21. The 100 Million Milestone
When it comes to video game console sales, the 100 million units mark is essentially the holy grail, as only five gaming systems have ever managed to cross that threshold. While Nintendo holds the record for most systems to cross the 100 million mark at three — the Nintendo DS (154.02M), the Game Boy/Game Boy Color (118.69M), and the Wii (101.63M), Nintendo’s success has largely been in the handheld market, with the Wii being the company’s only home console to reach the sales milestone. If we’re just taking into account home console sales, Sony is the only manufacturer to have two sell in excess of 100 million units: the original PlayStation at 102.49 million and the PlayStation 2 at a whopping 155 million, making it the best-selling console of all time. Interestingly, even if you were to combine the sales of the Nintendo 64, GameCube and original Xbox, the figure would still be over 20 million units short of the PlayStation 1’s sales alone.
20. The PlayStation Was Originally A Super Nintendo Add-On
Might as well get the most obvious one out of the way first, right? The origins of the PlayStation are a well-known bit of gaming history these days but that doesn’t make the story of how Sony first entered the console race any less interesting. By the early ’90s, Nintendo was looking for a way to take advantage of the superior audio and video quality offered by compact discs, as CDs were the hottest multimedia storage solution at the time. Sony’s Ken Kutaragi had helped design the Super Nintendo Entertainment System’s incredible sound chip in secret — and nearly lost his job at Sony in the process before then-CEO Norio Ohga recognized the potential of Kutaragi’s chip and a partnership with Nintendo — so the big N decided to bring that partnership to the next level by enlisting Sony to develop a CD-ROM add-on for the SNES.
Unfortunately, the agreement fell apart once Nintendo chairman Hiroshi Yamauchi realized that Sony would have complete control over all titles released on the SNES CD-ROM format and formed a partnership with Phillips instead without Sony’s knowledge. Of course, Sony would end up getting its revenge on Nintendo and then-some, taking what they had made for Nintendo and reworking it into what would eventually become the first PlayStation console, which would go on to sell over 100 million units worldwide while Nintendo’s SNES successor, the Nintendo 64, sold less than a third of that number.
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