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You'll Never See Another Console Like The PlayStation 2 Again

As much as I'd like to see PlayStation 4 duplicate the ridiculous success of one of its predecessors, it's basically impossible.

Never again will you see a console like the PS2 dominate on that scale. And now that the system has turned 15 years of age, perhaps we should all reflect and pay tribute.

Those who recall the early days of the PS2 well recall the hype train surrounding that system. Honestly, I've been gaming since the first home consoles hit the market and we'd never seen anything quite like this before. The gaming community was boiling over around the turn of the century and at the center was the PS2.

I won't go into a long history of the console; most of you probably already know it. But it's important to note the PS2's total and complete dominance of the video game market between 2000 and 2005. Yes, the console sold over 160 million units overall but it needed many more years to reach that number. What's more mind-boggling, in my eyes, is just how easily and how soundly PS2 tromped the competition. Xbox and GameCube combined sales had no hope of catching the PS2.

Thing is, you really won't see anything like it again. It was the perfect storm. Nintendo wasn't doing so hot as they transitioned from the N64 to the GameCube, people were all sorts of skeptical about Microsoft joining the fray, and the original PlayStation had already become a widely accepted platform. On top of which, the industry was definitely starting to go mainstream, which cast an even bigger spotlight on PS2. It would also beat Xbox and GameCube to market by over a year. And oh yeah, the games...has any console had a better or more diverse selection in history? I think not.

PS2 wins. Plain and simple. I hope everyone remembers what it was like, too, because I promise you won't see it again. The industry has changed far too much.

Tags: ps2, playstation 2, ps2 games, ps2 anniversary

3/4/2015 9:50:00 PM Ben Dutka

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Comments (35 posts)

Jawknee
Wednesday, March 04, 2015 @ 10:16:22 PM
Reply

Me and two of my close friends camped outside a Sears in Torrance California so we could each buy one on release day. Good times.

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LimitedVertigo
Wednesday, March 04, 2015 @ 10:28:53 PM

I wish I could say I did too but honestly I was still smitten with the Dreamcast (which I bought on Day1) and I was late to the PS2 party by several months.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, March 04, 2015 @ 10:31:50 PM

Can't believe they even had any for regular sale. All ours at EB were pre-ordered months in advance.

Edit: Oh, but Sears probably didn't take pre-orders on such things in those days.

Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 3/4/2015 10:32:08 PM

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Jawknee
Thursday, March 05, 2015 @ 12:26:12 AM

Limited, I never owned a Dreamcast. My friend did loan me his though so I could play Code Veronica.

Ben, Yea Sears was selling them first come first serve. We were like 3 through 6. They sold pretty fast. I don't think they had more than 12 or so on hand.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Thursday, March 05, 2015 @ 1:25:37 AM

Think we had somewhere around 220. All stuffed into a tiny back room with a door that had to be kept closed. The PS2s actually started showing up weeks ahead of time; if a customer saw them back there and then was told they couldn't have one (due to pre-orders and the Oct. 26 street date), they'd get all pissed. It was a safety issue, too.

Long story short, I was playing PS2 games a couple weeks before anyone else. :)

Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 3/5/2015 1:26:09 AM

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Jawknee
Thursday, March 05, 2015 @ 3:33:30 AM

Nice. Haha

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Underdog15
Thursday, March 05, 2015 @ 9:27:51 AM

I applied at a Gamestop once. They said they didn't want someone who knew too much about games because they wanted someone who would encourage people to buy bad games, too.

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Temjin001
Thursday, March 05, 2015 @ 10:37:01 AM

... so that's why the Best Buy employee told me to buy the Order 1886. =p

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Thursday, March 05, 2015 @ 11:14:30 AM

Underdog: When was that? I was grilled in my EB interview; they really wanted someone with knowledge of the product. Of course, this was back in '98.

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Jawknee
Thursday, March 05, 2015 @ 2:00:27 PM

Couldn't have been that long ago. I don't find the people at GameStop to be very knowledgable. They pretend they are but last time I went in the guy swore up and down Nintendo was only doing one run of the Toon Link and Mega Man Amiibo. Which turned out to be 100% false.

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Underdog15
Thursday, March 05, 2015 @ 2:29:56 PM

Would have been early 2000's. 2003 maybe? I'm guessing because I was just looking for a summer job. PS2 was already out, I know that. I think I ended up working at a gas station. haha

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LimitedVertigo
Wednesday, March 04, 2015 @ 10:32:31 PM
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The early videos for Ridge Racer IMO were the most unrealistic tech videos I've ever seen displayed for a new console.

The PS2's success wasn't just about what it did right but also what the competition did wrong. The Gamecube didn't play DVD's/CDs and the Xbox had the bulky controller, required additional costs to play DVDs and had poor marketing.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, March 04, 2015 @ 11:50:46 PM

And neither Xbox nor GameCube could compete in the software category. In terms of quality or quantity.

