The PlayStation 2 or PS2 was the successor of Sony’s ever nostalgic PlayStation One, being the console so many of us remember fondly. From the graphics and the aesthetics of the console itself to the amazing franchises released on the platform, they all made the PS2 a winner in so many people’s books. However, after the mind blowing success of the PS1 the gaming world was, at least to begin with, both excited and sceptical about the release of the PS2. Sony knew this was the case and put a lot of work into making sure the PS2 matched up and actually surpassed the PS1 in terms of support and the gaming experience. The PlayStation was such a huge success in fact that, after its release in 2000, in Japan alone it sold over 1 million units. Here we’re going to look at 5 fun facts about the PS2!
The PS2’s last game was released in 2013
The PS2 over its lifetime had 3,874 titles and sold 1.5 billion copies. The last games to be made for the PS2 reached way into the life of its successor, the PS3. Fifa 2014 was the last game to be made for the PS2 in the US on 24th September 2013 but Pro Evolution Soccer 2014 was officially the last ever game for the PS2 being released later in the same year. Grand Theft Auto San Andreas was and still is one of the best games I and so many others have ever played and was also the best-selling game for the platform with over 17 million copies being sold.
The towers during startup actually had a purpose!
Anyone who has ever owned this console remembers them for many things but the random white towers shooting up and down during the loading screen is something that springs to my mind first. This screen, although appearing completely random, had a secret purpose. The towers represented saved game data, so the more towers appearing on the screen, the more saved data you had. Try it, if you still own one, turn it on with the memory card in and count how many towers you have then restart the console with the memory card removed, the towers would have disappeared. This didn’t really have any well-known purpose apart from being a great way of knowing if the saved data was being detected or not when troubleshooting.
A man legally changed his name to PS2
Now I know we all do some crazy things when we find something we love deeply but have you ever thought of changing your name to your favorite piece of technology? No? Why not? Because it’s crazy that’s why! In 2002, a British man named Dan Holmes loved his PS2 so much he legally changed his name to Mr PlayStation 2. Dan (Mr Playstation) said he would take the console on holiday with him and had already spent over £7000 on games alone so who knows how much he’s spent by now! Dan even asked the church to marry him and his console. That’s what we call a diehard fan!
The shape of the PS2 wasn’t Sony’s brainchild!
The actual console itself, with its box-like shape and perpendicular lines across the body, was based on a computer from 1993. The Atari Falcon Microbox 030/040 was the final computer released by Atari and quickly became a massive flop. PlayStation – 8 years later – for whatever reason, decided they loved the design and when the 2 are placed side by side the similarities are uncanny, from the perpendicular lines to the smaller and larger connected rectangles making up the overall design. The PS2 allowed the customer to have the console either led down or upright with the help of a blue triangle stand that the device simply slotted into, this was exactly the same as that of the Falcon just in a different color. Sony even mentions Atari in their patent for the PS2.
The PS2 wasn’t just a console it was also a Linux computer
The PS2 had many quirky add-ons throughout its lifetime, the eye toy being one of them. This was the first real motion based gaming experience, allowing users to play games without a controller. The PS2 most impressively had an optional kit to convert it into a Linux computer. The kit cost around $200 and included a Linux distribution on DVD, documentation, an Ethernet adapter, a USB mouse and keyboard, a hard drive and a computer monitor cable. This allowed users to develop their own games without the need for expensive developing licenses from Sony. Obviously they didn’t have full access to the developer suite but for many it gave them the chance to develop games on a major gaming platform. Sony kept this product quiet as they didn’t want to confuse their customers or give them the impression that they wanted the PS2 to be used more as a computer than a console.
So there we have it, as we all know the PS2 was an immense machine, surpassing sale expectations and holding the number one game console top spot for a long time. There are so many more astounding facts for example, ManHunt 2, a game for this console, was banned in the UK and watered down prior to sale everywhere else. Whatever your opinion, or wherever your gaming affiliations lie, you have to admire the success and sheer gaming experience of the PS2, it truly was great. Even with the PS4 sat on the shelf in front of me right now with its superior graphics, amazing online capabilities and plethora of potential, I would love to have a PS2 sat there and a copy of San Andreas ready to play!