PlayStation shipments hit 70 million worldwide

Three days after it turned five years old, global shipments of the PlayStation game console have passed the 70 million unit mark, Sony Computer Entertainment announced this week.

In Japan, where it made its world debut on December 3, 1995, Sony has shipped 16.8 million units to date, the company said. In North America, shipments stand at 25.9 million units and European shipments total 27.3 million -- making Europe Sony's largest market for the machine.

As shipments reach another milestone for Sony, all eyes are now turning to PlayStation 2, the successor to the PlayStation. Scheduled to make its long-anticipated debut in Japan on March 4, 2000, the company hopes to sell a million PlayStation 2 devices by the end of the month. Its international debut will take place in North America in the second half of 2000, according to Sony's current plans.

Just as the original PlayStation expanded the market for computer games and attracted people who had never owned a computer game system before, so Sony hopes the PlayStation 2 will move further into new territory.

More than just a game console, the new version will also double as a DVD (digital versatile disk) video player, set-top Internet access device and access terminal for broadband networks.

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