Mat Piscatella of the NPD Group has released all of their US video game sales data for June, and it’s full of the usual intrigue. But there’s one particular detail that’s really wild for the Game Boy fans out there. According to the data and as relayed by Piscatella, Game Boy Advance (GBA) is the only video game console in US history to sell more total units in its first eight months than PlayStation 5 (PS5). PlayStation 5 is otherwise the fastest-selling console in US history.
Getting a lot of questions on this one… GBA is the only hardware platform in U.S. history that sold more units over its first 8 months in market than PS5 has. https://t.co/XpdCHhu4pM
— Mat Piscatella (@MatPiscatella) July 16, 2021
The launch triumph of Game Boy Advance over PlayStation 5 is even more fascinating when you look at lifetime GBA sales. In total, all versions of Game Boy Advance sold 81.51 million units worldwide, which is an awesome number but falls considerably short of all iterations of Game Boy and Game Boy Color at 118.69 million units or Nintendo DS at 154.02 million units. One might conclude from that myopic perspective that GBA was simply less popular in general, but it actually just has to do with the life cycle of the console.
Game Boy and then Game Boy Color reigned from 1989 to 2001, and Nintendo DS was the major handheld from 2004 to 2011. Game Boy Advance only had the relatively small time frame of 2001 to 2004 as Nintendo’s major handheld (even if Nintendo tried to pretend at first that Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS were two separate, non-competing products). Had DS not arrived so soon, that certainly would have been reflected positively in GBA’s lifetime sales.
Regardless, eight months on the market, Game Boy Advance is the US sales king over PlayStation 5, likely because of GBA’s awesomely strong launch lineup that included games like Super Mario Advance and Castlevania: Circle of the Moon. Spread this trivia to the far edges of the earth.