How Many Games?

A piece of info piqued my interest on Gama Sutra the other day:

“For the entire life of the NES there were only 785 Carts in TOTAL shipped for the USA and Europe.”

Really? That seems like both a lot and not enough, given the legacy of the Nintendo Entertainment System in saving Western video gaming following Atari’s crash during the early 1980s. (And even that number is open to question depending if you include ‘unofficial’ games and what may or may not have been released in the US – it’s amazing to me that there’s conflicting evidence about even the most basic questions about the NES, such as when Super Mario Bros actually was released in the US). But going with that figure, it made me wonder about how the modern consoles stack up.

Taking to Wikipedia and looking to only include titles that have had physical release (i.e. so no digital downloads only, if I can help it), my rough count is:

And as a point of comparison that also may be of interest:

(Yes, that’s a slightly unfair comparison, given that Steam titles may be very old, very small and / or very indie, but I thought the number was interesting.)

These figures are all subject to the variables that make any Wikipedia entry unreliable, but it’s interesting to consider how many games are out there just within this generation.

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