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S > SONY  > PlayStation 2   

PlayStation 2

By the time the PS2 was released in 2000, the PlayStation brand was a household name. Selling well from launch, the PS2 was another success for Sony. Strong third party support and backwards compatability ensured a wide variety of games.

After release users reported a variety of problems including DVD playback and the infamous laser problem, where the machine was unable to read blue discs. This problem was so widespread that in America a class action lawsuit was filed against Sony.

2003 saw the Japanese only release of the PSX which was capable of recording video on DVD-R discs and featured either a 160 GB or 250 GB hard drive. The PSX was visually very different from the PS2. A smoother white case that looked somewhat like a VCR replaced the grooved black case of the PS2. The PSX also had an updated user interface, similar to that of the PSP.

In 2004 a slimline version of the PS2 was released, not without its own problems. Because of the smaller case an external power supply was used, a number of which were recalled due to the possibility of overheating. The slimline version also featured an Ethernet port and integrated modem.

Despite these problems the PS2 was extremely popular, selling more than 115 million units world-wide to date according to Sony. It has been suggested this is an artificially high figure though, as some users report having owned as many as four or more replacement machines due to the problems with the laser.


Contributors: Ste (text & info)

NAME  PlayStation 2
YEAR  2000
BUILT IN SOFTWARE / GAMES  CD Player + Memory Card manager
CONTROLLERS  8-way d-pad, 10 buttons + Start + Select, two analog sticks
CPU  128 bit, MIPS IV based "Emotion Engine"
SPEED  294 MHz
CO-PROCESSOR  64bit MIPS R5900 (CPU), FPU, 150 MHz VU0 & VU1 (Vector Unit 0 & 1), 147 MHZ Graphics Synthesizer (GPU), 33.8688 MHz 32 bit MIPS R3000A
VRAM  4 MB DRAM (can also use system RAM)
GRAPHIC MODES  256x224 to 1280x1024
COLORS  16.7 million
SOUND  8 MHz SPU1, SPU2, 48 channels, Dolby Digital 5.1 and Dolby Pro Logic II capable
SIZE / WEIGHT  Unknown
I/O PORTS  PCMCIA/DEV 9 port, IEEE 1394 Firewire port (early models only), Infrared port (late models only), 2 USB 1.1 ports, 2 Memory Card slots, 2 controller ports
PERIPHERALS  Eye Toy, Network Adapter (built in on slimline version), etc.
PRICE  ¥39,800 (Japan 2000), $299.99 (U.S.A. 2000) £299.99 (U.K. 2000)

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