The legend; the iconic Sony gaming console, PlayStation 2, was released on March 4th, 2000 and even years after the end of technical support for it, it’s still the best selling console ever made. The Sony PlayStation 2 accepted the battle and went up against Microsoft Xbox, Nintendo Cube, and Sega Dreamcast, and in the end, became the best console. The PS2 release was a real secret, just like PS5, and maybe it is a part of a marketing strategy or the engineers had something more than games on CDs to demonstrate people around the world.
What did PlayStation 2 mean for us?
PlayStation 2 is considered to be a sixth-generation video game console and it was the first of its type in the history of gaming. The intrigue around the future console boiled blood inside fans’ bodies and there was dead silence from Sony before the Krakatoa-scale eruption that smacked competitors. All efforts to keep the new console secret were not in vain; the PlayStation 2 provided backward-compatibility with the original PlayStation, a built-in DVD player, and internet connectivity allowing gamers to play and communicate through the internet, even without a premium subscription.
Despite the fact that Dreamcast had been launched by Sega faster than Sony, and it was the first console of the 6th generation, with pretty impressive sales figures of half a million units within 2 weeks and $97 million made on the first day, PS2 knocked Sega out of the ring instantly, with the help of some dark magic and ancestral blessings from the PS1. Using its authority and the power of dedicated fans, Playstation 2 sold over 980,000 units in Japan by March 5, 2000, just one day after launch. PS2 can be compared with a rhino: massive, unstoppable, and aggressive. The success of the PlayStation 2 was the main cause of Sega’s downfall and eventual withdrawal from the market. Which was a pity; it all started so well. The PS2 was also the signal for other companies to improve their defenses in order to stay afloat.
The only ally was time
The first challenge faced by PS2 was passed successfully. The sales numbers were akin to Black Friday figures; people wanted the console too much and they were ready to spend thousands of dollars on online auctions like eBay, to get their hands on a device. Minus one competitor, now Sony could push the line to achieve high results. However, there were two more rivals on the horizon: Nintendo and Microsoft were coming with their consoles. The battle was very tough as Nintendo was the cheapest gaming console in the market and Xbox had the most powerful hardware. PS2 had the weakest specs in comparison with the other two, so their only ally was timing.
In 2001, the wind had changed direction in Sony’s favor, and during the holiday season, with the release of several PlayStation hits and unbeatable classics such as the Grand Theft Auto series, Metal Gear Solid, and Gods of War, Sony was able to hold off Xbox and Nintendo. Weakened knots caused several outstanding moves: in May 2002, Sony cut the price of the console, making it the same price level as the Nintendo GameCube and making it $100 cheaper than Xbox.
What you could miss about Sony
Sony increased sales and earned karma for the next life. But it was not a stop signal. The console maker foresaw the development of the world wide web and they started to sell a network adapter with a function to download games over the internet. With all the pluses, there were force majeure situations which, at first thought, should never have happened, but life is confusing and unpredictable.
It was predictable that games would require more memory, but the PS2 memory card was only 8MB (lol). Console makers had not predicted such successful sales and there were not enough available memory cards for all gamers. Nothing brings people closer than compatibility arguments, Ancient Rome being a vivid example of it.
PS2 was the only console with a DVD playing function but in combination with constant disk crushing, it became a real challenge to watch movies on the console. You had to eat a four-leaf clover standing on your left leg and watch the sun dawning in the West to ensure the survival of your disk. To tell you the truth, I remember how annoying it was; every time I’d play or watch something, I had to sit with crossed fingers and dream about a successful game launching.
Through the 20 years of game console history, the PS2 still has the leading place for sales among all gaming consoles and according to Guinness World Records, 157.68 million people have owned a PlayStation 2 in their lifetime. The iconic console evokes only the warmest feelings. PS2 is a bright example of how a proper network, accurate timing, and successful marketing can make a company work so well.