With new video game consoles out this week, Microsoft and Sony are decades-long incumbents in the industry. But that wasn’t always the case. More than 25 years ago, Sony unleashed its first PlayStation onto the scene, barging into a marketplace dominated by Nintendo and, to a lesser extent, Sega. And seven years later, Microsoft brought forth its Xbox.
Whether you are voting with your wallet this holiday season for a new Xbox Series X or S, or PlayStation 5, you can’t argue these two tech giants have made countless contributions to advance video gaming over the years.
Sony and Microsoft also expanded the audience. The PlayStation, released in the U.S. in September 1995, would sell more than 102 million units, blasting past sales figures for previous video game consoles that connected to TVs. Nintendo continued to dominate in portable game systems but it would be a decade until one of its consoles cracked the 100 million sales mark: the Wii, released in November 2006, would go on to sell 101.6 million.