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Friday, 10 May, 2002, 15:36 GMT 16:36 UK
PlayStation 2 leads console wars
PS2
New developments for PS2 are expected soon
Sony is continuing to dominate the games console market as global sales of its PlayStation 2 (PS2) have topped the 30 million mark.

The console war has escalated in recent months with the launches of Microsoft's Xbox and Nintendo's GameCube.

Sony is reporting that since February it has sold four million PS2s, indicating the introduction into the market of rival consoles has not harmed sales.

Unsurprisingly, North America is the biggest market for PS2s, with 11.3 million sold since it was launched in 2000.

GameCube
GameCube: Launched in Europe in May
Japan and the rest of Asia is the second largest buyer at 9.9 million, followed by Europe with 8.8 million units sold.

The company says its plans for the future of the PlayStation will be unveiled at the influential Electronic Entertainment Expo which begins on 20 May in Los Angeles.

Industry analysts have predicted a price cut for the PS2 in the US is on the cards, with the $299 price tag set to drop to $199.

There will also be developments in hardware, software and online gaming.

Sony has also said it will release an adapter in August for PS2 to enable both dial-up and high-speed internet access and online gaming through the console.

Microsoft is also rumoured to be preparing a price cut for the Xbox in North America, following a recent price drop in Europe.

Surging sales

Estimates for sales of PS2 before the end of the year have been put at 15 million.

Microsoft is banking on selling up to 4 million Xboxes by June, having launched in the US in November.

But the company has so far been cagey about revealing how many boxes have actually been sold world-wide.

Eyebrows were raised when the price of the Xbox was slashed by 100 in the UK just five weeks after it hit the shops.

But Microsoft said the plan had worked and that sales of the Xbox had been "surging" since the price decrease.

Nintendo's GameCube has sold about 75,000 units in the UK since it was introduced at the beginning of May.

World-wide, sales of the machine have been put at four million consoles.

Xbox
The Xbox is Microsoft's first venture into games consoles
Meanwhile, two of the creators of the Xbox have joined forces with industry experts to start a company searching out talented games developers and hooking them up with games publishers.

Former Microsoft employees Seamus Blackley and Kevin Bachus are launching the Capital Entertainment Group, with $50m (34m) venture backing.

The start-up company will make money by taking a cut of profits from the games it signs up.


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