Is The PS2 Dead? Not Quite Yet
This is one of those times when we will have to disagree - to some extent - with recent comments issued by developers. According to MCVUK, several of the leading UK developers and publishers have been talking about the PS2, and one concludes that it's curtains for Sony's last-generation console.
All of the developers and publishers in question have said they are leaving the PS2 behind and focusing entirely on the PS3, which makes sense, despite the PS2's ridiculously huge user base of well over 100 million. But Mastertonic's Andy Payne, whose Blast label has done quite well on the PS2 in the past, said the PS2 is on its deathbed.
"The PS2 market has been virtually killed overnight. There's been no real run-off like with the PSOne, and that's because retail just does not have the space."
This seems like a strange sentiment at this point in time. "Overnight" may not be the right word to use, considering the fact that the PS3 launched two years ago and the PS2 continues to sell units and software. Certain Japanese publishers - like Atlus, for example - continue to release new titles (Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 is scheduled for a December 9 release in North America), and up until the last few months, the PS2 has outsold even the Xbox 360 in Japan. Furthermore, we can't agree with the "no run-off" comment; personally, I don't remember PS1 software lasting more than two years after the PS2 launched in 2000. Do you? As for retailers "not having the space," we were just down at GameStop and they've got just as much space allotted for PS2 software as they do for PS3 software. Still.
In many ways, the PS3's slow start in 2006 and early 2007 allowed the PS2 to find its way into more homes worldwide, and we figure the PS2 has another 6 months of being relevant, and perhaps another year at least before Sony discontinues the machine for good. It's cheap, it has a gigantic library (especially if you count the PS1 library it can play), it's a regular ol' DVD player, and its smaller size lets it fit snugly just about anywhere. Furthermore, we fully expect to see one last surge when Sony drops the price to $99, which could be soon... The PS2 dead? Eh...not yet, guys.
11/13/2008 Ben Dutka