: Shades Of PS2 In The PS4? Not Really

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Shades Of PS2 In The PS4? Not Really

I'm hearing more and more comparisons between the PlayStation 4 and the PlayStation 2; i.e., "Yay, Sony is returning to their glory days!"

I have several problems with that sentiment. The first is the obvious: It's somewhat inaccurate. The PS3 didn't exactly burst out of the gates, but it still sold the same number of consoles as the Xbox 360, and in one year less time. It'll probably end up moving over 100 million units and that's nothing to sneeze at. I'd hardly call it a catastrophic fall from grace, which is what some gamers have made it out to be. That was blown way out of proportion.

The other problem is that while the PS4 is doing well - and trust me, I love that it's off and running; 4.2 million in only about 6 weeks, and it hasn't even launched in Japan yet! - it's no PS2. Maybe people have forgotten, or maybe some were just too young to recall accurately. The PS2 was the perfect storm; the industry has changed so much since that we'll never see the like again. The PS4 will probably be in a neck-and-neck race with the Xbox One in the US for most of the new generation, even though Sony's machine should easily win the global sales count. That's not even close to what the PS2 did; what the PS2 did will never be equaled. No system will ever remotely approach it, and there are dozens of reasons why.

It's not just that the PS2 is the best-selling video game console of all time with, what, 160 million units worldwide now, or something like that? It's that for an entire generation of gaming, there was really only one console that mattered. There was only one console that was in most every gamer's home. The PS2 didn't just outsell the Xbox and the GameCube; it outsold the combined sales of those two systems several times over. How did it happen? Well, after the original PlayStation hit so hard, the world was anxiously anticipating the PS2. It was the first time, at least in my memory, that a new game console was promoted so avidly and so well. By the time that thing came out, people were expecting it to make them a sandwich and fly them to Mars. Unparalleled hype, I tell you.

The Xbox and GameCube came a year late to the party and by that time, the PS2 already owned the world. The Sega Dreamcast got off to a decent start, but the PS2 steamrolled it in a matter of months. I know many Sega fans who hated to see that, but it happened surprisingly quickly. I don't mean the DC was discontinued in a matter of months, but the handwriting was on the wall fast. Furthermore, I will always maintain that the insane PS2 hype alone doomed the Dreamcast from the outset. I was working at an EB when the DC launched back in September of 1999, and all anyone could talk about was the upcoming PS2. Can you imagine that? A new console launches and everyone is waiting on another one that's a year away?

No, the PS4 is no PS2. That's not an insult to the new console; no system will ever be the PS2. Things have changed too much now, anyway. Thanks to the perfect storm, the PS2 will go down in history as having no rival in the console world, and that's just fine with me.

1/10/2014 Ben Dutka

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Comments (50 posts)

BigT_1980
Friday, January 10, 2014 @ 11:18:21 PM
Reply

While I agree that the PS2 was a big factor in the Dreamcast demise, I feel another major factor was the rampant piracy on the console. You did not even have to mod the console in order to play pirated games. Due to the excessive piracy they lost 3rd party support, which ultimately made them fold.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, January 11, 2014 @ 12:09:28 AM

No, only a very small percentage of people were involved in piracy in those days. That was still very underground, for the most part.

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Jawknee
Saturday, January 11, 2014 @ 12:34:05 AM

I blame that wretched controller for the Dreamcasts demise. :)

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xenris
Saturday, January 11, 2014 @ 9:58:13 AM

I loved the DC controller >.< The memory card was pretty cool, especially when games utilized it in interesting ways. The cord placement was my only beef, it made no sense. I had small hands though I know some of my bigger handed friends hated it as they would get dreamcast claw carpel tunnel :P

While I don't think pirating was the reason for its demise, it was the easiest console to pirate for. I think it was a combination of the unrealiable hardware. I went through 2 dreamcasts because I plugged in a broken controller(didn't know it was broken), and the whole controller port got fried. Games printed in certain factories, wouldn't play on hardware made in other factories, I dont remember the technicality of this one but it was something to do with disc format I think.

The PS2 I think was the nail in the coffin for the DC, it was struggling along doing okay then PS2 and everyone was all over it.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Saturday, January 11, 2014 @ 10:31:15 AM

Ben's right the DC piracy and homebrew scene came later and was for the console's fan community instead of the damaging idiot community. It was actually awhile before anyone ripped the GD Roms.

