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The fourth-generation (1987–1997) of video games includes the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Sega Mega Drive/Genesis, PC Engine/TurboGrafx-16, and others.

Hardware sales figures

See also: List of best-selling game consoles

Worldwide

System Hardware units sold
Sega Mega Drive / Genesis 42–47 million
Sega Mega Drive / Genesis (1988) 35-40 million (2001)[1][2]
Sega Mega CD / Sega CD (1991) 6 million[3] (1996)
Sega 32X (1994) 665,000 (1994)[4]
Amstrad Mega PC (1993) 6,000 (1994)[5]
Nintendo Super Famicom / Super NES 49.1 million
Super Famicom / Super NES (1990) 49.1 million (2003)[6]
NEC PC Engine / TurboGrafx-16 14.92 million
PC Engine / TurboGrafx-16 (1987) 10.5 million (2003)[7]
PC Engine Duo 1.92 million (1996)[8]
PC Engine CD‑ROM² /
TurboGrafx-CD
(1988)
1 million (1993)[5]
PC Engine GT / TurboExpress (1990) 1.5 million[9] (1995)
Other consoles 1.5958 million
SNK Neo Geo / Neo Geo AES (1990) 1 million (1999)[5]
CD-i (1991) 570,000 (1998)[10][11]
Commodore Amiga CDTV (1991) 25,800 (1993)[12]
Home computers 24.95 million
NEC PC-98 (1982) 18 million (1999)[13]
Commodore Amiga (1985) 4.85 million (1993)[14]
Atari ST (1985) 2.1 million (1993)[15]

Asia

Japan

The cumulative (including annual) sales of fourth-generation consoles in Japan:

Year Sales
NEC PC Engine Sega Mega Drive Pioneer
[5]
Neo Geo
[5]
Super FC
[16]
PCE [16] Duo CD‑ROM² SMD [16] MCD [5]
1987 600,000[17]
1988 1,440,000
(+840,000)
400,000
1989 2,380,000
(+940,000)
1,000,000
(+600,000)
1990 3,690,000
(+1,310,000)
1,900,000
(+900,000)
1,440,000
[18]
1991 4,720,000
(+1,030,000)
300,000
[19]
700,000
[19]
2,600,000
(+700,000)
200,000 3,810,000
(+2,370,000)
1992 5,390,000
(+670,000)
[17]
600,000
[19]
(+300,000)
900,000
[19]
(+200,000)
3,000,000
(+400,000)
280,000
(+80,000)
7,390,000
(+3,580,000)
1993 5,790,000
(+400,000)
[17]
3,450,000
(+450,000)
700,000
[20]
(+420,000)
42,000 300,000 11,820,000
(+4,430,000)
1994 5,970,000
(+180,000)
1,900,000
[8]
3,550,000
(+100,000)
850,000
[20]
(+150,000)
14,470,000
(+2,650,000)
1995 6,000,000
(+30,000)[17]
1,920,000
[8]
(+20,000)
3,580,000
(+30,000)
16,250,000
(+1,780,000)
1996 700,000 16,860,000
[21]
(+610,000)
1997 800,000
(+100,000)
17,050,000
(+190,000)
[21]
1998 17,100,000
(+50,000)[21]
1999 17,130,000
(+30,000)[21]
2000 17,140,000
(+10,000)[21]
2001 17,150,000
(+10,000)[21]
2002 17,160,000
(+10,000)[21]
2003 8,000,000[22] 17,170,000
(+10,000)[21]
Total 8,000,000 (PCE)
9,920,000 (PCE & Duo)
10,820,000 (PCE, Duo, CD‑ROM²)
3,580,000
(SMD)
4,430,000
(SMD & CD)
42,000 800,000 17,170,000

Other Asian countries

In other Asian countries, Sega projected to sell 3 million Mega Drive units, along with 900,000 Game Gear units.[23]

In Singapore, the Sega Mega Drive captured 50% of the market share, which it held from 1989 to 1991. During 1992 to 1995, the SNES captured and held a majority of the market share.[24]

In South Korea, the Mega Drive was officially released as the Samsung Super Gam*Boy/Aladdinboy. It sold 194,000 units as of 1993, beating the SNES (released as the Hyundai Super Comboy), which sold 80,000 units as of 1993.[25]

Americas

In Brazil, the Mega Drive/Genesis was the market leader, capturing a 75% market share, building on the success of the Sega Master System, the previous market leader.[26] Sega licensed its hardware to Tec Toy, which sold third-party consoles in the country. By 1996, Tec Toy sold 2 million Sega consoles, mostly the Master System as well as the Mega Drive.[27] By 2012, Tec Toy sold 3 million Mega Drive consoles in Brazil.[28]

North America

The cumulative (including annual) sales of fourth-generation consoles in North America:

Note: This data (amalgamated from varied sources) is incomplete and disputed. NPD figures published in 2014 state that US sales for the Super Nintendo were 20 million (as stated in the table below, and by Nintendo), but that US sales for the Sega Genesis were 18.5 million.[29] Sega declared that they had sold 18 million Genesis consoles by 1997,[30] and a chronology of Sega sales milestones states that North American Genesis sales were 19 million by 1999[31] (and 20 million for Super Nintendo).[32] All sources providing Genesis numbers notably lower than those arrived at in the table below.

