SONY PlayStation 2
SONY made their mark on the video games industry with the release of the original PlayStation in ’96 – They disrupted the industry and stood strong among SEGA’s Saturn and Nintendo’s hot selling Nintendo 64. SEGA responded by beating them to the next generation a year early with the SEGA Dreamcast released in 1999. Although it was a year behind, the PlayStation 2’s release was majorly hyped with reviewers ecstatic about the graphics capability, backwards compatibility, and ability to play DVD’s. Several versions of the PlayStation 2 were released over its 14 year lifespan where it took the spot as best selling console of all time.
SONY PlayStation 2
With several variations to speak of to this case.
Original Model – Sometimes referred to as the “Fat” version, due to its’ size compaired to the later “Slim” revision.
The PlayStation 2 (FAT) – This all-black monolith packed a heavy punch and showed. The face of the unit is lined with grills and vent holes. It has a great muscle look if you ask me.
On the front of the console you have two controller and memory ports to the left. Underneath the controller ports, the PS2 sports two USB type A ports to support additional accessories. On these original models of the PS2 there is an iLink port to the right of the USB ports. It is labeled S-400 and allows you to locally connect up to six PS2 systems together to play supported LAN games. This was removed in later revisions.
On the right side of the systems face you have the CD tray with a small PlayStation logo which can actually be rotated 90° to still be upright if you prefer to stand your PS2 on its’ side. To the right of that is the Reset/Power button and below that the Eject button for the CD tray.
The PlayStation 2 was designed to sit upright or on its’ side, and was the first console to have this option on purpose (The original PlayStation with disc read errors would often work fine if it was propped on its side but that’s another story). As mentioned above, the colored PlayStation logo on the front of the disc tray rotated 90 degrees so it could be adjusted to an up-right position in either position the console is set up.
On the left side of the PS2 you have four feet so you can stand the system upright if you so desire. The disc tray has tabs that will hold the CD in place when it is in this position.
One the right side of the system there are only grill marks.
SONY PlayStation 2
- Unit Lifetime: 2000-2013 (US)
- Units Sold Worldwide: 155 million
- Resolution: 480p
- Colors Depth: 32-Bit
- CPU Speed: 300MHz
- Polygons Per Sec: 20 Million (with textures and lighting)
- Sound: 48 channel Stereo
- Games Released US: 1850
On the back of the SONY PlayStation 2 you have several ports.
MAIN POWER: At the top right on the back of the system is a toggle power switch.
AC IN: Below the power switch is the power input port. The main power supply for the PS2 is internal, so all that is required is a common “keyed” 2-prong power cable.
DIGITAL OUT (OPTICAL): This port is used for optical audio cable or lightpipe. This allows 5.1 surround sound to be output to a properly outfitted stereo system.
AV MULTI OUT: This provides Audio and Video output. The audio is stereo only and the video can be either composite rca (red, white and yellow), s-video or component. After the systems lifespan HDMI cables were also available.
EXPANSION BAY: Finally the right side of the rear is dominated by a large Expansion Bay door. This is where you could insert a Hard Drive for storing games. You can also attach the Ethernet Adapter here over the hard drive.
SONY PlayStation 2 – Model Numbers
Throughout the long life-span of the SONY PlaysStation 2 there were many changes to the system. This is a brief outline of the various models numbers and thier differences or changes.
PlayStation 2 “FAT” Models
The original US version of the PS2. This model required you to install software on a memory card, that would allow the SONY PlayStation 2 to work with the DVD Remote/Playback. There are also 5 versions of this model which can be identified by the seriel number and the number of screws on the bottom of the system: 10 Screws at base of PS2 Version 1, 2 and 3. 8 Screws at base of PS2 Version 4,5 and Electrical warning stamped on the bottom
There are no differences in the functionality between the SCPH-30001 and SCPH-35001 PlayStation 2 consoles (although there are some design changes to the internal parts). The SCPH-35001 was a bundle package (with Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec) which Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) introduced for a limited time, back in July of 2001.
Again we have some internal design changes but nothing has been changes to the outside case. This is the last version to contain the iLink port. Better cooling features were added internally for better reliability, but with an increase in fan noise. This is the best model to own if you wish to have the iLink port.
The last version on the FAT PS2. The iLink port has been removed but a new IR (infer-red) receiver has been added. The IR port allows the system to be fully controlled with the DVD Remote Control. The 39000 series is considered to have the best laser and a very quiet fan, and overall be the best version of the FAT model PS2 to own.
The First Revision
SONY PlayStation 2 (SLIM)
The first (and only) major redesign of the SONY PlayStation 2. The PS2 Slim greatly reduced the size and weight of the SONY PlayStation 2. But to do this some compromises had to be made.
The front of the PS2 Slim has the same ports as the last version of the PS2 FAT. On the left you have two controllor ports and above those two memory card ports. In the center of the unit are the two USB 1 ports. Top center is the eject button for the CD tray. The CD tray is now a clam-shell style which removed all the mechanics required for the old eject tray. Finally on the right of the system are the Power/Reset button and below that the IR port.
The left side of the system is smooth except for three holes. These holes are used to attach a stand as you can still stand this version of the PS2 on its side. The right side is void of any ports.
