Giant Bomb News

229 Comments

After 12 Years and 150 Million Units Sold, the PlayStation 2 Is Finally Done

Sony quietly puts an end to production on its most successful console to date.

R.I.P. PlayStation 2: 2000 - 2012

Though the PlayStation 2 has been essentially démodé ever since its bigger, bulkier, more technologically advanced replacement came along in 2006, that doesn't mean the system just disappeared. In fact, it's been right there all along, still appearing on store shelves, and occasionally even maintaining just enough interest to ensure that, for a number of years after the PlayStation 3's arrival, PlayStation 2 ports of major titles still popped into existence.

No longer will this be the case, however. As of last week, Sony quietly shut down further production of the console in Japan, and over the weekend the console maker confirmed to The Guardian that the PlayStation 2 had reached its inevitable end.

The PlayStation 2 leaves the field as essentially the most successful home console ever produced. Over the course of its 12-year run, more than 150 million units were sold at retail, alongside countless titles produced by myriad publishers. Many of Sony's biggest current exclusive franchises, including Ratchet and Clank, Killzone, and God of War all originated on the system, while numerous major third party franchises, like Guitar Hero, Katamari Damacy, and, of course, Rockstar's 3D-flavored Grand Theft Auto III, all made their debuts there as well.

While it's always sad to hear about an old favorite finally exiting production, the truth is that the PS2 hasn't existed in any impactful capacity in years. Units have continued to sell in spurts, primarily in Japan (where the last few volleys of software have mostly originated as well), and there is even purportedly one remaining game releasing sometime in 2013--the Final Fantasy XI expansion Adoulin no Makyou. But trickling Final Fantasy XI expansions do not a console make. It's clear that the PS2's time was up a while ago. This is just the final death knell.

It was a legendary run, one that it seems increasingly unlikely any new console will overtake in the foreseeable future. But instead of hand-wringing over the future, let's take today to remember the past and bust out some of our most favorite PlayStation 2 games. I've already pulled out copies of Ape Escape 3, Tony Hawk 3, and the original Guitar Hero. Now if I could just find my original PS2 guitar controller...

Alex Navarro on Google+
229 Comments
Posted by RudeCubes

Best Of PS2 stream pls

Posted by strangeling
Posted by Winternet

Persona 4 was pretty much the last big hoorah for the PS2 (and what a hoorah!).

Online
Posted by fisk0

@MariachiMacabre said:

@Bourbon_Warrior

The best console ever, until the 360.

PS2 has a library of games that Microsoft couldn't dream of. I say the PS2 still holds the crown. Plus the 360 loses a lot of points for making you pay for XBL.

PS2's Online functionality was if possible more ridiculous though, with the Network setup disc that wasn't included with the console, and only a few of the games with online capability, a Network Access Code that was only printed on the back of the system's manual and which then got linked to the first account created with that code, making people who bought used PS2's (or Ethernet adapters) unable to connect to the online services.

It was a fantastic console, no doubt, but the bullshit you had to go through to connect one to the Internet was inexcusable even back in 2001, and it certainly didn't help that the 2004 and 2007 Slims were released with an outdated activation URL printed in the manual.

It's pretty amazing how many people still play some of the games though, Battlefield 2 on PS2 still have plenty of populated servers for example. It's also quite fascinating that the FIFA series is still released on PS2, or at least was, I guess FIFA 13 may have been the last considering the console is officially discontinued now.

Edited by JackSukeru
Posted by jamesisaacs

Arrivederci compadre...

Posted by vorpalparasite

RIP Old Friend! GOOD TIMES WERE HAD!

Posted by Emiel

:-(

Posted by Mezmero

The last unit I bought is long gone but thankfully I still have a PS3 Phat. It's only a matter of time before this box burns out and I'm unable to play my copy of God Hand or Persona 4. I also got a bunch of Square games on PS1 discs but I could always download those games digitally. Hopefully the architecture of the next Sony box will accommodate those of us with a taste for all the great games that came out on PS2. Rest in peace.

