Console wars round two is here – Time to choose the finalists


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Welcome back to Neowin’s console wars. Two weeks ago, we started a tournament with every major console from each generation, and thanks to your votes, it’s now time for round two. As previously sated, the two most voted consoles from each poll have moved on to the second round, which will consist of three matches, each pitting four consoles against each other.

The first matchup in the previous round pitted the second and seventh generations of consoles against each other and, unsurprisingly, the second-generation hardware didn’t hold a candle to its newer counterparts. The Xbox 360 came out ahead with roughly 45% of the votes, a smashing result. In second place, the PlayStation 3 obtained just over 20% of the votes. Neither of the consoles was the best-selling platform of the generation, but the PlayStation 3 came out ahead between the two, and the Xbox 360’s crushing win can likely be attributed to the Microsoft-focused nature of Neowin. We’ll see more of that in the rest of the polls.

As for the second matchup, it featured third- and sixth-generation consoles, and once again, the newer hardware came out on top. The PlayStation 2 pulled off a clean victory with just over 30% of the votes, which isn’t at all surprising considering it’s the best-selling console of all time, having sold more than 155 million units. Second place was given to the original Xbox with 23.6% of the votes, despite it only selling 24 million units back in the day.

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That means the first poll in this round is all about Sony and Microsoft:

Next up, the third match in round one features fourth- and fifth-generation consoles, and it’s one of the closest races so far. The original PlayStation pulled ahead with 26% of the votes, with the Nintendo 64 trailing it only slightly with 25.6%. The result is surprising considering the PlayStation sold over 100 million units, while the Nintendo 64 sold just under 33 million. Left behind was the iconic SNES, which only amassed 21.9% of the votes.

The fourth poll pitted the eighth generation of home consoles against the fifth generation of handhelds, and it would seem there’s not much love for the classics here. Microsoft once again took the top spot with the Xbox One, garnering 35.8% of the votes, and the Nintendo Switch slightly edged out the PlayStation 4 for second place, receiving 26.7% of your choices. Microsoft stopped reporting console sales numbers a few years ago, but estimates point to it having sold around 50 million units as of December 31, 2019, which was about half of what its direct rival, the PlayStation 4, had sold at the time. As of the latest report, the Switch has sold just under 80 million units, but it’s also been on the market for much less time.

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And so, the second match in round two is:

From here on out, we’re focusing on handhelds, and Nintendo has absolutely dominated the market in this area. Pitting the fourth and eighth generations of handheld consoles together, it was Nintendo’s original Game Boy that came out on top, leading with 37% of the popular vote. In a close second, the Nintendo 3DS obtained 35.4% of our readers’ choices. Sales-wise, both consoles were at the top of the chain for their time – the Game Boy family sold over 118 million units, and the Nintendo 3DS sold just under 76 million, leaving little room for competition.

The picture isn’t all too different in the final match-up of round one, with the Nintendo DS coming out ahead with 37.7% of the votes. The dual-screen handheld sold over 154 million units and is the best-selling portable console ever, so that’s not surprising. In second place, the Game Boy Advance conquered 31.2% of our readers’ preference. This was one of the least competitive generations in handheld consoles, and the GBA was practically the only viable platform at the time. Even though it was superseded by the DS just three years later, it managed to sell over 81 million units.

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And with that, the final match in round two has a guaranteed winner – Nintendo. Here are your options:

And those are the matchups for round two! We’ve gotten rid of a lot of contestants that barely anyone cared for, so the real competition starts now. Every console in these polls played a major role in gaming, so it’s up to you to decide which ones were the biggest. The winners of these polls will participate in a three-way final round.

Don’t agree with the results? Let us know in the comments and share the tournament with your friends so we get the most realistic picture possible. And stay tuned for the final round at the end of February!



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