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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 reflekshun

Nice homage Alex!

Posted by TMBaker

...and I never owned one. A salute none the less.

Posted by PimblyCharles

It's amazing that new PS2s were still being manufactured up til' now. What an amazing console!

Posted by Behonkiss

The PS2 is tied with the SNES as my all-time favorite console. So many fun and imaginative games were on that system. I just wish my PS3 Slim could play PS2 discs, as I gave the PS2 to my brother when he moved and now miss it dearly.

Posted by triviaman09

pour one out

Edited by WrenchNinja

@thabigred said:

Up there with the Big Boss salute. Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando was my first PS2 game, lots of great memories with the system. Definitely best console and library ever. Only the SNES comes close.

Posted by Mr. Kamikaze

Really? Thought they stopped like...years ago. Well...this is kinda a bummer. I suddenly find myself regretting giving my PS2 away....maybe I should go get myself a new one....

Posted by MjHealy

Ah, the PS2, she was a fine servant to me over the years. I cracked it open again last summer and she was still doing. Lot of great games over the years. It was a fantastic system, even if I went through about three of them.

Edited by Sanity

RIP odd looking blue purpleish disks.

Posted by SagaciousJones

http://www.somethingawful.com/d/video-game-article/ouya-minecraft-ps2.php

"Twelve years after the PlayStation 2 debuted, production has officially come to an end.

Sony officials were surprised when they wandered into one of their forgotten factories and noticed that all the lights were on, with all sorts of large machines mass producing PlayStation 2 units. The Sony businessmen - having assumed that they stopped making the console once the PS3 launched - grasped the sides of their heads and opened their mouths in comedic shock.

After unplugging all of the machines and flicking the lights on and off, the executives shooed the factory workers from the building. Finally, they turned to one another and breathed a sigh of relief, thankful to have caught the mistake before it could cost them even more money.

Then, one executive asked if the others heard a noise coming from the old PlayStation 1 factory."

Posted by high_seraph

The system that set the hook in my gaming addiction. Goodbye, my friend.

Posted by Rejizzle

My PS3 just broke on me. But my PS2 lives on. God bless PS2, God bless.

Posted by Tireyo

I wouldn't mind having a PS2. Problem is, Nintendo and stupid life got me in its shackles.

Posted by iceman228433

For me the ps2 was done with Persona 4 but hey what a way to go out. On a side note I completely forgot how that first ps2 design looked I have had the slim one for so long.

Posted by jaks

Not only one the best consoles ever, but reliable as all hell. I wonder how many of those 150 million were re-buys, compared to the 360 where probably half their consoles are replacements for busted ones. My original launch day PS2 works as well as it did the day I took it out of the box.

Posted by Parsnip

I'll miss it, but I won't miss the two controllers that ended up leaking their hydraulics or something. And they weren't even in use at the time.

Posted by ikabubu

Well, this is coincidentally timely. I just bust out my PS2 yesterday, because I had a huge nostalgia itch.

Took a stroll down my PS1 and PS2 library. A time when Japanese games dominated my collection, and, perhaps, when I was a little more naïve.

Popped in ZOE 2, We Love Katamari, Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter, and Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne. I also dusted-off some old PS1 memory cards (remember those things?) and put in Megaman X5, Wipeout 3, Strider 2, Megaman Legends 2, and, of course (to remind myself of my favorite game of all time,) Vagrant Story.

Posted by AjayRaz

i love you, PS2. gonna go play some Burnout 3, Smackdown HCTP, GTA: SA and Dead or Alive 2 HC to honor it.

..it's a shame my copy of DRIV3R died on me.

Posted by shenstra

I haven't been able to find a reasonably priced PS2 from a reliable retailer in Europe for two years or so, and I've looked! Best I've found is 280 Euros (370 USD) at Amazon.de. Might actually splurge for one now, seeing as it's definitely end-of-the-line for the PS2. Either that, or I'll finally get a Windows PC again and see where PS2 emulation is at.

Posted by HaltIamReptar

@shenstra: Simulation is actually pretty good! You just need a solid computer if you want to upscale at all.

Edited by Kosayn

pour one out...

The PS2 is that much greater, I think, because it overcame a lot of early skepticism from the community. The mags and fansites served up endless screenshots of jaggies, complaints about the price, and eager mockery of launch titles like Fantavision and Eternal Ring. But when unbelievable screens from games like MGS2, Tekken 4, and Silent Hill 2 started showing up, that tune changed. The fetishistic pursuit of the perfect marketing screenshot has pretty much not stopped since then.

