Sony today announced that it has shipped over 50 million PS2s worldwide as of January 15 - meaning that the console manufacturer is well ahead of schedule on meeting its targets for the current financial year, which aim for a ship out figure of 22.5 million units by the end of March. 21.3 million of those units have already made their way to retailers.
More impressive perhaps are comparisons with the original PlayStation - which took 14 months longer than the PS2 to cross the 50 million unit mark. The PS2 is certainly catching up on its older stablemate in terms of installed base, and looks almost certain to become the biggest-selling console in the world within the next couple of years.
The figures being celebrated by Sony today were boosted significantly by record sales over the Christmas period, with over 8.5 million units being shipped in November and December alone - a rise of 24 per cent over the same period last year, despite the arrival of competition from Microsoft and Nintendo.
In terms of global ship out figures, North America continues to lead the fray, with 21.5 million PS2 consoles shipped in the USA and Canada. Europe is a distant second, with 16 million units shipped, while Japan and the rest of the Far East lags behind with 12.5 million units.