Sales of the PlayStation 4 have topped 18.5 million worldwide, Sony has announced.

In a statement translated from Japanese by Gematsu, Sony sold 4.1 million units over the Christmas period to consumers, rather than to retailers.

The company also revealed that PlayStation Plus subscriptions now top 10.9 million, but made no mention of the PS Vita.

At Sony's CES 2015 keynote conference, CEO Kaz Hirai commented on the success, saying: "I'm liking those numbers. This is a remarkable success for this next generation console, and, actually, exceeding the rate of adoption of any other PlayStation platform [to date].

"PlayStation 4 continues to attract our valued users while providing the best place to play, and together with our third party developers and publishers, including a remarkable group of independent game developers, we will continue to provide the best entertainment available, while delivering Sony signature wow to our valued customers."

Sony's PlayStation 2 is the best-selling home console of all time, selling 150 million units, so to think PS4 is outpacing early sales of that is a great sign not just for the tech giant, but for the health of the industry overall.

PS4 has lead Microsoft's competitor the Xbox One since the two consoles launched in late 2013, but in November Xbox One was the highest seller after a successful month. Of the two consoles, it was Microsoft's which had the better line-up of exclusive titles in late 2014 as well.

In early November Microsoft revealed that over 10 million Xbox Ones had been sold, but to retailers rather than consumers, showing that for all their recent successes, it is still trailing the PS4 by some distance.