Posted by EndlessObsidian

Live Stream of the Crew playing some of their favorite PS2 games incoming?

Posted by guilherme

@msavo said:

Posted by LoktarOgar

People keep referring to it as the most successful "home console", but hasn't it also sold more than any handheld? At the very least, Wikipedia has the DS at 152 mil as of September '12, and the PS2 at 155 mil as of March '12.

Posted by HansKaosu

@LoktarOgar said:

People keep referring to it as the most successful "home console", but hasn't it also sold more than any handheld? At the very least, Wikipedia has the DS at 152 mil as of September '12, and the PS2 at 155 mil as of March '12.

Hand helds are not considered home consoles.

Posted by PattyOFurniture

First game was Winback. Wish I still had it to play for the memories.

Posted by whatisdelicious

Gotta tell ya, this is why I don't like Sony's strategy of supporting old consoles for as long as they do. Their heart's in the right place, but it just means that it takes FOREVER to wean all those PS2 users off that system and onto the PS3. They've already said they'll try to do the same with the PS3, but they really shouldn't, and I say that as a PS3 user. There should be about a year where my PS3 is still kind of relevant, but past that, cut it off and get people to upgrade. If you don't force people to upgrade, a lot of them won't. I think the success of the PS2 really hurt the PS3 for a while because of this.

Posted by RedCream

Long live!

Posted by zyn

Best. Console. Evar.

Edited by Bourbon_Warrior

@MariachiMacabre said:

@Bourbon_Warrior

The best console ever, until the 360.

PS2 has a library of games that Microsoft couldn't dream of. I say the PS2 still holds the crown. Plus the 360 loses a lot of points for making you pay for XBL.

PS2 had GTA 3 series, Tekken Tag and Final Fantasy X but that's all I really played on it. Gaming really pulled me in this generation with titles like Bioshock, Forza 4, Burnout Paradise, COD4, Batman : AA, Gears of War 3, Fallout 3, Oblivion, Halo 3, Red Dead Redemption, Lost Odyssey, Trails, FEZ, Castle Crashers, Assassins Creed 2, Borderlands, Mass Effect Trilogy, GTA IV, Condemned 2 and Spinter Cell. Games just really became more fun for me this generation.

Posted by LoktarOgar

@HansKisaragi said:

@LoktarOgar said:

People keep referring to it as the most successful "home console", but hasn't it also sold more than any handheld? At the very least, Wikipedia has the DS at 152 mil as of September '12, and the PS2 at 155 mil as of March '12.

Hand helds are not considered home consoles.

That's fine, but at that point you might as well just call it the most successful console, full stop, since that's what it is. There's no need to qualify it.

Posted by Video_Game_King

The PS2 is dead? What inopportune timing for me to have bought Persona 3 FES.

Posted by Porkellain

@jamesisaacs said:

Arrivederci compadre...

Arrivederci -> Italian.

compadre -> Spanish.

I love you English-speaking guys when you try to speak Italian awkwardy quoting AC2. That should have been "Arrivederci, amico", or "Hasta luego, compadre".

OT: PS2 means pirate days to me, when I couldn't afford to buy all the games that I wanted and learned how to jailbreak it. Best moments. Fare you well, mate.

Posted by Greeny83

@whatisdelicious said:

Gotta tell ya, this is why I don't like Sony's strategy of supporting old consoles for as long as they do. Their heart's in the right place, but it just means that it takes FOREVER to wean all those PS2 users off that system and onto the PS3. They've already said they'll try to do the same with the PS3, but they really shouldn't, and I say that as a PS3 user. There should be about a year where my PS3 is still kind of relevant, but past that, cut it off and get people to upgrade. If you don't force people to upgrade, a lot of them won't. I think the success of the PS2 really hurt the PS3 for a while because of this.

The PS2 is arguably the only thing that kept Sony alive for the first 2 or 3 years of the PS3's life cycle. And the lack of support for an old console doesn't necessarily mean that people that are on the fence will upgrade, especially when that console already has huge library of older games that can be bought for low prices. Sony could have very easily became the next Sega if not for PS2 and PS2 software sales.

