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When was the PlayStation 2 released?
When was the PlayStation 2 released?

PlayStation 2 Reaches its 20th Anniversary as one of one of the most successful consoles in history, it is the most sold to date and the one that has received the most launches, but in its legacy the games stand out above all, which reached all kinds of audiences and made it clear that video games were no longer just " kid thing".

The launch of the PlayStation 2 took place on March 4, 2000 in Japan, although it arrived in the United States the following October and Europe, including Spain, in November. It was another time, and Sony still saw Japan as its main market.

160 million units sold make PS2 the most commercially successful console ever, closely followed by 154 million units of Nintendo DS. PlayStation 2 received 3,870 different games, although it must be remembered that in those years the development of titles was much easier.

Of the 20-year life of PlayStation 2, most of it was still in production, having been completed in early 2013, with PS3 at the end of its life cycle and PS4 close to launch.

Sony had surprised the world with the original PlayStation, its commitment to CDs, external development studios and more adult themes. Sega and Nintendo were weakened by the arrival of a new rival, and the appearance of PlayStation 2 made things even more difficult for them.

At the time we already reviewed the entire history of PlayStation, but on the 20th anniversary of PS2 it's time to stop at one of its most important periods:

More 3D power and commitment to DVD

While the original PSX was a rushed project, stemming from a canceled SNES CD drive when the PlayStation and Nintendo deal broke up, with PlayStation 2 development was ambitious from the start.

A DVD player was included, allowing you to play movies, making it the most affordable DVD player on the market. With the public wanting to ditch VHS, some buyers saw the games as just an extra.

In any case, the console had improved its capabilities for 3D, the controller was included by defaultDualShock 2 with analog sticks , and opted for a black and blue physical design that could be positioned vertically, something quite striking.

When was PlayStation 2 released?
When was PlayStation 2 released?

Sony had designed a Emotion Engine processor and a GraphicsSynthesizerwith 6.5 GFLOPS of power, together with 32 MB of RAM, a convincing hardware, although it suffered from aliasing problems (excessive "saw teeth" in edges of objects).

In practice, this meant that graphics with rudimentary polygons and pixels from the original PSX now changed to rounded shapes, sharper and more detailed, apart from previously impossible effects, including realistic rain, object physics or open worlds no loading between different zones.

The visual impact of PlayStation 2 was very important, and it was also compatible with the games of its predecessor, since it included its hardware in an additional chip. You just had to insert the original CD, and you could even apply anti-aliasing to the textures.

PlayStation 2 was graphically superior to the Sega Dreamcast, which had been on the market for a year and had a promising catalogue. Despite being an excellent console, the Dreamcast was weighed down by the failure of the Saturn, and it was the last machine from Sega, which from then on was dedicated solely to developing games.

In 2001 Microsoft's Xbox and Nintendo GameCube would arrive, which were more powerful, but could do little against PS2. The audience and developers were focused on the PlayStation 2, and this generation Sony's rivals were fairly modestly successful, though their consoles weren't bad at all.

When was PlayStation 2 released?
When was PlayStation 2 released?

In addition, in 2004 the PlayStation 2 Slim was launched, a thinner and lighter model, which also reduced manufacturing costs, allowing lower prices and increase sales.

Games that laid many foundations

PlayStation 2 allowed to bring games closer than ever to movies, with better graphics, space for abundant video sequences and dialogues, characters showing facial expressions…

Apart from the graphical improvements, open world games became possible, and studios began to experiment with the formulas that today are the basis of the modern video game. Let's look at some key games:

Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty

When was PlayStation 2 released?
When was PlayStation 2 released?

Metal Gear Solid is considered the best PSX game for its mature story, neat gameplay, and graphics. The first trailer for Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, with an incredible look for the time, generated enormous anticipation.

The final title offered deep gameplay and excellent graphics, although it generated controversy due to the change of protagonist after the first levels and for a while convoluted argument.

Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, released in 2004, was better in many ways, but there's no denying that the trailer for Metal Gear Solid 2 sold a significant number of PS2s.

Jak and Daxter

When was PlayStation 2 released?
When was PlayStation 2 released?

Naughty Dog, who looked to create Crash Bandicoot on the first PlayStation, this time produced a traditional 3D platformer, with solid gameplay, very good graphics and no loads between levels, anticipation of the open world titles that awaited us.

Jak and Daxter was a good saga, which spawned sequels on PS2 and PSP, but can be seen as a preview of what awaited us: on PS3 Naughty Dog is became Sony's star studio thanks to the adventures of the Uncharted franchise and The Last of Us.

Grand Theft Auto III

When was PlayStation 2 released?
When was PlayStation 2 released?

Grand Theft Auto III is one of the most influential games ever, featuring a 3D open-world city, which we could explore without limits or loading times, in a crime simulator that aroused the interest of fans and the general media, due to its high level of violence.

It was the sequels GTA: Vice City and GTA: San Andreas that really brought the "sandbox" (open world) genre to everyone's lips, but its foundations were already in GTA III. In any case, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is the best-selling PS2 game, surpassing 30 million copies.

Shadow of the Colossus

When was PlayStation 2 released?
When was PlayStation 2 released?

After the relative success of Ico, a very personal adventure for Team Ico, many eyes turned to Shadow of the Colossus. A title with an empty and dead open world, where we had to locate 16 colossi and kill them, to bring back to life the woman that the protagonist had deposited in a central temple.

Shadow of the Colossus was a success, and for many it showed that video games could also be art or, at least, move away from wild action to propose other approaches.

Final Fantasy X

When was PlayStation 2 released?
When was PlayStation 2 released?

After the success of the previous three installments, Final Fantasy X made its debut on PlayStation 2 adding voice dialogues, more video sequences and 3D environments. It was well received at the time, and over time it became a cult game for its refreshing aesthetics and romantic plot.

Porting the essence of Final Fantasy to the next generation posed many challenges, and Final Fantasy X blended innovation and tradition quite well, more than other later chapters.


When was PlayStation 2 released?
When was PlayStation 2 released?

SOCOM: U. S. Navy SEALs is not remarkable in almost anything, but it is a precursor of the online game The shooting game allowed up to 6 people to compete over the Internet, although there were You will need to purchase a network adapter and a headset to take advantage of these features.

Xbox was betting big on online play, so Sony wanted to give him an answer, but it wouldn't be until the PS3 came along that these multiplayer modes would really catch on.

Although PlayStation 2 left many jewels for history, there was also no lack of experimental titles, almost always associated with peripherals that were viewed with the DVD itself of the game.

For example, SingStar allowed you to set up a home karaoke thanks to the two included microphones, EyeToy was a webcam with simple minigames that introduced us to the television, and Buzz had 4 buttons to simulate a television trivia contest.

A console that changed the industry

When was PlayStation 2 released?
When was PlayStation 2 released?

Of course, PlayStation 2 changed the gaming industry, and dominated the generation. That provoked reactions, such as Nintendo Wii adopting motion control to broaden its audience, and PS3 launching at a very high price, due to Sony's overconfidence in itself, putting the company in serious trouble.

In addition, with PS2 the era of piracy, widespread in previous generations, ended. PlayStation 2 was hacked en masse, but Sony learned its lesson, and PS3's security was much stronger, supported by software updates from the Internet.

In any case, the PS2 legacy in the form of games is hardly debatable, and on the console's 20th anniversary many titles they remain current, as well as being available in the PlayStation Store for those who wish to revive them on PS4.

What do you think of PlayStation 2? Do you think his generation deserved to win, or that Xbox and GameCube were unfairly received?

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