The Playstation 2 is still the world’s favourite console by a long way, with over forty million units shipped over the lifetime of the system to date a milestone reached only four and a half months after the 30 million mark was passed.
Ten million consoles in 18 weeks is a huge achievement for Sony, doubly so since both the GameCube and Xbox are now on the market and neither of them has clocked up those kind of figures, despite their more powerful hardware.
Just over 12 million of the PS2s shipped to date have been in Europe and the other PAL territories, confirming our status as the number two market for videogames in the world significantly behind North America, which has had shipments of over 17 million units, but ahead of Japan, which has had just shy of 11 million units shipped.
Although figures for shipments don’t actually translate directly into installed base the stores and distributors have to sell the consoles to consumers first it’s unlikely that there’ll be any of those consoles left on shelves after this Christmas, particularly thanks to the recent price-drop of the PS2 in Europe and the strong line-up of software for the system in the run up to the holiday season.
SCEE is keen to emphasise that much of the key software on the way will actually be published by Sony itself, with The Getaway, This is Football 2003, Ratchet and Clank, Kingdom Hearts, WRC II Extreme and Formula One 2002 all due to appear before the end of the year. And the console sales which will be generated by that little lot will no doubt be helped by a third party line-up which includes the likes of Pro Evolution Soccer 2, Suikoden 3, Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness, Auto Modellista, GunGrave, WWE SmackDown! Shut Your Mouth and, of course, GTA Vice City