Sony has announced the shipment of its 70 millionth PlayStation 2, marking another major milestone in the life of the console, while both SCEA and SCEE have reported strong sales performance in 2003.
According to this morning's announcement from Sony Japan, North America still leads the world in terms of PS2 shipments, with 29.26 million units, followed fairly closely by Europe and the other PAL territories with 24.56 million units. Japan trails in third place - unsurprisingly given the disparity in population - with 16.18 million units.
Of course, those are shipment figures, rather than installed base - but the installed base figures for the PS2 are also hugely impressive, with SCEA alone reporting 3 million sales in November and December of last year, bringing the North American installed base to just over 24.5 million units.
Meanwhile in Europe, SCEE has reported that sales of PS2 consoles across the PAL territories rose by 10 per cent last year - a significant rise, and one which may mark the peak of console sales in the current generation of hardware if market analysts are to be believed.
Greece was the territory which showed the most growth, with a massive 141 per cent rise in sales, but several other territories also showed very impressive figures - with Spain recording 40 per cent growth, 32 per cent in the Benelux countries, and 20 per cent in Germany.
The figures for PS2 online gaming in the USA and Europe make for interesting reading, with SCEA claiming that there are a massive 2.4 million connected consoles out there - just under 10 per cent of its installed base, giving it around the same percentage of connected users as Microsoft has - while Europe lags a long way behind, with around 100,000 PS2s going online in 2003.