Sony says it has churned out a whopping 50 million PS2 (PlayStation2) consoles since its launch back in March 2000.

Of those consoles 43 percent went to the US, making it far and away the largest market for PS2. Europe came second with 32 percent of the market with its country of origin, Japan, twinning up with the South Korean market to make up the final 25 percent.

The PS2 has won this popularity in a far shorter time than its predecessor, taking just two years and 10 months to reach the 50 million mark, while it too the PS1 a further 14 months to get to this point.

The Christmas holiday period proved a real boost to the PS2 as 10 million of the units were produced in the last four months.

Sony said it sold a total of 8.5 million PS2 consoles during November and December, a jump of 24 percent on the previous year. Four million consoles were sold in the US, 3.4 million in Europe and just under a million in Japan.

It does seem that the Japanese are not as sold on the PS2 as their American and European counterparts. Not only is the console not as popular there, but sales actually fell by 27 percent from the same time last year. Sony needn't worry too much, however: sales in the US and Europe remain strong, increasing by 42 and 27 percent, respectively.

Perhaps the boom in PS2 sales in America could be put down to the recently launched network adapter for the console. The adapter is slated for launch in Europe this spring.