PlayStation Meeting 2005: New games, latest stats

More than 91 million consoles and 863 million games have been sold worldwide, with more exciting games on the way.

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TOKYO--This week at the PlayStation Meeting 2005, Sony Computer Entertainment updated visitors with the latest PlayStation 2 sales statistics and presented trailers for upcoming games for the console.

Sony revealed that it has shipped 91.62 million PS2 units worldwide as of July 20. Of those, 37 million were in North America, 21.41 were in Japan and Asia, and 33.21 were in Europe. PS2 software has shipped a cumulative 863 million during the same period: 395 million in America, 176 million in Japan, including Asia, and 292 million in Europe.

When including original PlayStation game sales, the software figure jumps to 1.822 billion units: 767 million in America, 461 million in Japan and Asia, and 594 million in Europe and PAL regions. Overall, the PlayStation and PS2 are currently available in 120 countries with a library of more than 13,000 games: more than 7,700 for the PlayStation and 5,200 for the PS2.

As for sales in Japan, Sony disclosed that there have been some demographic changes following the launch of the new, slimline PS2 console last November. While most owners of the old PS2 were aged 25-29, the majority of buyers of the slimline model are 40-44. Buyers aged 30-39 have increased, while consumers in the 20-29 age range have dramatically dropped, possibly because they already own a PS2. Sony also revealed that the number of female purchasers has been increasing, and sales of the PS2 rose from 12.9 percent to 17.8 percent with the appearance of the new model.

After briefing visitors with the latest statistics on the PS2's success, Sony showed off some short trailers of anticipated upcoming games, starting with Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII. Aside from the main character Vincent, other characters from the original series confirmed in the trailer include Cid, Barret, and Tifa. Other games shown at the meeting included: Bandai's Dragon Ball Z Sparking!, Naruto: Uzumaki Ninden, Kidou Senshi Gundam Seed Destiny: Generation of CE; Square Enix's Grandia and Code Age Commanders; Capcom's Shin Onimusha: Dawn of Dreams and Resident Evil 4; Namco's Tales of Legendia; Atlus' Devil Summoner: Kuzunoha Raidou; Sega's Pro Yakyuu Team o Tsukurou 3; Konami's Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence; and Sony Computer Entertainment's Ratchet & Clank 4th (which may be the Japanese title for Ratchet: Deadlocked) and Shadow of the Colossus.

At the end of its PS2 presentation, Sony introduced game studio Level 5 president Akihiro Hibino to the stage. The studio is best known as the developer of Square Enix's Dragon Quest VIII and the stillborn True Fantasy Live Online for the Xbox. Hibino announced that his studio is making a new role-playing game for the PlayStation 2 titled Rogue Galaxy, and he showed a two-minute trailer of the game.

According to Hibino, Rogue Galaxy has been in develpoment for the past two and a half years, and it overlapped the creation of Dragon Quest VIII. This will be the biggest project for Level 5 to date, in terms of both its development period and the volume of staff working on it. Rogue Galaxy will be published by Sony Computer Entertainment in December in Japan. No US release plans have been announced yet.

"As a creator, I always wanted to create a title that was as big as Dragon Quest or Final Fantasy. I believe Rogue Galaxy is on the same scale. This title will be our challenge to all the RPGs in the world," said Hibino.

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