Posted by Glottery

I remember spending a good portion of my hard-earned summer job money back in 2007 to buy PS2 and both God of Wars. Those remain as the only games I ever played through on it, even if I did buy a few other classics as well. But just those two games alone made it well-worth the purchase.

Online
Posted by granderojo
Posted by TrashMustache

there will never be a greater era, this of course coming from a guy who was 12 years old when the PS2 came out, sure before that I had Nes Snes, Genesis, which I love to death as well but the PS2 era is that one era I was "part of", I was excited for it to come out and have so many memories regarding it. And obviously I also lived the PS3 era lol, but that teener magic is just unbeatable.

Posted by NekuSakuraba

R.I.P old friend, good times were had and you will never be forgotten.

Posted by whatisdelicious

@Greeny83: I totally agree that the sales of the PS2 helped them stay afloat, but that's also because they made some very expensive decisions regarding the PS3 that it sounds like they're smartly avoiding with the PS4. Think about it though: the PS2 was supported and manufactured almost all the way up until the introduction of the PS4. If you're a parent or somebody who doesn't play games that often, there's not much incentive to upgrade. So yeah, the PS2 was definitely helpful in keeping Sony going while they were being hurt by how expensive the PS3 was, but I also think it'd be crazy to say that it didn't also negatively impact the PS3's sales in a pretty significant way.

Posted by Artie

I like how this article reads like an Obituary.

Posted by dagas

Would have been funny if they still sold it when PS4 came out.

Posted by FoxMulder

Came into the the PS2 pretty late in it's cycle. I had A Game Cube from nearly the start of the generation and finally matured into an Xbox around the time that Halo 2 was set to come out. Asked for Wii the year it came out and my mom got me a PS2 slim instead. I was on the verge of returning it to buy a Wii, but something changed my mind. Probably because the Game Cube pretty much peaked at Smash Bros Melee for me and the Xbox had run it's course. That and I played my brothers PS2 a ton when he wasn't using it. I loved the MGS series and played what I could on those other two consoles, but when MGS3: Subsistence came out I just needed to play that game. That and neither the GC or Xbox (w/o the adapter) could play DVDs.

So I stuck with it, and boy was I glad I did! Even though I had it for less time, I ended up owning more PS2 games than Xbox games. I could rattle off the list, but it's pretty much the same games that made the console so successful. To this day it still has the best esclusive games. Hell, I even bought a copy of Silent Hill 2 after enjoying 1 from a free PS+ relese and seeing that the HD collection was busted! I had plans to play some of my PS2 games this year, but most of them came out in HD form eventually. Such a superb console! One that will still stay near a TV for atleast a few more years!

Posted by HaltIamReptar

Impactful is a word invented by marketers with a crummy understanding of the English language

Posted by ExtraSuperDanks

this is kind of...old news isnt it?

Posted by Olivaw

Robot Alchemic Drive was an awesome PS2 game. So was Way of the Samurai (and to a much lesser extent, Way of the Samurai 2).

And let us never forget Clover Studios. God Hand, Viewtiful Joe, Okami. They had a brief but brilliant run.

The PS2 is dead. Long live the PS2!

Posted by AngerPanda

The stuff of legends, this one. My PS2 game collection is massive and I still pick up the occasional game for cheap at Play N' Trade, Half Price Books or Disc Replay (a midwest store). Got mine in January of 2002 and it's still hooked up to a TV (well, not the same PS2, I've since gotten a slim one). Favorite games were: Bully, Final Fantasy XII, Rule of Rose, Shadow Hearts: Covenant, Grand Theft Auto III, Silent Hill 2, Suikoden III, Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne and Persona 4. Dammit, I'll have to go make a proper list now.

Posted by rachelepithet

Whats the last SKU?