Year Sales
TurboGrafx‑16 Sega Genesis [s 1] Super NES
TG16 TCD GEN [sn 1] GEN 3 Nomad SCD 32X
1989 300,000[5] 500,000[49]
1990 750,000[50]
(+450,000)
20,000[50] 1.5 million[34]
(+1 million)
1991 1.7 million
[51]
(+950,000)
100,000
[51]
(+80,000)
3.1 million
(+1.6 million)[36][37]
2 million
[5][52][53]
1992 7.6 million
(+4.5 million)
[38][54]
220,000
[5][38]
6.9 million
[20]
(+4.9 million)
1993 13.5 million
(+5.9 million)
[55][39][56]
(60% share)[57]
1.3 million
[58][20]
(+1,080,000)
11.3 million
[20]
(+4.4 million)
(37% share)[59]
1994 17.5 million
(+4 million)
(58%)[40]
1.5 million
[20]
(+200,000)
500,000
[40]
15 million[20]
(+3.7 million)
(36.43%)[42]
1995 2.5 million
[3]
19.6 million
(+2.1 million)
[41]
17.6 million
(+2.6 million)
[41]
1996 20,915,904
(+1,315,904)
(18.56%)[42]
18,725,892
(+1,125,892)
(15.88%)[42]
1997 21,393,824
(+477,920)
(4.12%)[42]
19,318,652
(+592,760)
(5.11%)[42]
1998 22,052,795
(+658,971)
(5.31%)[42]
2 million 19,518,453
(+199,801)
(1.61%)[42]
1999 22,483,808
(+431,013)
(3.53%)[42]
2.5 million
(+500,000)
1 million 19,533,105
(+14,652)
(0.12%)[42]
2000 22,538,145
(+54,337)
(0.67%)[42]
19,533,916
(+811)
(0.01%)[42]
2001 22,439,461
(+1,316)
(0.01%)[42]
19,533,930
(+14)
(0.0001%)
[42]
2003 20 million
[6]
Total 2.5 million
(TG16)
2.6 million
(TG16 & TCD)
24,939,461 (Genesis 1-3)
25,939,461 (Genesis 1-3 & Nomad)
27,439,461 (Genesis 1-3, Nomad, SCD)
27,939,461 (Genesis 1-3, Nomad, SCD, 32X)
20 million

Western Europe

The install base estimates of fourth-generation consoles in Western Europe:

Year Sales
Sega Mega Drive [20] Super NES
[20]
CD-i [60] Commodore Amiga
Mega Drive [20][61] Mega CD 32X Mega PC CDTV [12] Amiga [14]
1990 600,000[51]
1991 1,800,000[51]
(+1,200,000)
1992 5,400,000[51]
(+3,600,000)
2,030,000 33,000
1993 7,250,000[51]
(+1,850,000)
(60+% share)[57]
210,000 3,590,000
(+1,560,000)
280,000
(+247,000)
25,800 3,980,000[14]
1994 8,270,000
(+1,020,000)
415,000
(+205,000)
65,000 6,000[5] 4,650,000
(+1,060,000)
1995 8,770,000
(+500,000)
486,000
(add-ons & PC)
4,900,000
(+250,000)
1996 8,970,000
(+200,000)
5,000,000
(+100,000)
1997 9,170,000
(+200,000)
5,050,000
(+50,000)
1998 9,656,000
(incl. add-ons & PC)

The regional install base estimates for Western Europe:

Note: This data only goes up to 1994 and is thus incomplete.

