The Truth About The Xbox Vs. PlayStation Feud

Console wars in the world of video games are nothing new. However, for the better part of the last two decades, the two at the top of the heap have been Microsoft's Xbox and Sony's PlayStation (via Sportskeeda).

The two tech and entertainment giants first went head-to-head in the early 2000s. Sony was exiting the '90s after seeing massive success with the first iteration of the PlayStation, which sold over 102 million units, making it the third-best Sony console ever sold, according to IGN.

In 2000, Sony rolled out the PlayStation's successor, the PlayStation 2. It picked up right where the original left off and took the video game landscape by storm. Meanwhile, PC giant Microsoft was gearing up to dip a toe into the home console waters and one year later they unveiled their first system: the mighty Xbox.

This first salvo in the war between the two companies was a virtually uncontested victory for Sony. The PlayStation 2 sold an unbelievable 159 million units, making it the best-selling home console in history. Meanwhile, The Xbox would only move around 20 million units (per IGN).

Things tighten between Sony and Microsoft

The next generation of consoles would see the two companies vying for the hardcore-gamer market. The third console manufacturer, Nintendo, had abandoned the cohort after the relatively poor sales of their Nintendo GameCube, choosing to focus on casual gamers with their next console, the Nintendo Wii (via Digital Trends).

Bill Gates' Microsoft would blink first, launching the Xbox 360 in 2005. A year later, Sony would drop the PlayStation 3. Compared to the previous generations, the companies would be moving in different directions. The PlayStation 3 sold substantially fewer units than the PlayStation 2, meanwhile the Xbox 360 sold several times better than the original Xbox. According to IGN, the sales figures couldn't get much tighter, but Sony would get the edge with the PlayStation 3 moving an estimated 87.5 million units, to the Xbox 360's 85 million.

The next generation would see another reversal in direction for both companies. The Playstation 4 — released in 2013 — would skyrocket to 117 million units sold, while Microsoft's Xbox One, which was released the same year, only managed to move 50 million units by comparison (via IGN).

The race continues with the latest generation of consoles. The PlayStation 5 made its debut in 2020 and has sold an estimated 17 million units, while Microsoft's Xbox Series X, which was released around the same time, has only managed around 8 million so far.