Posted by Greeny83

@whatisdelicious said:

@Greeny83: I totally agree that the sales of the PS2 helped them stay afloat, but that's also because they made some very expensive decisions regarding the PS3 that it sounds like they're smartly avoiding with the PS4. Think about it though: the PS2 was supported and manufactured almost all the way up until the introduction of the PS4. If you're a parent or somebody who doesn't play games that often, there's not much incentive to upgrade. So yeah, the PS2 was definitely helpful in keeping Sony going while they were being hurt by how expensive the PS3 was, but I also think it'd be crazy to say that it didn't also negatively impact the PS3's sales in a pretty significant way.

I think that even if the PS3 weren't so expensive, it still would have struggled. The launch titles just weren't all that impressive. Not to say that the 360's launch lineup was any better(because it wasn't), but it did have a year headstart, which mattered in this case. Add to that the lackluster ports and inferior versions of multiplatform games, and the PS3 would have had a hard time regardless of price. And even if the PS4 has a "perfect" launch, there will still be people that wait to upgrade. Better to keep your previous console alive and get money out of those people than to stop supporting it and not bring in that revenue.

Posted by Rhombus_Of_Terror

@RudeCubes said:

Best Of PS2 stream pls

Vinny should host it, so they can go online to find some cheats...

Edited by pakattak

Man I loved that thing. I still remember the first day I played one when I was 14. It was Christmas time, drizzling outside, and I was playing some Jak and Daxter. The Sentinel Beach theme kicked in and I was in love.

I need to get me another PS2. My old one busted and I hate playing PS2 games on my PS3 because of the input lag.

Posted by Korolev

Damn - I've got to run out and get one of the slim PS2s. My old one just died, and if I ever want to play my PS2 games again, I'll need to get one.

Posted by TheHT

Goodnight sweet prince(ss).

Posted by Greeny83

@Korolev said:

Damn - I've got to run out and get one of the slim PS2s. My old one just died, and if I ever want to play my PS2 games again, I'll need to get one.

Get two! I'm actually thinking of buying another slim just for a backup.

Posted by LikeaSsur

@Porkellain said:

I love you English-speaking guys when you try to speak Italian awkwardy quoting AC2. That should have been "Arrivederci, amico", or "Hasta luego, compadre".

First of all, the sentiment doesn't change, so who cares? Second of all, you should have lived long enough on this planet to know that languages are mixed in mid-sentence all the time. You've probably done it before. Third of all, fourth of all.

Anyway, thanks for all the memories, PS2. You helped me meet my best friend and create countless memories with others. I'll never forget you.

Posted by Porkellain

@LikeaSsur: hey I just said that I love you :<

Posted by Veektarius

@SirOptimusPrime said:

@Crono said:

@Veektarius said:

I will remember the PS2 best for the first game I played on it, Summoner. I loved that game.

Same. Summoner was amazing at the time! Looking back on it now I laugh thinking about how much I enjoyed it because its really not that great of a game, but at the time it was one of the best games you could get at launch.

I still have my original copy, and going back...

That game is a big fucking mess. That stupid stealth section at the very beginning of the game? The slow pace, and not even having a full party until you're done with the first continent? The plot was at least mildly, sort of - in a way - interesting. Also, it was the first time I was exposed to that D&D sketch in the post-credits.

It definitely had some frustrating parts, but I thought the story was a big plus - dark western RPGs were a rarity on consoles at the time, and I enjoyed the chain system of combat (like a primitive version of the Witcher). Also, I enjoyed using the summons as a party member. I guess FFXIII-2 did that recently, with the problem that the summon didn't look badass. Still, I'm probably kidding myself if I tried to claim I could stand to play through it again.

Online
Posted by TheHBK

Loved my PS2, never liked those Sony franchises that originated on it, except Jak and Daxter. Killzone still sucks.

Posted by TzarStefan

I still got my European launch model, i hope it doesn't die on me  :(

Posted by Warfare

*salute*

Posted by DarkbeatDK

Now can finally put the PS2 games in storage since it's not the current gen anymore.

Posted by Fredchuckdave

On the most successful console to date* (by far)

Posted by Kaowas

My parents bought me a PS2 back in October of 2000 and it's still working to this day as if it's brand new. Never once did I have a problem with it. I hope that when I've got kids of my own, I can potentially give them all of my childhood consoles, the PS2 included.