Hard­ware Heaven: Plays­ta­tion 2

Retro Gamer - - CONTENTS -

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.

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