The rear of the PS2 Slim has been streamlined quite a bit to adjust for the reduced size. Starting from the left we see the first change that allowed the system to become slimmer, the power supply has been taken out of the inside of the original FAT unit and is now a 8.5 V brick style power supply witch plugs into the DC IN port. Next to that is the same Multi-Out AV port followed by the same Digital Out audio port. Finally we have a great new addition, a built in Ethernet Port, removing the need for buying an attach on like the original version. One other item of note are the two screw holes on the bottom left and right, these are for attaching the PS2 Screen to the system.
The glarring ommision from the back of the PS2 Slim is the Expansion Bay. This means that PlayStation 2 can no longer use the internal PlayStation Hard Drive. This did cause some negative waves as this made some games no longer compatable as they required the extra space.
PlayStation 2 “SLIM” Models
.The first PS2 “SLIM” model. One third the size and half the weight. Starting with this unit there is a new Ethernet port on the back so you no longer need the adapter used on the FAT models. This is the model most would reccomend getting if you go for a slim, as it retains the PS1 chip for backwards compatability.
This model has a new laser. Many think as this was a cost savings move the laser is less reliable. This move also created compatability issues with some of the older PS2 games.
The new revision uses an integrated, unified EE+GS chip, a redesigned ASIC, a different laser lens, an updated BIOS, and updated drivers.
More cost saving changes made to the internals. This changes reduced the weight of the unit a bit. To do this they have removed a lot of the metal shieldings inside.
This is the last change for the system and came with some actual design changes to the system. The Glossy strip on the top that can be found on the earlier models has been extended over the whole left side with only the CD tray lid being in the flat matte texture. On the front of the 90001 the grill look has been removed and you now get a smooth look with flush buttons. The vent holes on the front are also gone but are now present on the sides of the unit and the holes that were on the left for a stand have been removed. The biggest change made was that the power supply was moved back inside the unit, increasing the weight but removing the power brick.
DualShock 2 Analog Controller
The DualShock controller is very similar to the original PlayStation 1 controller. If you played the original PS1 then you’ll be right at home with this one. The right side has a four button D-Pad instead of a D-Pad dial like other systems. The two analog controllers are stiffer and an upgrade from thier PS1 relatives and are now textured for easier grip. And the SONY green triangle, a red circle, a blue cross, and a pink square remain the same.
Interesting note: The controller’s designer Teiyu Goto had intended the circle and cross to represent “yes” and “no” respectively as common in Japanese culture, and thus typically used for “confirm” and “cancel” in most PlayStation games respectively, and placed similarly to the A and B buttons on the Super Famicom controller which had similar functions, while the triangle symbolizes a point of view and the square is equated to a sheet of paper there to be used to access menus. In Western releases, the circle and cross functions are often switched (circle to cancel, cross to confirm))
You also have two shoulder buttons L1, L2, R1, R2. And finally your select, start and analog buttons. The analog button helps compatibility with older PS1 games that were made for digital input (d-pad) only games.
As the name states the controller also comes with built-in dual shocks! Or rumble packs if you will. What’s nice about these is that they could be controlled individually providing a stereo, left and right effect.
SONY PS2 Network Adapter
Released with the PlayStation 2 Network, this adapter was attacked to the extension bay on the back of the original PS2 FAT models. It come with both dial-up phone jack and a high-speed ethernet port (that’s right, some folks still used dial-up). This came with an install disk that would place the connection software on a memeory card to be accessed by games.
The adapter did not work with the updated PS2 SLIM models, but that’s OK, it came with a built-in ethernet port.
SONY PS2 Hard Disk Drive
This was a 40 GB Drive that could be inserted into the expansion bay on the original PS2 FAT models. It also HAD to have the Network Adapter attached (as seen in the picture) to provide power. This hard drive allowed games to store files on it for faster loading times and could serve as a back-up to save files on memory cards.
SONY PlayStation 2 Games
Being the best selling game system of all time can only be done with having some of the best games of all time, and a lot of them. The SONY PlayStation 2s graphic capabilities allowed developers to build any 3D world they wanted. Franchises that got their start on the PS1 and other systems were epanded upon with larger levels and much better graphics. With over 1850 games in the US alone, you find multiple games for any genre you prefer.
For the PlayStation 2, SONY moved away from the CD cases used on the PS1 and went with the DVD style case everyone knows and loves. These study cases have a clear plastic sleve to allow cover art to be slipped in. One the inside front cover there are clips that can hold full size manuals.
All first run games features a black stipe across teh top of the cover with the PlayStation 2 logo and the PS logo. Later, Greatest Hits titles would follow with a red stipe.
Star Wars: Jedi Starfighter$14.99
Midway Arcade Treasures$15.99
Heroes of Might and Magic: Quest for the Dragon Bone Staff$15.99
Spongebob Squarepants: Creature from the Krusty Krab$21.99
Star Wars Starfighter$10.99
The Terminator: Dawn of Fate$17.99
Tom and Jerry: War of the Whiskers$21.99
Twisted Metal: Black$19.99
Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers$24.99
Pirates: Legend of the Black Buccaneer$14.99