HISTORY OF THE PLAYSTATION 2
After an overall successful stint with their first attempt at the console market, Sony started development on a sequel to the PlayStation. In 2000 they released the PlayStation 2 at a price tag of $299 ($413 today adjusted for inflation). There were over 30 launch titles by the time it reached stateside, including some great games like Drum Mania, Midnight Club, Ready 2 Rumble Boxing, Tekken Tag Tournament, Time Splitters and Unreal Tournament. It was the second console of the sixth generation, competing at first with the Sega Dreamcast and then later with the Nintendo GameCube and (its most fierce rival) Microsoft’s XBox. The PS2 has sold well since day one, quickly grabbing the market from the Dreamcast and then managing to hold a slight sales lead throughout pretty much all of the sixth generation of consoles. It sold so well in fact that it was just recently discontinued in 2013, after a very impressive 13 years of production. The PS2 still holds the record as the best selling console of all time with over 155 million units sold.
There were many keys to the PS2’s success. Personally I think the biggest was that it was the first to use CD-ROM and DVD-ROM, allowing for play of music, movies and video games in one console. Another big key is that it was backwards-compatible with the original PlayStation, which again, had sold pretty well and was helping Sony establish a name in the video game scene. Another factor I think helped Sony is that the PS2 sold a lot of units on the back of the Grand Theft Auto franchise. GTA 3, Vice City and San Andreas were some of the biggest games of all-time in terms of hype, sales and reviews and they came to the PS2 first and in advertising were shown with the PlayStation name. Grand Theft Auto quickly became a household name in the 2000’s and still is one of the best selling franchises ever. San Andreas would go on to become the PS2’s best selling game. PS2 had so many great franchises like Grand Theft Auto, Final Fantasy, Devil May Cry, God of War, Kingdom Hearts, Ratchet & Clank and Metal Gear Solid. Its no wonder that the console had such great sales and success.
PERSONAL HISTORY WITH THE PS2
I got a PS2 mid-way through its lifecycle, shortly after the Slim version came out in a discounted bundle with God of War II. We got it for our birthday or Christmas, which is the only times we ever got big things like that. There were so many great games for the system, some of my favorites were God of War, Kingdom Hearts, NBA Street, Vice City, Bully, Final Fantasy X and Shadow of the Colossus. The PS2 was the first time I personally got into JRPGs. I had played a couple here and there but the PS2 was were I really got into them with FFVIII/IX/X, Dragon Quest VIII and especially Kingdom Hearts /2. Kingdom Hearts kind of got me into them and kindled a love for them that has grown with each generation of consoles and franchises. My favorite things about the PS2 was the humongous library, the fact it played DVDs and CDs and that all my friends had one, making borrowing games really easy. Its definitely one of my favorite consoles (top 5 probably) and I can see why most people consider it the best console ever.
COLLECTING FOR THE PS2
The PlayStation 2 is one of the easiest to collect for whether we’re talking console, controllers or games. Its huge sales figures means everyone and their mother bought a PS2, therefore they’re easy to find at yard sales. I recommend the Slim version if you want one that performs well, but if you want the original model for collection sakes it also isn’t too tough to find. Most of its games are found very easily at yard sales, pawn shops, retro gaming stores and in the clearance bin of your local super-markets. The average game will only run you around $5-15. Complete in box is not an issue since the games use plastic DVD cases, which hold up well with time and became the standard for gaming starting with the PS2. I highly recommend collecting for the PS2 due to the ease of it, low prices and its importance in video game history.