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slugga_status
Saturday, January 11, 2014 @ 11:49:35 AM

Piracy had little to do with the demise of the Dreamcast...the PS2 had unreal hype. And some people were truly interested in the mysterious xbox at the time..

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Jawknee
Saturday, January 11, 2014 @ 2:09:24 PM

That controller was so stupidly designed in regards to ergonomics. The thing gave me hand cramps just after a few rounds of MvC2.

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PC_Max
Friday, January 10, 2014 @ 11:24:20 PM
Reply

I remember the shortages of the PS2 and people going nuts. Parent frantic trying to find. People going trying to sell PS2's they had acquired for over $600 up to $1000. There I was shaking my head and saying... I can wait.

Ah the .... good old days?

Like a great movie... Star Wars, there was so much excitement for the sequel. So much anticipation. And those that had the original PS2 before the slim got I use to here them go on about the optical drive malfunctioning. Yep, thats what you got when you play games and watch DVD on the all-in-entertainment system. I was fortunate not to end up with that problem.

Glory days, but in the past. Its the here and now, for those on the new consoles. Fun times ahead for many.

Keep playing!

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Bonampak
Friday, January 10, 2014 @ 11:28:33 PM
Reply

I agree with Ben. The PS2 was HUGE. Either people were too young to remember or they simply weren't alive back then to realize how big that console was. And why its almost impossible for any console these days to even come close to the success of the PS2. Not even the Wii (during its prime) came close to selling that many consoles.

However, the success of the PS4 has admittedly gone to some fans heads. Despite the fact that its too early in the next-gen console wars to even consider start claiming victory over the Xbone. Even if the PS4 will rule most markets in the world. Only one market matters. And its the US market. And its going to be a tight race here. MS has very deep pockets.

And even if they have to buy the consoles themselves, they will make sure the Xbone doesn't fall behind (lets not forget that MS spent 4 billion dollars back in the PS2 era to make sure they didn't finish in 3rd place behind the Gamecube. At the time, MS called it "an investment").

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Axe99
Friday, January 10, 2014 @ 11:51:39 PM

The US market is definitely not the only market that matters - it's definitely the market that people in the US focus on, but there are plenty of devs and publishers with a wider scope, and many games that appeal more to European or Japanese audiences have done better on PS3 than X360, and those publishers have worked more with that machine accordingly, despite the X360 having a commanding lead in the US.

That's not to say the US is important, but it's far from the only market that matters.

While I think it's unlikely the PS4 will hit PS2 heights, I also think that it shouldn't be written off. If the PS4 gets to the critical mass level that the CoD/FIFA/Madden crowd swing towards it, then it may do very well. That said, the past never, ever repeats - we only ever move forward in time, and even if the PS4 did sell 160 million units (which would be a stretch!) it still wouldn't be 'the same' as the PS2.

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Jawknee
Saturday, January 11, 2014 @ 12:36:02 AM
Reply

Funny how big the PS2 was but I played only Final Fantasy, Metal Gear, Kingdom Hearts and Tekken on the console. I bought waaaaay more games for the PS3.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Saturday, January 11, 2014 @ 11:00:09 AM

I did too, I was really busy enjoying the last years of my real life youth in those days so only had time for JRPG gaming, GTA, and a few other gems.

PS3 (and finding this site) brought me back to gaming with a vengeance. Now I've got nearly a hundred games for dang thing.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, January 11, 2014 @ 11:24:27 AM

Then you were deprived. You missed out on Onimusha: Warlords, Silent Hill 2, Devil May Cry, Grand Theft Auto III, Red Faction, Soul Reaver 2, Twisted Metal: Black, Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec, etc.

......and that was only 2001 for the console. ;)

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WorldEndsWithMe
Saturday, January 11, 2014 @ 12:09:51 PM

There was a Soul Reaver 2?

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, January 11, 2014 @ 12:26:02 PM

Of course!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soul_Reaver_2

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Jawknee
Saturday, January 11, 2014 @ 2:08:04 PM

I just didn't play nearly as many games during that period in general. I think I didn't even buy a GameCube until it was almost toward the end of its lifespan. I was broker than broke then.

