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Forums - Gaming Discussion - Which system made the biggest comeback? PlayStation 4 or Nintendo Switch?

Sony's PlayStation 4 and Nintendo's Switch consoles are rather interesting. They're both the two best selling game systems of the past generation, and have become beloved systems with large and varied game libraries and innovative features. Yet, the story of their creation and the scenario surrounding them are eerily similar to each-other.

  • They're both consoles that succeeded strange, obtuse platforms that struggled compared to their competition (PS3 vs. 360/Wii and 3DS/Wii U vs. Smartphones/Tablets)
  • They both opted for off-the-shelf parts that were easy-to-develop-for and more compatible with modern development tools (x86 and Tegra)
  • They both had a software developer as their lead architect and worked to integrate the first party teams and third party developers into the development process from the start (Mark Cerny and Yoshiaki Koizumi)
  • They both cut the bloat of their predecessors by focusing on games first and foremost
  • They both had a well executed reveal that showed that they were learning from their predecessors failures
  • They both marked a fundamental change from how the companies created hardware before.

Between the PS4 and Switch, which did you think was the biggest comeback? While the PS4's success was impressive, it's hard to deny that the Switch was the more surprising one. The PlayStation 3 at least sobered up and turned itself around in the later half of its generation, which helped set the stage for Sony's success with the PS4. Sony smartly capitalizing on its biggest rival self-destructing also helped.

Nintendo however, was facing an uphill battle on both ends. The Wii U was a colossal failure and continued the trend sans Wii of Nintendo home consoles loosing more and more of their audience to other systems. Meanwhile the Nintendo 3DS, while a decent success, was facing its own issues surrounding the ubiquity of smartphones and tablets and the games you can play on them, putting the future of the dedicated portable gaming market, once Nintendo's bread and butter, into question. Many argued that Nintendo should either play ball and make a powerful, competitive big boy console like Sony or Microsoft, or get out of platform development entirely and go third party like Sega. Fortunately, the Switch ended up prevailing in the end thanks to its easy-to-use hybrid nature.


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This isn't even a question.



PS4 hardly made a "comeback". PS3 wasn't a failure to begin with (almost 90 milion consoles). It was still one of the most popular gaming devices of its era. Also, PS4 kept doing what the PS3 had been doing for years, releasing the same kind of games and appealing to the same kind of player. The only reason it sold like 40 milion more than the PS3 is the incompetence of Microsoft with everything surrounding Xbox One.



Switch and it isn't remotely close. The Wii U was a disaster. The ps3, while not ps2 level of success, did incredibly well.



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Chrkeller said:

Switch and it isn't remotely close. The Wii U was a disaster. The ps3, while not ps2 level of success, did incredibly well.

We also have to consider the 3DS as well given that the Switch is a hybrid, and how it managed to sell over 70 million units in spite of its problems and competition with smartphones and tablets. The Switch was as much a correction of the 3DS' failures as it was a correction of the Wii U's.



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PS4 was definitely a "comeback" that also enabled Sony to be among the biggest names in software, far bigger than they ever were.

The Switch was the bigger surprise, but you can't compare it to older systems as directly as you can with Playstation, because it's a hybrid unlike anything else Nintendo released before. Still, it managed to easily outsell Wii U and 3DS combined, and made a ton more money for Nintendo. So it's totally the bigger comeback all things considered.



Oh gee going from 87 million to 117 million or 13 million to ONE HUNDRED AND THIRTY TWO AND COUNTING. PS3 only really struggled it's first couple of years then went on to be a huge success.

How the fuck is this even a question? Switch. Of course.

Sorry my guy no matter how many forums you make this topic the result will be the same. Switch unless it's an extremely biased Sony lovers website.

Last edited by Leynos - on 07 January 2024

Bite my shiny metal cockpit!

76m to 150m+ for 3DS to Switch
86m to 117m for PS3 to PS4

Switch was the bigger comeback.



Not really a contest even if 3DS sales are combined with the Wii U's sales. 3DS+Wii U sales were about the same as the PS3's sales, and the Switch has outsold the PS4 by around 15 million and counting. If PS3 and Vita sales are combined the way 3DS and Wii U sales are combined, the increase in PS4 sales is 12 million units smaller.

Further factors - Sony may have bounced back from a relatively disappointing performance with the PS3, but they still did not come close to replicating the level of success they had with the PS2, falling about 40 million units short there and being slightly closer to the PS3's sales than the PS2's. Nintendo managed to massively outsell its previous biggest success with the Wii and it is still conceivable, though unlikely, that it will reach DS numbers, with the Switch being more profitable and selling far more games than the DS was. It's closer to the DS' numbers than the Wii's already and still selling.

It truly looked like Nintendo might be going the way of Sega for a while, whereas Sony was always a viable competitor even when the PS3 was struggling the most.  A lot of Sony's success came from taking advantage of Microsoft's many mistakes with the XB1 to reestablish itself as the king of normal console gaming, conceding defeat in the handheld sphere entirely, whereas Nintendo couldn't take advantage of anyone else's mistakes and had to reinvent itself by itself to find a new place in the market and its current relevancy.  

Last edited by h2ohno - on 07 January 2024

Pretty sure PS3 lost Sony more money than the Wii U lost Nintendo (somebody correct me if I'm wrong). But PS3 ended up selling a lot of software, a respectful number of consoles, and is highly acclaimed by many.
Wii U on the other hand sold even a good deal less than GameCube, and very far below Wii. Nintendo is mostly ashamed of Wii U, and when many Wii U games have been ported to Switch Nintendo is hesitant to even mention Wii U.
Switch is the bigger comeback story.



Lifetime Sales Predictions 

Switch: 156 million (was 73, then 96, then 113 million, then 125 million, then 144 million, then 151 million)

PS5: 115 million (was 105 million) Xbox Series S/X: 48 million (was 60 million, then 67 million, then 57 million)

PS4: 120 mil (was 100 then 130 million, then 122 million) Xbox One: 51 mil (was 50 then 55 mil)

3DS: 75.5 mil (was 73, then 77 million)

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