The PlayStation 2 Was Released 20 Years Ago Today

Before you know it, we’ve already entered the second decade of the new millennium. That said, 4 March also marked the day when Sony first released the PlayStation 2 (PS2) in the year 2000. Yes, the console that most current adults longed for when they were kids is now 20 years old.

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The PlayStation 2’s Legacy

The PS2 was an advanced video game console when it was released back then. Besides offering better hardware performance than its predecessor, it also featured backward-compatibility that allowed it to play PS1 games with some graphics enhancements. Additionally, it was the first console to feature online connectivity and expanded internal storage, which were sold separately as modules later on.

Throughout its lifetime, the PS2 had brought us major hits such as the Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, Grand Theft Auto 3, Final Fantasy X, Silent Hill 2, and more. The console also birthed new franchises at the time including God of War, Devil May Cry, Kingdom Hearts, and even Guitar Hero. MMORPGs such as Final Fantasy XI were a big hit on the PS2 as well, thanks to its ability to connect to the internet.

Sony would later release the Slimline models of the PS2 in 2004 which significantly reduced the size of the console. This variant of the console gradually replaced the older “Phat” models thanks to its compact size and slightly improved hardware.

PlayStation 2
The PS2 Slim was introduced in 2004

Budget-Friendly DVD Player

Despite its credibility as a home video game console, the PS2 was regarded as a worthwhile DVD player as well. According to Famitsu, non-gamer Japanese consumers actually bought the device just for that feature alone. And because it was cheaper than buying an actual player.

DVD technology was still considered new back in the late 90s and early noughties, therefore it was common to find players priced over JPY64,000 (~RM2,490). Whereas, a brand new PlayStation 2 would instead only cost a Japanese consumer JPY39,800 (~RM1,550). Not a bad deal considering the fact that they also get the ability to play video games with it too.

PlayStation 2
The PS2’s Memory Card. Yes, 8MB was generous back in the day.

Undisputed Champion (For Now)

The console was also one of Sony’s longest running devices in the market, with production finally discontinued in 2013 – over a dozen years after its launch. Games for the console were still released until the same year, while its repair services in Japan only ended in 2018. Yes, it had lived long enough to see first announcement of the PlayStation 4.

Suffice to say, Sony’s sequel to the original PlayStation console was very well received by gamers around the world. So much so that the PS2 was crowned the best-selling console of all time, with 155 million units sold worldwide.

Sony PlayStation 5 Logo
Sony made a lot of hype for just the logo…

The PlayStation brand had celebrated its 25th anniversary back in April 2019, while the PS5 was also officially announced in October. The fifth generation Sony video game console is expected to launch by late 2020.

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