Nation(s) Sales
Sega Mega Drive [20] Super NES
[20]
CD-i Commodore Amiga
Mega Drive Mega CD 32X Mega PC CDTV [12] Amiga [14]
United Kingdom (1994)[61] 4,000,000 80,000 35.000 1,700,000 1,500,000
France (1994) 1,300,000 65.000 5,000 1.000.000 250,000
Germany (1994) 800,000 140,000 10,000 1,400,000 25,800[12] 1,300,000
Italy (1994) 400,000 10,000 5,000 200,000 600,000
Belgium (1994) 160,000 7,000 2,000 70,000 45,000
Netherlands (1994) 160,000 13,000 3,000 130,000
Spain (1994) 600,000[62] 30,000 5,000 300,000 105,000
Others (1994) 1,900,000 70,000 500,000
Platform Total 9,170,000 415,000 65,000 6,000 [5] 5,050,000 280,000 [60] 25,800 3,800,000
9,656,000

Software

Sales

System Software sales Attach rate (per console) Source
Sega Mega Drive / Genesis 576,161,130 16 [s 2]
Super Nintendo Entertainment System 379,060,000 7.72 [67]

Rentals

In the United States, Sega Genesis software dominated video game rentals. More than 60% of Sega Genesis game cartridges that were sold were rented first.[68] In comparison, Nintendo was more reluctant to rent its games.

Revenue

In terms of wholesale software revenue in 1995, Sega generated $1.773 billion in the United States, compared to Nintendo's $1.486 billion.[69]

Sales trends

Fourth generation console sales


Notes

Sales Numbers

  1. 1.0 1.1 Sega Mega Drive/Genesis:
    Worldwide sales
    1st party: 38.314 million[sn 1]
    3rd party: 3−4.5 million[sn 2][sn 3]
    Sega Nomad: 1 million[45]

    Regional sales
    North America: 24.144−25.644 million (22.144 million 1st party[sn 1] + 1−2.5 million 3rd party[sn 2] + 1 million Sega Nomad[45])
    Brazil: 3 million[sn 3]
    Japan: 3.58 million[46]
    Western Europe: 9.17 million[47]
    Other: 3.42 million[48] (left over from initial 29 million,[sn 1] may or may not include overlap with Tec Toy's pre 1995 sales)

  2. Sega Mega Drive (Genesis) software sales:
    • North America (1989-1998) – 347,741,130 software units
      • 1989-1996 – 20,515,904 hardware units at 16:1 attach ratio[63] = 328,254,464 software units
      • 1997 – 9 million software units[64]
      • 1998 – 10 million software units[65]
    • Western Europe (1990-1997) – 9.17 million hardware units at 16:1 attach ratio = 146.72 million software units
      • 1999-2001 – 486,666 hardware units = At least 486,666 software units
    • Japan (1988-1995) – 3.58 million hardware units at 16:1 attach ratio = 57.28 million software units
    • Brazil (1990-2012) – 3 million hardware units[28] = More than 21 million software units
      • Virtually all consoles came bundled with at least 1 game, while consoles sold from 1996 onwards came bundled with at least 10 or more games.[66] Less than 1 million consoles were sold by 1996,[27] thus more than 2 million consoles sold afterwards were bundled with at least 10 or more games between 1996 and 2012, giving 20 million software units. With remaining 1 million consoles sold, at least 1 or more games were bundled, giving more than 1 million software units.
    • Other – 3.42 million hardware units[s 1] = At least 3.42 software units


Sales Notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Sega has never released a total sales figure for the Sega Genesis. However, there is a detailed history of Sega's first party North American sales through 1998 totaling 20.998 million, a number confirmed by the New York Times' statement "some 20 million 16-bit Genesis consoles in the United States alone" in 1998;[33] total North American sales had reached over 22.144 million by 2001.

    North American sales history
    1989-1990: 1.5 million[34][35]
    1991: 1.6 million[36][37]
    1992: 4.5 million[38]
    1993: 5.5 million[39]
    1994: 4 million[40]
    1995: 2.1 million[41]
    1996: 1.32 million[42]
    1997: 477,920[42]
    1998: 658,971[42]
    1999: 431,013[42]
    2000: 54,337[42]
    2001: 1,316[42]
    Total: 22.144 million

  2. 2.0 2.1 Majesco sold between 1 and 2 million units of their North American only Sega Genesis 3 by the end of 1998.[43] 2.5 million units were sold by the time of its discontinuation[44] in 1999.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Tec Toy has sold over 3 million units of their own Mega Drives in Brazil (as of July 30th, 2012).[28] However, it is unknown if Tec Toy's pre 1995 sales are included in the initial 29 million or not. The Mega Drive is still produced and sold by Tec Toy to this day.


