Thank You, PS2
I suppose I could've been cleverer or more poetic with the title. But perhaps the concise courtesy is perfect.
As we all know by now, Sony has officially stopped manufacturing the PlayStation 2. Obviously, consumers will still be able to buy used PS2 consoles in the future (there are sure to be quite a few floating around) but for the most part, it's the end of an era. A very important era, not just for the industry, but for me as well.
The PS2 launched in North America on October 26, 2000. I remember it vividly, as I was working at Electronics Boutique at the time. The entire staff had had the machine paid off for a while, and we had a late-night meeting the day before launch to discuss how we'd handle the rush. But really, it was mostly so we could purchase our PS2s the instant the clock struck midnight and the sale was legal. I was second in line; I purchased my PS2 at 12:04 a.m. on October 26...I doubt many in this country can say they got it earlier. And I'm referring to legal acquisitions here. :)
Going into the PS2 generation, I was mostly an RPG fanatic. All I cared about were JRPGs. I'd play just about every PlayStation RPG I could get my hands on, and I'd play all the PC RPGs with friends (I dunno; I just found the Baldurs Gate, Diablo, and Heroes of Might & Magic games to be more fun with others). And although I had a blast and I love the PS1 to death, I have to admit I was pretty limited. I played a few sports games here and there and I loved Twisted Metal and Jet Moto, but that was about it. The PS2 was the first console that forced me outside my comfort zone and got me interested in a variety of genres.
I couldn't resist Grand Theft Auto III, what with all the hype surrounding it. I was leery because it wasn't an RPG but I fell in love immediately. I also couldn't resist the Metal Gear Solid and God of War franchises, which of course are very different in comparison to RPGs. But in addition to this great branching out process, I still got the RPGs I craved. So not only did the PS2 satisfy an existing love, it opened my eyes to very distinct love affairs with very different experiences. And in regards to the game library, I will forever maintain that the PS2 was the best. For six straight years, I never once felt like the PS2 didn't deliver, that it didn't have enough games I wanted to play. Never did that happen.
So thank you, PS2. You were always there for me, especially during tough times. Okay, so it's a little sad that it sounds like I'm talking about a living thing. But hey, it's the truth.
1/8/2013 11:52:10 PM Ben Dutka