PS2: A King Among Consoles

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Now that next gen consoles are in and current gen consoles are heading for e-cycle centers this holiday season, it’s time to take a moment to reminisce about the good old days of gaming. Atari is a classic, and the Xbox 360 is swell, but there is one console that can be crowned king; the PlayStation 2.

Why you may ask? Well there are several answers to that. First and foremost, the PS2 is the best-selling console to date. Launched in March of 2000, the PS2 sold over 115 million units worldwide during its nearly thirteen year reign. Even after the PS3 was released, gamers continued to shell out cash for PS2’s until January 4, 2013 when Sony stopped producing the console.

The PS2 games were a visual delight and a definite upgrade from games on previous consoles. Worlds were expansive and immersive. Stories grew complex. Characters became more relatable. The future of gaming looked bright, and the years that followed proved that video games had more to offer than mindless button mashing. A massive game library ushered in new ways to play, ensuring that there was something for gamers of all ages and levels from hardcore to casual.

 

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Not only did the PS2 play video games, but it also introduced the idea of a multimedia device that could be shared with friends and family. With the capability to read DVDs and CDs in addition to games, players were encouraged to leave the solitude of their bedrooms in exchange for the social comforts of the living room.

Sure other consoles asked gamers to play co-op before, but now, now gamers could show off their skills and their consoles. If those around you grew tired of watching you play (or if you got tired of back seat gamers), you could watch a movie or get a party started without having to turn on anything else.

Best of all, it was reverse compatible. Everyone says reverse compatibility was just a fad and digital is the way of the future, but I always appreciated the feature. You didn’t have to go out and purchase your entire video game collection or pay a fee to upgrade your game to the newest . You could pop in your old PlayStation games and away you went. Need space for an Xbox 360? No problem, pack up your old PS and send it on its merry way.

 The PS3 did offer reverse compatibility for a very brief period of time, but now such consoles are elusive prizes that must be tracked down. Although the PS4 is not reverse compatible, Sony has said they are working on an emulator that would allow gamers to play any of the previous PlayStation games on the PS4. I definitely look forward to the day when I can play all three Kingdom Hearts games on one console.

There you have it, the king of consoles. Never again will we see the likes of the PS2. Those days are ancient history. Time now to look to the future and the changes to gaming that are yet to come.

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