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Last Updated: Wednesday, 19 May, 2004, 10:34 GMT 11:34 UK
Playstation hits 100 million mark
Sony Playstation 2
Sony has cut Playstation prices to fend off competition
Japanese electronics giant Sony has shipped its 100 millionth Playstation, the company has announced.

According to Sony, the figure makes the Playstation - launched in 1994 - the biggest selling games console ever.

The numbers do not include sales of the newer Playstation 2, which appeared in 2000 and had shifted 70 million units by March of this year.

But the milestone follows a fall in sales, which contributed to a 23% slide in Sony's profits for 2003.

Sony is now developing PSP, a portable version of Playstation, which it hopes will reinvigorate its gaming hardware sales.

The PSP will compete with a new device from arch-rival Nintendo, thus far dubbed "DS" for its dual screens.

PLAYSTATION SALES WORLDWIDE
Japan: 20.72 million
North America: 39.67 million
Europe: 39.61 million
As of 18 May 2004. Source: Sony

Playstation has dominated the console business for some years, facing down competing machines from Nintendo and Sega - the latter now having given up on the hardware business.

More recently, Microsoft has mounted a stiff fight with its Xbox console, using sharp price cuts to eat into Sony's market position.

An Xbox now costs $149 (83) in the US, a late March move which - according to analysts NPD Group - helped its sales grow by 135% in April while Playstation 2 and Nintendo Gamecube sales both fell.

At the same time, NPD said, sales of software for the three consoles rose.

But sliding demand for games designed for older machines - including both the Playstation and the smaller, lighter PSOne, an equivalent machine Sony introduced in 2000 - meant overall sales fell 3% in financial terms.




SEE ALSO:
Games industry woos 'casual players'
13 May 04  |  Technology
Sony hit by drop in games sales
27 Apr 04  |  Business
PlayStation 'wins next gen wars'
09 Mar 04  |  Technology
Sluggish PS2 dents Sony profits
28 Jan 04  |  Business
Sony forced to clip PSX's wings
05 Dec 03  |  Technology
How Sony lost its way
28 Oct 03  |  Business
PlayStation fights falling sales
24 Jul 03  |  Technology


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