References

  1. https://web.archive.org/web/20190817210846/https://www.i4u.com/2017/10/125106/sega-genesis-flashback-hd-2017-console-pre-order
  2. Interview: Joe Miller (Senior Vice President of Product Development, Sega of America), Sega-16
  3. 3.0 3.1 Blake Snow (2007-07-30). The 10 Worst-Selling Consoles of All Time. GamePro. Archived from the original on 2007-05-08. Retrieved on 2008-10-25.
  4. Man!ac Magazine staff (May 1995). "Videospiel-Algebra" (in German). Man!ac Magazine (Cybermedia Verlagsgesellschaft mbH).
  5. 5.00 5.01 5.02 5.03 5.04 5.05 5.06 5.07 5.08 5.09 5.10 Sales numbers from magazine scans (part 2)
  6. 6.0 6.1 Super NES. Classic Systems. Nintendo. Archived from the original on 2007-01-01. Retrieved on 2007-12-04.
  7. 8 million in Japan, 2.5 million in United States
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Famitsu, Issue # 392, Page 8 (March 1996)
  9. Snow, Blake (2007-07-30). The 10 Worst-Selling Handhelds of All Time 1. GamePro. Archived from the original on 2007-10-12. Retrieved on 2008-07-05.
  10. Blake Snow (2007-07-30). The 10 Worst-Selling Consoles of All Time. GamePro. Archived from the original on 2007-05-08. Retrieved on 2008-10-25.
  11. 350,000 units as of June 1994
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 Amiga sales for Germany (as of 31/12/1993), Marketing Division Commodore Frankfurt
  13. "Computing Japan". Computing Japan (LINC Japan) 54-59: 18. 1999. https://books.google.com/books?id=oP61AAAAIAAJ. Retrieved 6 February 2012. "...its venerable PC 9800 series, which has sold more than 18 million units over the years, and is the reason why NEC has been the number one PC vendor in Japan for as long as anyone can remember."
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 Commodore-Amiga Sales Figures, Amiga History Guide
  15. Total Share: Personal Computer Market Share 1975-2010
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 Japanese Hardware Shipments
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 Annual Japanese Hardware Shipments
  18. Nintendo Historical Shipment Data (1983 - Present)
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 19.3 FY 93/94 to FY97/98 hardware sales (Edge, Consoles +)
  20. 20.00 20.01 20.02 20.03 20.04 20.05 20.06 20.07 20.08 20.09 20.10 20.11 Screen Digest. Screen Digest. March 1995. p. 60.
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 21.3 21.4 21.5 21.6 21.7 Consolidated Sales Transition by Region (PDF). Nintendo (2010-01-27). Archived from the original on 2010-02-14. Retrieved on 2010-02-14.
  22. Parish, Jeremy (2014-08-01). TurboGrafx-16 at 25: Remembering the Little PC Engine That Could (en-US). USgamer.
  23. Asia, Inc: The Region's Business Magazine, Volume 2, Issues 1-4 - "While European sales are its main engine of growth, Sega is increasingly upbeat about Asia. The gamemaker expects to sell 3.2 million home-use, MegaDrive game units and 900,000 hand-held Game Gear models to the region"
  24. Benjamin Ng Wai-ming, "Japanese Video Games in Singapore: History, Culture and Industry", Asian Journal of Social Science, Vol. 29, No. 1 (2001), pp. 139-162 [141], Brill Publishers
  25. Game World (South Korea)
  26. https://www.consoledatabase.com/consoleinfo/segamegadrive/index.html/
  27. 27.0 27.1 Szczepaniak, John (2006). "Company Profile: Tec Toy". Retro Gamer (30): 50–53.
  28. 28.0 28.1 28.2 Théo Azevedo (2012-07-30). Vinte anos depois, Master System e Mega Drive vendem 150 mil unidades por ano no Brasil (Portuguese). UOL. Retrieved on 2012-10-18. “Base instalada: 5 milhões de Master System; 3 milhões de Mega Drive”
  29. https://equities.wedbush.com/clientsite/Research/ActionAlertFilePreview.asp?UUID=E4AFF57F-DDBC-437F-8520-AF38BEDD3E43
  30. http://web.archive.org/web/19980629080417/http://www.sega.com/spotlight/features/e3/genesis_lineup.html
  31. https://web.archive.org/web/20091113085752/http://vidgame.info/sega/sega1997.htm
  32. https://web.archive.org/web/20091113111055/http://vidgame.info/nintendo/nin1997.htm
  33. Stephanie Strom (1998-03-14). "Sega Enterprises Pulls Its Saturn Video Console From the U.S. Market". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/1998/03/14/business/international-business-sega-enterprises-pulls-its-saturn-video-console-us-market.html?pagewanted=1. Retrieved 2010-01-02.
