The PSN made 529.1bn yen, or nearly $4.9 billion U.S., which is notably more than Nintendo’s 504.4bn yen, or roughly $4.66 billion U.S.. This fact came to light thanks to Twitter user ZhugeEX.
Sony's PlayStation Network sales hit 529,000m yen which means that PSN generated more revenue than the whole of Nintendo (504,000m yen).
— ZhugeEX (@ZhugeEX) April 28, 2016
While it’s significant that one company’s online storefront made more than the entirety of one of its biggest competitors, it’s none too surprising. Nintendo’s Wii U has been struggling since launch. Even with its bevy of quality titles, consumers haven’t been too attracted to the touchscreen-controlled console.
Compare that to Sony, whose PlayStation 4 has sold phenomenally well. According to VGChartz, the PS4 has sold a whopping 39.81 million units in the two-and-a-half years it’s been out. That completely destroys the Wii U’s 12.98 million. With an install base as high as Sony’s, it’s hard to compete.
But even then, it probably wasn’t digital sales alone that accounted for Sony’s massive online success. Much of it probably also has to do with its PlayStation Plus subscription service. Once a voluntary program that gave gamers free goodies and discounts, it’s now all but mandatory. With the release of the PS4, Sony made the $50 a year PS+ subscription a requirement to play games online.
As for Nintendo, its 3DS is selling well; currently it’s at 59.11 million units sold globally. But with the influx of mobile, a slice of the handheld pie isn’t as big as it used to be. Nintendo recognizes this and is already moving forward by bringing games to mobile and is developing a new console, cod-enamed the NX. It will be launching in March 2017 with a brand new Legend of Zelda game in toe. This means that Nintendo will not be showing off its new system at this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo, leaving many fans in the dark for the time being.