Flashback: Looking back upon the Sony Playstation 2
The Playstation 2 may be the greatest selling console of all time and to this day the system has sold over 150 million consoles. The PS2 has been around for over 15 years. Gamestop is still taking them for trade in; what does that say about the life of the console? New games aren’t being released, but who needs that when you have the PS2’s massive library of games?
The PS2 has games for everyone, spanning every genre. If gamers are fans of survival horror, there are a number of games in the genre for PS2. I recommend Silent Hill, Fatal Frame, and Resident Evil. Crave non-stop action action games? How about God of War, Onimusha 3, any of the GTA Games. and Devil May Cry? There are plenty of adventure games as well: the Rachet and Clank series, Jax, ICO/SoTC should scratch that itch. There is also a fine selection of racing games and no PS2 library isn't complete without Gran Turismo. The list of RPGs, both good and bad, is lengthy and there is plenty to keep gamers busy. Some of the best known franchises of Sony grew and expanded on the PS2 such as Final Fantasy, God of War, Resident Evil, Socom, Killzone, MGS, as well as so many more.
Who can forget playing Guitar Hero? The PS2 helpEd popularize and mainstream instrumental-music games. Without Guitar Hero, gamers would have never gotten Rock Band. The PS2 also helped pioneer online play. Many gamers have fond memories of playing Twisted Metal Black Online, Final Fantasy XI, the Madden and NHL series, Socom, FIFA, King of Fighters Maximum Impact, and Resident Evil Outbreak
The PS2 played more than games. It was the first gaming console to be used as something more than a video game system. This was all part of Sony’s marketing plan. For many, the PS2 became the center of gamer's entertainment world. The PS2 sold like crazy in the early 2000s since it was one of the most affordable DVD players. I still know people who use it as DVD player. The HDD is one of the features of the original PS2 which went under appreciated. Although it was used some for online play and to expand storage, some gamers used it for modding. Ideally, with a little work and some software, gamers could store games on the HDD and avoid wearing out the DVD drive’s laser. The PS2 does have some sort of homebrew following and at one time there was a Linux kit for the system.
Speaking of hardware, the specs of the PS2 were pretty powerful when it was released. PS2’s had a 300 mhz processor, DVD driver, 32mbs of Ram, and 4mbs of video memory. The system had network ports for both the modem and the Ethernet connection. There were also USB ports and a firewire port that were used for accessories like the Eyetoy, keyboard, mouse, and the light gun. Rumor has it the firewire port was used to link consoles together.
Although the PS2 sold like crazy, the system wasn’t perfect. The console was known to have disc read error which was an issue plaguing the original models of PS2. The release of the slim console in the Fall of 2004 remedied this issue of disc read errors. The slim console was also easier to pack up and carry around. At the time of it's release, I couldn’t believe such a slim device was such a great console. The slim also did away with the port for the modem and the option to use a HDD with the PS2 .
One of the most remarkable things is when the PS3 was released, the PS2 was still selling like crazy. Part of this was the games were getting cheaper, as was the console. The PS2 is still selling fairly well. Gamestop has dropped the slim and the fat console down to around $50. Amazon has them for around that. If you shop around, you might be able to find the console for under $30. There are plenty of great games for under $10 as well. If you don't have a PS2 and you want to take advantage of an incredibly affordable console, then go and get one. There is a massive library of games waiting to be played.