  34. 34.0 34.1 http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=jU9LAAAAIBAJ&sjid=miMNAAAAIBAJ&pg=5346,882338
  35. Hisey, Pete (1991-11-04). New technology fans video war - 16-bit video games. Discount Store News. Retrieved on 2011-01-17.
  36. 36.0 36.1 Elrich, David (1992-01-24). "Nintendo and Sega face off on game market at WCES". Video Business. "Sega's 1991 sales figure of 1.6 million"
  37. 37.0 37.1 http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=zEWLzTG8AaoC&pg=PA64
  38. 38.0 38.1 38.2 Reuters (1993-01-10). Sega Vows 1993 Will Be The Year It Overtakes Nintendo. Buffalo News. Retrieved on 2011-01-17.
  39. 39.0 39.1 Greenstein, Jane (1994-06-17). "Sega values 16-bit blitz at $500 million". Video Business. "Sega expects Genesis hardware sales in 1994 to be the same as last year, 5.5 million units."
  40. 40.0 40.1 40.2 Sega threepeat as video game leader for Christmas sales; second annual victory; Sega takes No. 1 position for entire digital interactive entertainment industry. Business Wire (1995-01-06). Retrieved on 2011-01-17.
  41. 41.0 41.1 41.2 Game-System Sales. Newsweek (1996-01-14). Archived from the original on 2013-05-13. Retrieved on 2011-12-02.
  42. 42.00 42.01 42.02 42.03 42.04 42.05 42.06 42.07 42.08 42.09 42.10 42.11 42.12 42.13 42.14 42.15 42.16 42.17 42.18 Matthew T. Clements & Hiroshi Ohashi (October 2004). Indirect Network Effects and the Product Cycle: Video Games in the U.S., 1994-2002. NET Institute 12, 24. Retrieved on 2011-09-21.
  43. Pettus, Sam (2004-07-07). Genesis: A New Beginning. Sega-16. Archived from the original on 2008-05-16. Retrieved on 2008-03-06.
  44. G. Kandal (2009-10-15). Flashback La MegaDrive. Team AAA. Retrieved on 2011-01-17.
  45. 45.0 45.1 Blake Snow (2007-07-30). The 10 Worst-Selling Handhelds of All Time. GamePro. Archived from the original on 2010-03-23. Retrieved on 2010-01-02. (Archive)
  46. Nintendo Wii almost at 8 million sold. GameZine (2009-04-01). Retrieved on 2011-01-17.
  47. See Western Europe below
  48. "Video game market share up to the end of fiscal year 1994". Man!ac Magazine. May, 1995.
  49. http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1499&dat=19900123&id=XcAcAAAAIBAJ&sjid=3H4EAAAAIBAJ&pg=2643,6188824
  50. 50.0 50.1 http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/225466/stalled_engine_the_turbografx16_.php?page=3
  51. 51.0 51.1 51.2 51.3 51.4 51.5 Sales numbers from magazine scans
  52. http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1356&dat=19920110&id=IV0xAAAAIBAJ&sjid=TgcEAAAAIBAJ&pg=3802,6316567
  53. http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1696&dat=19911103&id=2useAAAAIBAJ&sjid=pUcEAAAAIBAJ&pg=4864,527272
  54. Electronic Gaming Monthly, issue 44, March 1993, page 4
  55. https://archive.org/details/Edge_UK_012/page/n15
  56. https://web.archive.org/web/20091113055832/vidgame.info/sega/sega1994.htm
  57. 57.0 57.1 Electronic Games, issue 15 (December 1993), page 148
  58. http://www.nytimes.com/1994/08/25/business/video-game-maker-making-the-switch-to-pc-hardware.html
  59. http://www.bloomberg.com/bw/stories/1994-02-20/nintendos-yamauchi-no-more-playing-around
  60. 60.0 60.1 IDATE: Executive Summary, September 1997, page 33
  61. 61.0 61.1 UK Installed Bases (EA)
  62. "Mega Drive: La más vendida" (in Spanish). Todo Sega (27): 15. June 1995.
  63. Press release: 1997-06-04: Sega Lowers Price on Hardware, Software
  64. Sega farms out Genesis. Consumer Electronics (March 2, 1998). Archived from the original on July 9, 2012.
  65. Service Games: The Rise and Fall of SEGA: Enhanced Edition (2013), page 100
  66. https://segaretro.org/Mega_Drive_consoles_in_Brazil
  67. https://www.nintendo.co.jp/ir/en/finance/hard_soft/
  68. Back to Basics: The Fundamentals of Today's Theatrical Motion Picture Business (1996), page 977 – "The idea of renting CD-ROM titles originated from the gaming industry's cartridge rental model: More than 60 percent of Sega's game cartridges that are purchased have been rented first."
  69. Business Rankings Annual (1997), page 569


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