UK Hardware: Happy Birthday PS2
Five million barrier in sight.
It was another massive week for Sony in the High Street as it celebrated the third anniversary of the release of the PS2 with its highest weekly sales figure for nearly a year, outselling the competition by over three and a half to one in the process.
The latest cumulative figure for the UK puts the PS2 just over 100,000 shy of the magic five million mark, and if - as expected - sales top six figures this week, then champagne corks will be popping in Golden Square/ Gt Marborough St in seven days' time.
Last week's PS2 figures across ChartTrack's 6000-strong retailer panel were just short of 80,000, but were still 23 per cent up week on week - but over 40,000 less year on year, underscoring the rapid decline in the growth of the UK console market.
Xbox figures revealed week on week growth of 22 per cent, nudging it above the 20,000 mark for the first time this year, but over 6000 short of the figure sold in the same week last year when it was significantly more expensive. Cumulative wise, Microsoft looks set to pass the one million installed base mark just before Christmas, so look out for the inevitable press release...
Nintendo, meanwhile, had mixed news, having seen GBA sales rocket another ten per cent week on week to a cumulative total of just short of 40,000, while combined total sales to date put it at well over two million.
GameCube, however, looks to be having its last hurrah, with sales down 17 per cent week on week, selling just short of 16,000 last week - although it's worth noting that year on year, it's the only console actually selling more than it was in the same week last year. Worryingly for Ninty, its installed base is now 300,000 behind the Xbox, and any chance of closing that gap appears to be gone now that demand for Mario Kart: Double Dash has peaked and the supply of big new releases has dried up.
Nokia, meanwhile, continues to struggle in gaming retailers, with its N-Gage gaming "deck" selling another couple of hundred units. We await official figures from the Finnish giant.