Sony's game console-cum-DVD player PlayStation 2 has weathered a bumpy start to rack up domestic shipments of four million by the end of 2000, company sources have revealed.

Worldwide sales of the console are expected to pass the 11 million mark by the end of March, one year after its debut. The upswing comes despite missing sales, particularly to North American holiday shoppers, because parts supply bottlenecks kept shipments below projections.

Game developers also appear to be warming to the console, with major game makers Square, Konami and Koei all planning to release PlayStation 2 titles in the upcoming months. Developers had complained that the console was hard to design for and were initially reluctant to make software for it.

Both rival Nintendo and Microsoft are expected to put pressure on Sony this year by launching their own new game consoles. But Sony has high hopes for Square's Final Fantasy X, which will be in the stores by the end of January.

The game console is considered a major technical step forward, serving as not only as a game console and a DVD player but also offering a device for accessing games, music, and films via broadband cable lines.