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richfiles
Wednesday, March 11, 2015 @ 1:29:11 AM

Ben, I have to disagree on one point... Nintendo had AMAZING quality titles for the Gamecube. You'll hear no argument on quantity... It sucked waiting a year or more between those quality titles! XD

Nintendo has a masterful grasp on creating top tier first party titles... on THEIR schedule. It's a true shame. I loved my Gamecube, but yeah, the list of AAA titles is not that huge, but they are worth owning. Preowned Gamecube outlasted both xbox and PS2 preowned at the local gamestop. It was those high quality titles that kept that ONE rack of Gamecube titles going for SO LONG. Probably didn't hurt that Wiis were backwards compatible for such a long time too.

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MRSUCCESS
Wednesday, March 04, 2015 @ 11:01:39 PM
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Man the amount of RPGs that I played and the action adventure games were just part of a beautiful time in my life.

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Rachet_JC_FTW
Friday, March 06, 2015 @ 1:51:02 AM

yeah tell me about it lots of great action/adventure games those times were good

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Snaaaake
Wednesday, March 04, 2015 @ 11:21:30 PM
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One question though.
How did the PS2 dominated the console market back then?
Yea, it has a lot of AAA exclusives, something the PS3 certainly ain't lacking.
But the gap is ridiculous between the PS2 and the other 2 consoles.
Not to mention the PS2 is the weakest console among them.

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Shauneepeak
Wednesday, March 04, 2015 @ 11:44:44 PM

One year lead, DVD player, easiest to program for, most advertised.

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VampDeLeon
Wednesday, March 04, 2015 @ 11:47:58 PM

Also the huge success of PS1 and how the hype lead to the Dreamcast being discontinued shortly after.

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FAREEZ
Thursday, March 05, 2015 @ 1:00:56 AM

In Asia people buy ps2 because ps2 can play pirated game, pirated game are so cheap at my place, if you buy 6 copies you will get 1 free, that's why I love my ps2...

Last edited by FAREEZ on 3/5/2015 1:06:27 AM

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mk ultra
Thursday, March 05, 2015 @ 3:02:38 AM

Yeah it seemed like all the other companies kinda botched that generation, and Xbox was brand new and unknown. GTAIII, MGS2 and Gran Turismo being exclusive (at least originally) helped a ton too.

That giant mess the Xbox called a controller didn't help either. I remember some of the facesof people who didn't play games very often made when you handed them an original "fatty" Xbox controller. They would study it as if it were about to hurt them, and you would have to tell them how to hold it. I think the asymmetrical sticks through a lot of people for a loop at first.

Last edited by mk ultra on 3/5/2015 3:08:14 AM

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newchef
Thursday, March 05, 2015 @ 12:00:58 AM
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i was wondering, does the system sales number, like 160m units, include used systems cause if not then that number would be even more impressive. Especially since Gamestop just put out that notice that they have enough demand for the PS2 that theyre gonna start buying them again

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Kevin555
Thursday, March 05, 2015 @ 1:39:46 AM
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The PS2 was the golden era of gaming for me. Nothing else comes close and I feel honestly blessed to have grown up during the PS2's prime. It was probably the best time to be a gamer. Nothing has and most probably never will be quite like that little black box of bliss.

The highlights.....my god the highlights. Tekken Tag and The Bouncer at launch, those mouthwatering teaser trailers of MGS2 during the tanker, GT3 A-Spec's life-like looking cars and The Getaway's photo-realistic London setting. Then that incredible flow of quality titles being released nearly in one year of themselves: GTAIII, FFX, Ico, SSX Tricky, Devil May Cry and MGS2. Just amazing.

It also ended with a bang too. We had what? MGS3, Gran Turismo 4, Tekken 5, Devil May Cry 3, Resident Evil 4, Final Fantasy XII and God of War II in it's final years? What a way to bring down the final curtain.

Don't get me wrong, i enjoy the technology of today and the advancement in graphics for the PS4 and i had plenty of great moments during the transition to HD games on PS3, but nothing as special as those humble nostalgic sessions of escapism on the grand PS2 with a multi-tap and a few mates around for those TimeSplitters deathmatches.

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mk ultra
Thursday, March 05, 2015 @ 2:21:16 AM
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Yeah, even if a console eventually outsells the PS2, there will never be a more lopsided generation again. Everybody had a PS2, and the only people I knew who had Xboxs' were people who already had PS2s and could afford it. There was almost no one on the Xbox only side. I remember the game selection at EB. A good 80% of the walls were PS2 games, with a little corner of the neon green, and Gamecube shoved somewhere in the very front or back.

And the selection of games! Like once a week I'd find some little gem in the used section. Now I take one sweeping look at a Gamestop and instantly recognize every title. I don't know if It's just because I pay more attention to the game industry now, but it seems like there used to be a whole lot more games in the used section I knew nothing about.

Your making me feel old. I turn thirty in May. :( Don't know how I'll feel when I hit that milestone.



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slow and smart
Thursday, March 05, 2015 @ 4:33:42 AM
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The diverse selection was indeed soooo great,and that combined with so many great aaa games,just wow.

