Late last week, Sony confirmed that all production on thePlayStation 2 has officially ended worldwide. 150 million units sold over an unprecedented 12-year plus lifespan, the Sony PlayStation 2 dominated the competition in Japan and the US during the early 2000’s. The PS2 notoriously remained the figurative powerhouse of console gaming for a number of years thereafter will no doubt be remembered by RPG fans for releasing a stellar catalogue of classics like Final Fantasy X, Kingdom Hearts,Persona 4 and Dragon Quest VIII.
The PS2 juggernaut rolled on besting the NintendoGameCube, Microsoft Xbox and much to my personal dismay, effectively buried the Sega Dreamcast which resulted in Sega stepping out of the hardware business altogether. The PlayStation 2 however, was Sony’s biggest cash cow and it showed in over 1.5 billion software sales. Eventually it was crowned the best selling console of all time.
The sprawling software catalog reflected a wide variety of games. Its broad appeal resonated and held a little something something for all types of gamers. The RPG titles alone were arguably the most extensive since the Super Nintendo era and the content harkened back to some of the glory days of 16-bit dungeon crawling. The console also provided DVD playback functionality at what was then an extremely reasonable cost for a relatively new technology and a major selling point for Sony. Eventually, hardcore gamers began to modify their consoles, which basically spawned a massive underground community of users importing foreign and Japanese titles previously unreleased in the US.
As the line between consoles and game machines become more blurred with services like Steam, PlayStation Network and Apple’s App Store, it is entirely possible that we have seen the last of a console dominating in the way that the PlayStation 2 did for so many years.
A moment of silence for an old friend…