When the game [Telstar] crashed hard, earnings fell 50 percent in 1977 and the company lost $22 million in 1978, barely skirting bankruptcy after Handel -- then chief financial officer -- found new credit and mollified angry creditors after months of tough negotiation.
Forster 2011, p. 92: "The test release of the Atari 7800 went by practically unnoticed [...] And so the Atari 7800 collected dust for two years, until the international success of the Nintendo Entertainment System quickly changed the minds of Atari's new management. [...] Atari shipped the now slightly outdated 7800 across the world. [...] Only a few thousand 7800 consoles were shipped in the US during the first marketing attempt."