PlayStation 2 production hits 50 million

Production of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.'s (SCEI) PlayStation 2 games console has passed the 50 million unit mark, the company said Thursday.

Total worldwide production of the console, which was first launched in March 2000 in the Japan market, stood at 50.03 million units as of Wednesday, SCEI said in a statement. Of that, 43 percent of all consoles produced were models for the North American market, 32 percent for the European market and the remaining 25 percent for the Japanese and South Korean markets.

Production of the PlayStation 2 reached the 50 million unit mark after 2 years and 10 months from its initial debut, which is 1 year and 2 months faster than it took the original PlayStation console to get to the same point, said SCEI.

It also comes just 4 months after PlayStation 2 production passed the 40 million unit mark and the quick jump was helped by record sales of the console over the holiday period.

SCEI said it sold a total of 8.5 million PlayStation 2 consoles during November and December, a jump of 24 percent on the previous year. Of those sales, 4 million were in the North American market, 3.4 million were in the European market and 940,000 units were in the Japanese market. End of year domestic sales were down 27 percent however those in North America and Europe were up 42 percent and 27 percent respectively.

Sony confirmed the team has an installed base of 700,000 PlayStation 2 consoles in Australia.

Along with the console there are also more than 1,500 software titles available, production of which has passed 300 million units, said SCEI.

The company also recently started selling network adapters for an online gaming service. Sales of the PlayStation 2 network adapter in North America had reached 400,000 units by the end of December 2002 while production of adapters for SCEI's service in Japan stood at 190,000 units at the same time, the company said.

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Martyn Williams.

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