Home  >>  Write  >>  Entertainment  >>  Video Games  >>  Video Game Systems  >>  Sony Playstation 2


Sony Playstation 2

The Playstation series of consoles has been a veritable Godzilla in the gaming industry, smashing all competitors in the way. When the original Playstation debuted in 1995, few could anticipate just how far the system would penetrate into the market. Who would have imagined that giants like Nintendo and Sega could be toppled by this new entry into the field? So far, 100 million Playstation units have been sold worldwide. There are over 7,300 games available and 949 million of them have been sold. When Sony announced it would be releasing their next-generation 128-bit Playstation 2, fans around the world foamed at the mouth.

It’s no surprise then when you take a look at the numbers. Playstation 2 (or PS2 for short) has sold 20 million units in America and 50 million worldwide since late 2000. The system outsells its nearest competitors (XBOX and Gamecube) by an amazing three to one ratio! The 500 games now available in the PS2 library are affordable and of high-quality. Thousands of players now compete online ever since a network adapter was released for online play.

The design of the Playstation 2 is quite unique. It was originally designed to stand vertically in order to save space. The unit is a flat rectangular box that is smaller than most DVD players. It uses a disc tray that pops out like a regular DVD-ROM drive. The controllers are well-crafted and fit into the hands easily. There are 8 buttons on the controller and two thumbsticks. Everything on the outside reveals careful attention to detail. On the inside, the Playstation 2 has been plagued by several key technical problems. One of the biggest complaints of PS2 owners is that it has a short lifespan compared to other systems. Problems with the internal motors have caused many PS2s to simply stop working after a while. Some owners have gone through several different PS2s over the last four years.

At the heart of the PS2 is the "Emotion Engine" CPU clocked in at around 300 MHz (slower than both Gamecube and XBOX). It has 32 MB of Rambus memory with a bandwidth of 3.2 GB/s. Its video processor runs at 150 MHz with a DRAM bandwidth of 48.0 GB/s. It runs at an effective polygon rate of 13 M/s though Sony claims it peaks at 75 M/s in 24-bit color. So while the PS2 falls short in processing power, it makes up for it with a good graphics processor.

The strength of the PS2 lies in its game library. A number of games are PS2 only, and the biggest success of the entire Playstation 2 console system has been the Grand Theft Auto series of video games. There are many other key titles in the Sony library but there are far too many of them to list here!  I almost forgot to mention that the PS2 can play DVDs coded to the region it was sold in.  That’s a great addition and helps alleviate its high price value.