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Mdash0009
Sunday, January 12, 2014 @ 12:48:58 PM

It was backwards for me. I had a plenty PS2 games and played many more rented games, so I probably played way more different games. The PS3 was different. Everywhere I would rent from went away (and they had highered their prices anyway) so I have only played less than half the amount I did on the PS2 =(

Last edited by Mdash0009 on 1/12/2014 12:51:27 PM

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Jawknee
Saturday, January 11, 2014 @ 12:44:55 AM
Reply

Honestly, I can't remember because I was always a Nintendo guy but what did people like about Sega? I can't recall any great franchises it had but Sonic. Which I never considered great. I remember playing Vector Man. I also remember how crappy it was playing Street Fighter on the Sega Genesis. It only had three buttons so you had to press select to switch them from punches to kicks. I remember telling my friend "this is soooooo stupid, let's go to my house and play this on my SNES". Haha With the Dreamcast I always hated that controller and couldn't wait until Marvel vs Capcom 2 came to PS2. Other than that and RE: Code Veronica, there was nothing on the Dreamcast worth playing. I know people like Shenmue, but I never cared for it.

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xenris
Saturday, January 11, 2014 @ 10:07:05 AM

A lot of RPG fans loved the old Phantasy Star RPGs. They were comparable to final fantasy at the time. The old sega consoles seemed to have some decent games, echo the dolphin was pretty sweet, sonic etc. But I agree the SNES was the better console for exclusives and even multiplat. Remember that terrible version of Aladin the genesis got?

Dreamcast though that is one of my favourite systems. Phantasy Star online still is one of the best most memorable online games I have played, for the community and overall fun factor. Power stones was a great super smash bros like game, Draconius was a sweet hack and slash rpg in the same vain as a 3D zelda, Skies of Arcadia which was a very awesome JRPG, Grandia 2 also an awesome JRPG, canon spike, bomberman online, crazy taxi, virtua on, MvC2, toy commander, sonic adventure 1 and 2, shenmue, blue stinger, time crisis, dead or alive 2, hydro thunder, house of the dead, guantlet legends and one of my favourite games Jet grind radio.

There were a lot of sweet games on the system, sadly it was easy to just burn copies of games you rented because you didn't even need a mod chip. Also the hardware was so buggy and unreliable.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Saturday, January 11, 2014 @ 11:09:40 AM

Genesis wasn't afraid to have the blood and fatalities in Mortal Kombat. SNES had a non gory version. But when the promise of incredible sales came, Nintendo actually had to change the policies on gore to get Mortal Kombat II so they wouldn't lose out to Sega.

When it came to Dreamcast (and Saturn before that) it was THE arcade system at home. It had an endless supply of top-tier racers like Crazy Taxi, San Francisco Rush, 4x4 Thunder, Sega Rally, Sega GT, Vanishing Point, LeMans.

Also endless arcade fighters from 2D to 3D. All the Street Fighters and King of Fighters and Fatal Furys. It brought home Soul Calibur and Dead or Alive 2, Rival Schools 2, Virtua Fighter 3, Fighting Vipers, Psychic Force, Power Stone, etc. Also more than a handful of light gun games (which these damn HD TVs made defunct)

Then there was the introduction to SHENMUE!!!! It also began the rhythm and dance craze with Space Channel 5 and Dance Dance Revolution.

Survival Horror had a major heyday on the Dreamcast with Alone in the Dark: New Nightmare, the best editions of Resident Evil 2, 3, Code Veronica, plus Carrier, Blue Stinger, and D2 (the ultimate cinematic horror experience).

The RPGS had a solid day there with Evolution 1 & 2, Silver, Elemental Gimmick Gear, Skies of Arcadia (one of the best post Final Fantasy VII 3D JRPGS), Grandia II, Gauntlet Legends, Timestalkers and the first online RPG Phantasy Star.

Sports games and fishing were big there too, but that's not so much my area. And Seaman, lol.

Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 1/11/2014 11:17:24 AM

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sawao_yamanaka
Saturday, January 11, 2014 @ 11:24:37 AM

No, I remember the terrible SNES version. The Sega one was superior. Kept to the film and the soundtrack was awesome.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, January 11, 2014 @ 11:27:03 AM

Phantasy Star was nothing like Final Fantasy whatsoever; especially PSO. I never knew a FF fan who cared about Phantasy Star on the Dreamcast. As for the other JRPGs, I hate to say this, but aside from Grandia II and Skies of Arcadia, they weren't very good (and there weren't many to begin with).

As World said, it was mostly an arcade-lovers machine. If you didn't like fighters and other fast-paced, arcade-environment experiences, you probably didn't own a Dreamcast.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Saturday, January 11, 2014 @ 12:13:04 PM

I still say Evolution was way underrated. It was sorta beginner/kid friendly but still some great turn based stuff and dungeon crawling imo.

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Jawknee
Saturday, January 11, 2014 @ 2:11:29 PM

Aaah, yes, now I remember those games on Dreamcast and my friends playing them. Since I despised that controller I never cared to play any of them. Then it wasn't very long before my friend bought an Xbox. Then we played nothin but Halo.

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xenris
Saturday, January 11, 2014 @ 2:45:05 PM

The Phantasy star games were turn based story driven JRPGs, how is it not logical to compare them to final fantasy?

They were Segas attempt at competing with Final Fantasy in the late 80s early 90s for the mega drive or master system.

@ World, Evolution 1 and 2 were both pretty awesome in their own right. Nice graphics too for the time.

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___________
Saturday, January 11, 2014 @ 3:03:12 AM
Reply

there not using the term as a sales sense, there using it as a titles sense.
ps2 did so well with bringing third party studios over to playstation, especially in a time where people were still really skeptical about $onys place in the industry.
ps2 did so well because literally everything was available on it, and that lead to third party exclusives, and both lead to the ps2 being by far the more popular system.
thats what people mean when they say the ps4 is the true successor to the ps2, hell $onys even said it quite a few times themselves!

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slow and smart
Saturday, January 11, 2014 @ 3:09:34 AM
Reply

no the ps4 will not do the same as the ps2,but the ps2 ruled and so will the ps4[not in the same way],there will be no consul that will come close to the ps4 this gen,ps4 2/3 and xboxone 1/3 and others?

and about piracy,i can remember you could put a sort of a lid on the console and then you could use floppydiscs[think it was a Nintendo and early sega?i can't remember which system it was,veeeery long ago ahum] also the dreamcast could be pirated with 1 game on a disc loaded first and the copy afterwards,at least that's what i heard ahum ahum
@Yawknee:about sega:Shenmue !!!

Last edited by slow and smart on 1/11/2014 3:31:12 AM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Saturday, January 11, 2014 @ 11:18:51 AM

You don't even need a trick for Dreamcast, just download the game, burn it to a CD then put it in the system and it plays. I've got a ton of em.

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Kiryu
Saturday, January 11, 2014 @ 4:38:08 AM
Reply

It's not a PS2 if its not launched in Japan yet?They are saving the best for last.If i could recall the best games are releasing after February 22nd on the PS4,so Japan is very important to Sony.This time the Wii U launched and all anyone could talk about is the PS4 which lauched one year later.
I seriously believe There is more hype for PS4 than the PS2 and PS4 will outsell the PS2 in half it's lifetime.PS4 has beaten its rivals in only 6 weeks and it's the only console any gamer is talking about.
so shut the hell up ben PS4 is the new PS2 and the world knows it.You're stupid article wont make a difference

Last edited by Kiryu on 1/11/2014 4:49:15 AM

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tes37
Saturday, January 11, 2014 @ 7:40:56 AM

"so shut the hell up ben PS4 is the new PS2 and the world knows it.You're stupid article wont make a difference"

WTF?

Did Ben p*ss in your Cheerios or something? Man that's not cool ..... it was supposed to be my turn.

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Godslim
Saturday, January 11, 2014 @ 10:13:09 AM

ps fan boy alert! do u even understand the point of the article

Last edited by Godslim on 1/11/2014 10:15:02 AM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, January 11, 2014 @ 11:29:13 AM

Hard to read that grammatical mess with no spaces after the periods.

I just know it's all patently false, so I won't bother with a response. Your attitude doesn't deserve a reply, anyway.

Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 1/11/2014 11:29:33 AM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Saturday, January 11, 2014 @ 12:18:48 PM

I am the World and I don't know it.

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Underdog15
Sunday, January 12, 2014 @ 11:22:16 AM

Japan is a great market for Sony, but it isn't like they are going to make the world sales double at release. They'll add a million to the total quickly. MAYBE two.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Saturday, January 11, 2014 @ 10:39:39 AM
Reply

Dreamcast died because of a lack of third party support, the few games that were on DC and PS2 were always better on DC: Grandia II, Resident Evil Code Veronica, but DC also had to deal with being a generation straddler as it also had plenty of PS1 games like Soul Reaver and Shadowman.

PS2 was the ultimate powerhouse because it owned the third party market, there were so many third party exclusives it was insane.

Now those are mostly gone except the ones that MS buys out for their system so yeah PS4 can't command that kind of power again. I do think it is closer to PS2 style CULTURAL domination than PS3 ever was though.

By that I mean, after Xbox 360 came out whenever the mainstream wanted to talk about games they mentioned "Xbox," prior to that everyone said "Playstation". Now I think mainstream people/comedians/tv shows will again refer to gaming using the Playstation brand. That makes it a cultural powerhouse again.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, January 11, 2014 @ 11:27:52 AM

Code Veronica wasn't better on DC; I played both the DC and PS2 versions. The PS2 version had more content, for one.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Saturday, January 11, 2014 @ 12:18:16 PM

I always scored a bit higher at the major mags though.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, January 11, 2014 @ 12:27:41 PM

Yeah, that's mostly because a LOT of critics back then were all butt-hurt over what the PS2 did to the Dreamcast. There was a ton of bias in those days and on the reviewer side, it was almost always leaning in favor of Sega.

The DC version might've looked a little better, though; I don't remember.

Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 1/11/2014 12:28:10 PM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Saturday, January 11, 2014 @ 2:40:00 PM

60fps on almost all games too.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Saturday, January 11, 2014 @ 11:00:28 AM
Reply

Did I tell you guys I bought a Vita?

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, January 11, 2014 @ 11:27:59 AM

'bout time. ;)

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WorldEndsWithMe
Saturday, January 11, 2014 @ 12:14:37 PM

First game played: Final Fantasy VII lol. If I ever have time I'll get to Gravity Rush and Uncharted GA thanks to the instant game collection.

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H8WL3R
Saturday, January 11, 2014 @ 1:27:23 PM

@World
Congrats!

It looks appealing to me as well... maybe sometime this year for me. :)

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WorldEndsWithMe
Saturday, January 11, 2014 @ 2:40:37 PM

thanks. It's a neat piece of tech, not worth the launch price but worth what it costs now.

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telly
Sunday, January 12, 2014 @ 6:56:49 PM

Welcome aboard! I also love love LOVE playing ps1 classics on the thing :)

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Harerazer
Saturday, January 11, 2014 @ 11:55:55 AM
Reply

The other reason there will never be another PS2 is because the PS2 had games. Not 50 clones of this game and 50 clones of that game. The PS2 was the last console where the industry still had ground to be broken. I recently looked back over my Genesis/Saturn/Dreamcast eras and the sheer diversity in games ended right there. Yes, "the perfect storm" is the perfect description.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Saturday, January 11, 2014 @ 12:19:04 PM
Reply

So much reminiscing now I wanna go play Dreamcast again.

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xenris
Saturday, January 11, 2014 @ 2:47:44 PM

If you lived around me I would invite you over to game on mine. Its still hooked up and I play it frequently :P

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telly
Sunday, January 12, 2014 @ 7:04:43 PM
Reply

And remember, PS2 had DVD playback. An absolutely brilliant strategic decision by Sony to include it. I and nearly everyone I knew was at least as excited to watch the Matrix on DVD as we were to check out the next ridge racer.

It truly was the perfect storm -- and as I keep saying, quite possibly the best platform ever.

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squibbfire
Monday, January 13, 2014 @ 8:10:36 AM
Reply

I think the PS4 is a close second to the PS2. Its almost the middle of January and there are no PS4s to be found in most areas(although plenty of xbones). The PS4 does remind me of the ps2 release a little....It feels like there is almost the same amount of desire for the system.

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