Sony Playstation 2 outsells Playstation 3

Sony’s full year financial results, for the period ending March 31st, 2008 make interesting reading. During this period they sold 13.73 million Playstation 2s and 9.24  million Playstation 3s. This, possibly, tells us some or all of the following.

  • The Playstation 2 to 3 transition has not been the bloodbath that the PSX to PS2 transition was.
  • Publishers who desert platforms early in the transition lose out.
  • HDTV is maybe not yet such a critical USP.
  • The PS3 is still far too expensive for a lot of people.
  • Current generation consoles, the Xbox 360 and PS3, are eventually going to be a lot bigger than people think when eventually all these people upgrade.
  • There is more to the games industry than Europe, America and Japan. A lot of these PS2 sales will be in less developed economies.
  • Presuming that the whole PS2 operation is now vastly profitable the PS3 losses are a lot worse than they look as they are being subsidised by the PS2.
  • Maybe the PS3 catalogue of games doesn’t yet contain enough system sellers.

To look at this from the publishing side we have Electronic Arts’ figures for the same period. They show PS2 revenue at $601million against PS3 revenue of $284 million. So more than double. And I wonder how accurately all of this was predicted by the analysts.


  1. PS2 owners are upgrading to the Wii.

  2. A few of those PS2s may be replacements for old, broken ones. But it’s still a testament to the machine that people still want one.

    I know I need a new one because I have to have my power lead into the machine leaning downwards or else no power gets in. Sellotape doesn’t so I’ve rigged a system where I have the wires off the table, pulled under the table tight, and the placed and taped between a couple of heavy books …hoping that nothing moves so I don’t have to mess around with that again.

    I’ve not go another one yet though because I’m still waiting for that new one we were promised with the internal power supply.

  3. I play my PS2 more than any other console I own still. Fact. That I can go onto EBAY and buy loads of bargain ‘cult’ games for the rough amount of a fiver each is great. Also I feel the botched backwards compatibility of the PS3 is a big reason behind people being reluctant to adopt one, possibly waiting to see if the whole debacle is sorted out?

  4. Please don’t refer to the original PlayStation console as the “PSX” – it makes you look like you don’t know what you’re talking about and I’m sure that isn’t the case.

    The PSX was a DVR that allowed you to record TV shows onto HD or DVD, and was based on PlayStation2 hardware.

  5. I guess this just confirms what a mistake Sony made with rushing the PS3 out when they did. They were panicked into a premature launch by the arrival of the 360 and the Wii, where the PS2 was quite capable of holding its own for another year or two.

  6. -> Sean Bean’s Gravy Boat :
    “PSX” or “PS-X” was also a codename/nickname, first when nintendo contacted sony to develop a cd-rom add-on for the snes, then, when this project was aborted, for the original PS.

  7. Since March the US NPD sales figures show that the PS3 is out selling the PS2, so the tide has started to turn there. I think in Japan The PS3 has been outselling the PS2 for quite a while now. I can get any figures for Europe but I would guess that the same is true here too.

    @Lloyd, I don’t think the backwards compatibility is the issue. I’ve got a huge library of Gamecube games and not one of them has been near the Wii. The reason I held off buying a PS3 wasn’t that I couldn’t play my PS2 discs on a 40gb PS3, it was Price, Lack of PS3 only titles, and the Bluray/HD-DVD format war. I bought mine when Bluray won and GT5 Prologue was about to ship, and I could find a good bundle that was cost effective.

  8. @Darren: I’m sure thats the case for you Darren, but as for me and people like me (the very vocal people on videogame messageboards) the backwards compatibility is certainly an issue. My PS2 stopped working a little while ago and I would have purchased a PS3 as opposed to paying for it to be fixed.

    However, I found out a little DIY “Fix your ps2” guide on the internet and managed to get it working again.

  9. It’s really an impressive tail to the PS2 lifespan.

  10. Its amazing, i was one of those people who brought the PS2 when it first came out (yep – 300 quid, 3 month waiting list, no game and just one controller, but hey, i was young and stupid, with braces and acne, so sex with girls wasn’t even contemplated). I always thought it sucked, and i quickly fell in love with the PC and the types of games that were on it.
    I re-purchased the slimline (original died, even though it was relegated to just playing just DVD’s) when sam amdreas came out, and my opinion did a 360. Even now, i think the PS2 slimline was one of the best consoles ever. Small, with a vast games catalogue, and still had some mileage in it when the 360 started gathering speed. Even now im amazed by how much they squeezed out of an apparently difficult machine for God Of War 2. Not a PS3 owner yet, but i really hope it too gathers some momentum. I too am unpset by the lack of backwards capability. I dont want to have to unplug, then re-plug two machines if i have an ultra nerd moment and want to play the entire MGS series from start to finish. Come on Sony, release a software emulator for the PS3, it wouldn’t be that hard surely, what with all that power you keep boasting is under the hood of the PS3?

  11. I think the figures might start to change when the big IP starts to hit the Playstation 3 – the newest Final Fantasy, Metal Gear solid etc.

    I’d like to think Little Big Planet will also be interesting enough to pull people over to the console.

    As of yet I don’t think it’s had anything too exciting (even if you include the awesome upcoming, download only Redbaron game – that I may or may not have worked on 😀 )

  12. Craigo is true.

    I have a PS2 and PSP and upgraded to a Wii.

    I thought back then that i wanted a change in gaming so Wii fit the bill

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