Gaming grew up so much on the PS2. SH2 and Ico pioneered subtler storytelling in games. JRPGs boomed, trying to recapture Square and Nintendo's successes from the past generation. Even an RPG with middling gameplay like .Hack sold disproportionately well, pioneering the episodic game before online stores gave the concept a proper place. Despite only being a simulated MMO, it also raised awareness of them for a lot of people (WoW didn't hit till a year later). The PS2 brought us Xenosaga, Disgaea, DQ8 and FFX, among many others that are still influential. The JRPG heyday did die down eventually when the mainstream turned to shooters, but people are still raving about Persona 4.

Posted by Cybexx

More than just ports, a few of the PS2's best games came out after the PS3 launched: God of War II (Early 2007), Persona 3 (Mid 2007), Persona 4 (Late 2008).

Posted by Mister_V

I had some of my most memorable gaming moments on my PS2. sad to see it go but it had a long life for a console.

Posted by HmmJustABox

I almost miss those Disc Read Errors right now.

*pours one out*

Posted by thekingoftoilets

First game I had owned when I got my PS2 was FF-X. That awkward laugh scene still makes me laugh.

Posted by shenstra

@HaltIamReptar said:

@shenstra: Simulation is actually pretty good! You just need a solid computer if you want to upscale at all.

That's good to hear. I'm planning to buy a pretty decent rig some time soon and I don't care all that much about upscaling. I take it I can use my PS2 discs? 'Cause I'm fine with emulating hardware that isn't in production anymore, but I'd rather not get into downloading roms and such. Just looking for a way to play my collection in case my old-ass PS2 dies.

Posted by Hawkerace

Oh man I'm looking at my dusty PS2 and the library above it. Should I do it, should I do it!

Online
Posted by theswoosh

Before all you kids and your RRODs...

we had PS2 and disk read errors!

Posted by MHumphreys89

People say the 360 is junk, I had 7 of these things. Disc Read Error among other things.

Edited by mrcraggle

Never owned a PS2 (I owned a GC and DC) but I often played it at friends houses but many of them had to get replacements.

Posted by Cold_Wolven

I still have my PS2 I got for Christmas of 2003 and it's still going strong. I wonder if this means Sony will now give us a PS2 emulator for the PS3.

Posted by Cretaceous_Bob

The flipside of this is that there's PS2s out there that are only a couple months old. That's bananas.

Posted by Rmack

One of the best ever, if not the greatest.

Posted by FriskyBat

Goodnight, sweet prince

And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.

Posted by BigD145

Hopefully the PC PS2 emulation scene gets better because there is no other replacement to play a good and vast library of games.

Posted by thedrvthrubandit

All the attention is going towards the PS2 but lets stop and think about the vertical stand for a minute.

Posted by Bollard

Stop making me sad they are never gunna make a real Ape Escape game again :(

Posted by demazin

Good night, sweet prince.

Posted by Swifdemon

Good-night, sweet prince;

And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.

Posted by JEC03

Last console I ever played and one of the best.It's been PC for me since mid 05 don't care about consoles anymore but PS2 will be the last great memory I had of them GTA3 got me back into gaming.

Posted by BD_Mr_Bubbles

@mrfluke said:

@FormulaDeuce said:

@Tesla said:

Goodnight, sweet prince.

Posted by ThePickle

Goodnight sweet Prince.

My PS2 is actually still hooked up to my TV. I've played Madden 2005 and THPS3 fairly recently.

Posted by Hef

Peronsa 4 endurance run redux to send off the playstation 2.

You know you want to

Posted by JDillinger

@Bourbon_Warrior: Hahahahahahahahaha, no. The 360 doesn't come close.

Posted by WMoyer83

First game I owned was Gran Turismo 3. A end of a era.

Posted by JoeyRavn

I never had a PS2.

I...

I'll just let myself out.

Posted by Ben_H

I just bought Guitar Hero through Guitar Hero 3 for PS2 recently. I still use mine a bit. I was late to the party when it comes to the PS2 so I still am slowly catching up on games for it. I still want to get the Sly Cooper games.

Posted by Robaota

I don't think any console has had such a vast array of quality titles along all genres. I'm going to pop in Ar Tonelico 2 tonight, and then follow it up with a game of PES 5.

What a behemoth of a console.

Posted by Stinky51012

Why no true Ape Escape using the Move? I'll never understand

Edited by Jams

Still have my original PS2. I think it was the second run (the one after the initial batch that was sold out right away). I remember my heart skipping a beat when I saw it at the mall. I remember just standing there going, "That's not possible! It's supposed to be sold out everywhere!". I proceeded to beg my parents to get it before it goes out of stock again. All these years later I still have it. I had to replace the lens on it from a Chinese Ebayer recently, but it was worth it having my old buddy up and running again.