The PlayStation 2 (PS2) is a video game console released on March 4, 2000 in Japan, October 26, 2000 in North America, and November 24, 2000 in Europe by Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCEI). Since its release over 150 million consoles and 1.52 billion PS2 titles have been sold. There are 3,857 available games and the PS2 continued to be produced with revisions released in 2006 and 2007. On January 4, 2013, Sony announced it would discontinue production of the PS2.
One day after its release in Japan, 980,000 units had been sold. The PS2 had a built-in DVD player that could be used as a low-cost home theater. The PS2 did not support online capabilities until late in 2002 when the PlayStation Network launched after the online capable Xbox was released. Several online games were released along with the PS Network.
In September 2004 a slimmer model was released, and Sony stopped producing the original PS2 so that the stock would be depleted before releasing the new version. However, an oil tanker became stuck in the Suez Canal and prevented the ship carrying the new PS2s, which accounted for many stores to have shortages of the new PS2 one day before Christmas.
Software for the PS2 is distributed over CD-ROM and DVD-ROM. The unit can also play audio CDs, DVD movies, original PlayStation (PS1) games, and is compatible with PS1 memory cards and controllers, but may not support all functions. The DualShock2 controller has an analog face, shoulder and D-pad buttons and a vibrating function.
The PS2 memory card has an 8 MB capacity and has an encryption to prevent third party production of the card without a license. Some cards made have up to 128 MB of storage but may not be compatible with the unit.
The PS2 console has USB and IEEE 1394 expansion ports. The compatibility with the device being used depends on the software. Example, a USB printer cannot operate using the port nor can an ISO image from a flash drive be booted. But a screenshot from a game like Gran Turismo can be saved to a USB storage device.
PS2 users can either play games from the CD-ROM or select games can be played over the internet with a broadband connection and a PS2 Network adapter. The PS2 Slimline model has the network adapter built into the unit. Many revisions have been implemented on the PS2 known by hackers as V0 to V18. Most of the revisions were done with the internal make-up of the unit.
The standard color of the unit was matte black, but several variations in color were manufactured for different regions.
The PS2 Slimline model has a built-in Ethernet port, is smaller and thinner than the original PS2, but does not have an expansion bay, an i.Link port, or an internal power supply.
In 2010 Sony released a 22-inch television that incorporated a PS2 console and 4 HDMI ports. It included BRAVIA internet access to allow streaming of you tube and on-demand television.
Some accessories for the PS2 include, DualShock2 controller, a variety of other controllers for specific games, PS2 DVD remote control, internal or external hard disk drives, network adapter, stands, memory cards, a multitap for connecting multiple controllers to one console, a USB camera, a USB keyboard, a USB mouse, and a headset. An RF modulator is available for connecting to older televisions.
The original multitap will not work with the PS2 Slimline, but Slimline multitaps are made for these models and some third party adapters are being made. Some third-party developers have produced monitors and speaker attachments for use with the PS2.
Musical accessories include dance pads, microphones, guitar controllers, and drum set controllers.
Image Caption: (Left) The original fat PS2 console. (Right) The updated slim model. Both models featured with a vertical stand. Slim also features DualShock2 controller and 8MB memory card. Credit: Evan-Amos/Wikipedia