In the face of competition from next-gen consoles from all three of the major manufacturers, Sony‘s PlayStation 2 system continues to hold its ground, helping propel sales in the first quarter of 2007 to record levels.

The PlayStation 2 sold 280,000 units in March, the final month of Q1 2007, more than doubling the 130,000 unit sales of the PlayStation 3, Sony’s next-gen system. In fact, the PlayStation 2 handily outsold all of its next-gen brethren in March: Microsoft put out 199,000 Xbox 360 systems, while Nintendo sold 259,000 Wii consoles, although this number was cut short by supply shortages.

According to Wedbush Morgan Securities game analyst Michael Pachter, the PlayStation 2 is still very much the engine that’s driving the impressive sales in the game industry. “It still seems to be the year of the PS2,” Pachter said. “Consumers keep buying PS2 games, with barely any drop-off. Virtually all of the year-over-year growth is attributable to a slower-than-expected decline in PS2 software sales.”

Pachter indicated he expects PlayStation 2 software sales to remain strong over the summer, due largely to game tie-ins with summer blockbuster movies such as Spider-Man 3, Shrek the Third, and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

Powered by its massive user-base, PlayStation 2 titles are still capable of tearing up the sales charts. In less than one month of sales, the PlayStation 2-exclusive action game God of War II became the best selling game of the first quarter, with 833,000 units sold in March alone.

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