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PlayStation 2

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PlayStation 2

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Manufacturer
Sony Computer Entertainment
Type
Video game console
Generation
Sixth generation
Release date
March 4, 2000
Discontinued
December 28, 2012
(Japan)
January 4, 2013
(North America)
Units sold
155 million (as of March 31, 2012)
Media
DVD, CD
CPU
64-bit "Emotion Engine" clocked at 294.912 MHz (launch), 299 MHz (newer models)
Predecessor
Successor

The PlayStation 2 (PS2) is a video game console that was manufactured by Sony Computer Entertainment. It is Sony's second installment in the PlayStation Series. It was released on March 4, 2000, in Japan followed by North America and Europe later the same year. The sixth-generation console competed with the Sega Dreamcast, Microsoft Xbox, and Nintendo GameCube.

The PlayStation 2 went on to become the best-selling video game console in history, selling over 155 million units. More than 3,870 game titles have been released for the PS2 since launch, and more than 1.5 billion copies have been sold. Sony later manufactured several smaller, lighter revisions of the console known as "slimline" models, and in 2006 introduced the successor, the PlayStation 3.

Even with the PlayStation 3 release, the PlayStation 2 remained popular well into the seventh generation and continued to be produced until January 4, 2013, when Sony finally announced that the PlayStation 2 had been discontinued after 12 years of production – one of the longest runs for a video game console. Despite the announcement, new games for the console continue to be produced including Final Fantasy XI: Seekers of Adoulin for Japan and Pro Evolution Soccer 2014 for Occident. Sony unveiled the PlayStation 4 console the following month on February 20, 2013.

Hardware

PlayStation 2 software is distributed on CD-ROM and DVD-ROM. In addition the console can play audio CDs and DVD movies, and is backwardly compatible with PlayStation games. The PS2 also supports PlayStation memory cards and controllers, although PS1 memory cards only work with PS1 games and the controllers may not support all functions (such as analog buttons) for PS2 games.

The standard PlayStation 2 memory card has an 8 MB capacity. There are a variety of non-Sony manufactured memory cards available for the PlayStation 2, allowing for a memory capacity larger than the standard 8 MB.

The console also features USB and IEEE 1394 expansion ports. A hard disk drive can be installed in an expansion bay on the back of the console, and was required to play certain games, notably the popular Final Fantasy XI. This was only available on certain models.

Homebrew development

Using homebrew programs it is possible to listen to various audio file formats and watch various video formats using the console. Homebrew programs can also be used to play patched backups of original PS2 DVD games on unmodified consoles, and to install retail discs to an installed hard drive on older models. Homebrew emulators of older computer and gaming systems have been developed for the PS2.

Sony released a Linux-based operating system for the PS2 in a package that also includes a keyboard, mouse, Ethernet adapter and HDD. In Europe and Australia, the PS2 comes with a free Yabasic interpreter on the bundled demo disc. This allows users to create simple programs for the PS2. A port of the NetBSD project and BlackRhino GNU/Linux, an alternative Debian-based distribution, are also available for the PS2.

PlayStation 2 games reviewed by the Nerd

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