Can We Officially Say That PlayStation is Back On Top?

Now that we're more than 8 months into the new generation, can we say PlayStation has reclaimed its crown?

No console will outperform the PlayStation 2. It's just not possible.

The market has radically changed since Sony's second machine completely dominated the gaming world for a good six years (and it continued to sell exceedingly well for several years after the PS3 launched). Microsoft has since established itself as a legitimate player.

The PS2 ended up selling over 160 million units. That's more than the Xbox, GameCube and Dreamcast combined...by several times over. I mean, that wasn't even a race. Had it been a race, Sony would've won by lapping the competition about ten times.

I have no illusions that the PS4 will do the same thing. No chance in hell, in fact. But is it safe to say the PlayStation brand is back on top now?

The PS4 led the Xbox One out of the gate and has yet to relinquish the lead

Despite the Xbox One's price drop - when Microsoft removed Kinect and made the price $399 - the system still couldn't manage to outsell the PS4 in this country. That's hugely significant because throughout the previous generation, the Xbox 360 totally owned the PS3. There were a few shining points for Sony's console, especially after the Slim was announced along with a price cut. And in terms of worldwide sales, the PS3 and 360 tally is just about even; somewhere around 80-82 million for each.

However, the 360 owned North America. Therefore, it was expected that while the PS4 might lead in the rest of the world, the Xbox One would still hold sway in the US. That hasn't happened yet, though, and that's worth noting. The global lead isn't immensely surprising, but the fact that Microsoft hasn't been able to outsell Sony in North America is surprising. 

It's not like the PS4 has produced a bunch of stellar exclusives, either. Those are yet to come and when they do, it seems the PS4 will extend its current lead.

The Wii fad is over, although the Wii U is staging a comeback

I think it's great that the Wii U is doing better (can't wait for Hyrule Warriors) but let's face it, the numbers are drastically different. The Wii shot out of the box and set records immediately, trouncing the 360 and PS3 just about everywhere. The Wii ended up selling 100 million but it hit that number quickly; in the last few years, you couldn't give away one of those things. Then, you couldn't really give away a Wii U, either. Hence, it has all the earmarks of a fad, which is what I called it from the start.

The PS4 sold more in a few months than the Wii U sold in its entire first year. Now, while the Wii U has recently outsold the PS4 in Japan, that's not true in North America or Europe, and I really don't see the Wii U catching the PS4 anywhere. So, given all these considerations, and the fact that the PS4 hasn't even started to shine yet, is it safe to claim that PlayStation has returned to the top?

The PS3 was never in the lead. I still say it was the best console out there, but when compared to the PS2, it was a gigantic step back. Now, to have reclaimed sole ownership of the #1 position in a console race is really something else. Wouldn't you say?

Published Aug. 3rd 2014
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