Review by NES4EVER

"50 million can't be wrong"

''When did you get yours?'' is the question, not ''Do you have one''. Playstation 2's success is unbelievable. So far, Sony has sold 50 million units worldwide. Due to the fact that Playstation 2 had a worldwide fan base to work with. Sony was also able to feed off the popularity of the original Playstation that had sold 70 million units worldwide. Many other factors have contributed to Playstation 2's success like the fact that it's dually compatible with Playstation games. That doesn’t mean you can play PS2 games on a PS1, but you can play your old games on your PS2. That’s a BIG plus to anyone on a tight budget but wants to own a PS2.

LAUNCH

The launch of the Playstation 2 was pretty damn crazy world wide. It was one of the biggest video game launches in Japan when it was introduced. But Sony had a few problems with the DVD player in the North American version so they had to cut the shipment to 500 000 units on launch day. You can imagine what kind of frenzy that caused. Everybody and their dog were trying to pre-order a PS2. Finally, on October 26th, 2000...after six months of anticipation, Playstation 2 was unleashed to the North American public. People camped outside stores for days before hand and even people who had pre-ordered their PS2 walked away empty handed. It was the Christmas season as well, so 5 million kids wanted a Playstation 2, but there were only 500 000 in North America. So Playstation 2 instantly became ''The hot gift of the season'', the award that other such popular toys like Fury, Tickle me Elmo and the cabbage patch kids had taken in previous years. You could probably get your hands on one all right... But it would cost you about triple the price. If you had Playstation 2, you were the cool kid on the block; the people that hated you suddenly became your friends, and heck! It even helped you with the girls! Sony created a monster that could have never been. In that way I think they did a good job at marketing their product. But a few hundred thousand more units would have been nicer around launch.
9/10

Compatibility

Playstation 2 has a lot of uses. For example, right out of the box, you can play music CD’s, PS1 games, PS2 games, DVD’s and more.

CD Compatibility: PS2 can basically play ANY music CD in existence. It has no problem playing CD-R and CD-RW CD’s, which is a BIG plus.

DVD Compatibility: The DVD player in the PS2 is not as compatible as most dedicated DVD players out there. But it’s very good. It has good picture quality, but the Controller is a little hard to use as a remote. But Sony solved that problem by selling an aftermarket remote control. Another thing that pulls the DVD player down is the version of driver. For example, say the early ones were version 1. And the newest ones are version 5. Well 1 would have a bigger list of unplayable DVD’s than the newest version. But that can also be solved easily with the aftermarket remote. It comes with a CD that has the latest driver loaded on it.

PS1 compatibility: Playstation 2 capable of playing almost every Playstation 1 game. But there are a few early ones that don’t work as well as newer ones. But the chances you own a game that wont work on a PS2 are minimal. The advantages though are that you can use your old memory cards as well. Which means you don’t even need a PS1 anymore! Very well done Sony.

Others: PS2 is also set up to work in Dolby digital and DTS if you have a home theatre.
Overall 9/10

ADD ONS

PS2 has heaps of add-ons. Some of them are,
Memory Card: A 8mb memory card can hold A LOT and I mean A LOT of information. Usually, 2 8mb video cards should be more than enough for regular video gamers.

Internet Adapter: The internet adapter allows you to play various games online. Although the library is still quite small at the moment, it is growing each month by a few titles. Some of the more notable are SOCOM: Navy Seals, Auto Modellista, Tony Hawks Pro Skater 4 and many many more.

Controller: I called this an add-on since you can buy more after you get the PS2. I think the controller is probably the best between game cube, X-box and PS2. Even though it is identical to the PS1 controller, it’s ergonomically comfortable. It’s like the old saying “Why fix it if it ain’t broken”.

AUDIO/VISUALS

Audio: The sounds you get from a PS2 are top notch. The reason being that because the game is on a DVD, and not a cartridge allows the audio files to be much larger and intricate. Although its competitors have it beat somewhat, PS2 still sounds phenomenal.

Visuals: graphics have been a mixed bag from the introduction of PS2 to this day. The games at launch were pretty bland compared to today’s games. For example, look at Smugglers run, and then look at Metal Gear Solid 2. The differences are amazing. I wish that game makers were able to utilize PS2 earlier in its life. Because it didn’t show what it was really capable of. PS2 is a little outpaced after the introduction of Game cube and X-box. The graphics aren’t THAT bad. But both game cube and X-box do a better job.

The DVD player has excellent visuals. If you ever get a chance, try to watch Shrek on a flat screen TV using your PS2 as a DVD player. You’ll be blown away. Another thing that impresses me is the fact that the DVD doesn’t take time to load the chapters. Out of the 3 DVD players in my house, it’s the only one that doesn’t have that problem. But as I stated before, the PS2 might have a few compatibility issues with some DVD’s.
9/10

GAMES
Ah… the essence of any gaming experience. Playstation 2 has no lack of games… Not by a long shot, but I question the quality of some of the earlier games. It seemed at launch, that games with good graphics were hard to come by. Sure, they were better than the Playstation standard, but they were nothing special at all. It wasn’t until the following year in June that the first truly stunning game hit the market. The day that Gran Turismo 3 A-Spec was released, Playstation 2 owners worldwide were in awe at the jaw dropping backgrounds and endlessly detailed car models. Hell! It even had a good soundtrack. There have been many good games come out since, but the lack of impressing games at launch takes some marks off.
7/10

Crème de la Crème
-Devil May Cry
-Gran Turismo 3
-Metal Gear Solid 2
-Grand Theft Auto 3
-Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
-Final Fantasy X
-Rez

Good games
-NBA Street
-NHL 2002
-Test Drive
-Midnight Club II

Mediocre games
-Midnight club
-Crash Bandicoot 5
-Smugglers Run

Stay away from these games
-Brittany Spears Dance Beat
-The Mummy Returns
-X-Squad

Playstation 2 is well worth the $175 its being sold for now. What you pay for (A ps2, ps1, dvd player, cd player) is worth well over $750. The graphics are above average and the games are absolutely breathtaking. I would try and make a list of ALL the good games, but I wouldn’t want to take up that much space ;-). There are racing games, adventure games, RPG’s, First Person Shooters, action games, strategy games. The list is endless.

If you do not own a Playstation 2 as of yet, I would just like to remind you of what you are missing. Stunning visuals, stunning games, stunning audio, out of the box DVD compatibility and so much more. The choice is yours, but I strongly influence you to get a Playstation 2.


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 07/28/03, Updated 07/28/03


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