I'm just glad and thankful that after all those years,the ps4 still brings us a great diversity of games like:
Puzzle games[the witness/rime/talos principle]
exploration games[no man's sky/everybody's gone to the rapture
adventure games[vanishing of ethan carter]
and many more...,and this all in 2015,this year will be a great year for the ps4



Last edited by slow and smart on 3/5/2015 4:35:44 AM

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Vivi_Gamer
Thursday, March 05, 2015 @ 4:38:02 AM
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What made the PS2 so could was is library. It pretty much dominated not just the competition, but beat it outright in every genre. Back in them days Sony had all the third party support plowing releases into their system. Most of the titles I deem as Playstation games have no been bought out to multi-platform and to me, the Playstation has lost a lot of it's identity - sure, we're still getting Metal Gear and Final Fantasy but there isn't much going for Sony in the range for exclusives, certainly not in comparison to the line up of the PS2.

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Gripheenix
Thursday, March 05, 2015 @ 5:47:30 AM
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Still got the ol' PS2, release model, that I bought a month after launch. Got it hooked up to the shiny new TV, and everything. Almost works just as well as new. Memory card slots are a bit touchy, but everything else is smooth.

Because every now and then, one needs to sit down and play a good, classic RPG, which have been in stunning shortage the past couple generations.

Though, I will say that the SNES will always be at the top of my list. Just barely over the PS2, though. If only I had one that still worked...

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gumbi
Thursday, March 05, 2015 @ 9:48:16 AM
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For me, the PS2 came out in that perfect era of freedom just after high school. I had a decent job, a little apartment, and no real expenses or responsibilities. Never in my life have I had that much time and freedom to play video games. I was lucky that the PS2 was the undisputed king of consoles at that point in my life because I got to enjoy so many of the greatest games ever made.

It's true that we will probably never see likes of it again, and I'm glad I was a part of it.

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Iconoclasm
Thursday, March 05, 2015 @ 3:41:07 PM
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I still have my entire PS1 and ps2 library my launch day PS1, PS2, PS3's, Are all still running perfect, is it any wonder I support the system so much? And in case you don't know I clean everything I own once a week and burn everything in for 48 hours even the PC I built to play ESO. I think burn-ins help alot.

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CHAOS THEORY X
Thursday, March 05, 2015 @ 8:25:01 PM
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Growing up, my brothers and I had a PSONE for the longest time after the PS2 came out. Then lightning struck our house which destroyed all electronics, blew up our driveway, flooded the house, and forced us to live in a dingy TV-less apartment for months. However, at the end of it all our parents replaced the PSONE with a shiny new PS2 that we hounded them over. My poor parents. Haha

Last edited by CHAOS THEORY X on 3/5/2015 8:27:20 PM

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Rachet_JC_FTW
Friday, March 06, 2015 @ 1:46:08 AM

yeah i can say i did hownd my parents a little bit for getting one but they had goo intentions in not giving in which as mostly to do with activity outside and such things

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Rachet_JC_FTW
Friday, March 06, 2015 @ 1:19:29 AM
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yeah i think as much as another ps2 type era with the ps4 would be nice it ain't realistic the market is much more competative and diverse than it used to be. and and more types of gameing circles have been added other than the traditional core gamer circles that exsited for years which is what we here in the PSXE comments/forum section are a part of. which is the mobile casual market amoung other things

happy gaming

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Rachet_JC_FTW
Friday, March 06, 2015 @ 1:44:30 AM
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but yeah i will add one more thing and that is also grew up in the ps1/ps2 era more so in the ps2 era cos i was like 3 or 4 or 5 for the ps1 i ca't remeber as much of that but and when the ps2 came along was i had saved up 100-150 nzd at the time and my dad and mum and talk over the issue of me saving up very determinedly(if thats a word,or i just made it up) and didn't want me buying a piece of junk so they chipped in the rest and chizam we had a ps2 and so the games started flowing in and alot of ps2 playing began thats just a bit my history with the ps2 as summarised as i can make it

happy gaming

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Vell
Friday, March 06, 2015 @ 1:40:38 PM
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CORRECTOMUNDO!!! There will never be a system like ps2. :(

1 system that played: CDs, DVDs, entire library of previous system ps1 and its entire library ps2 =. The EMOTION ENGINE!!! Oh how I will miss thee!

It's also the reason fatty ps3s costed so much. I still have my fatty also :)

GameStop = u being raped!!! U buy stuff new. games $60. Systems $300+. They give u a tenth of what u paid if u are lucky.

When PS3 launched, Buddy of mine gave ps2, w 2 controllers, and bout 10 games for PS3 because he didn't have $$$. We all laughed at him bcuz he didn't realize until later he didn't have a game to play on his new PS3! LOLLLLLLLL. DUMMY :p

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ricksterj
Sunday, March 08, 2015 @ 12:08:43 PM
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Too bad it's all but forgotten by Sony now apparently.

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