Hardware Heaven: Playstation 2
A quick look at the best-selling videogames console of all time
» Manufacturer: Sony » Year: 2000 » cost: £300 (launch), £15+ (today)
The Playstation 2’s launch was accompanied by an unprecedented wave of hype, and it would ultimately go on to become the best-selling console ever. Though great games were slow to arrive, in part due to the difficulty of working with its complex custom Emotion Engine CPU and Graphics Synthesizer GPU, the console’s overwhelming commercial dominance ensured that it gained an enormous and diverse library with many high quality games.
The black, boxy design of the hardware was considered to be something of an Eighties throwback, but it was unique and forward-thinking in that it was designed to stand vertically or horizontally – even the logo on the motorised disc tray could be rotated to match. Disappointingly, the system offered only two control ports at a time when its competitors had four, however it also included two USB ports for peripherals and a Firewire port for linked play, as well as a PCMCIA expansion slot for a hard disk and network adapter. DVD movie playback was also a standout feature, bolstering the system’s popularity. The hardware was produced in a variety of colours and underwent a number of revisions over the years, replacing the PCMCIA slot with an expansion bay, losing the Firewire port and gaining an infrared receiver for remote controls.