PlayStation 2 Celebrates 20 Years Of Gaming Excellence
Sony’s PlayStation 2 stands tall as one of the best-selling gaming consoles in history – and this week, the historic device celebrates its 20th anniversary.
Victoria Powell, 22, is one of the 158 million consumers who owned a PS2 after it was launched in 2000. She told Radio 1 Newsbeat it was her first ever console that introduced her to gaming.
‘I remember Dad brought it home and me being confused thinking “what is this big black box thing?”,’ she said.
But after just a few hours of playing a Peter Pan game on the console for Victoria to fall in love with gaming and the many worlds it offers.
Originally released on 4 March 2000 in Japan, the UK was the third country in the world to get the console on 24 November 2000. Australia followed with a launch shortly after.
What made the PS2 so successful? Alex Wiltshire, writer for games magazine Edge, said the PS2 is a vital piece of gaming and console history.
The additional DVD player in the console made it an attractive choice for consumers who wanted to purchase two devices for the price of one.
Alex believes the console also attracted people who may not have played video games and placed controllers in the hands of a new generation of gamers.
‘It was home to games which elevated creativity and expanded the games market – like Singstar and Guitar Hero… It gave people who weren’t self-identifying as gamers a chance to play things like karaoke and music games,’ he told BBC News.
According to Guinness World Records, 157.68 million people have owned a PlayStation 2 console in their lifetime.
That beats the 154.90 million who played a Nintendo DS and the 118.69 million Game Boy owners.
The original PlayStation, meanwhile, was owned by 104.25 million, PlayStation 3 had 86.90 million and the current console, the PlayStation 4, has had a slight improvement with 88.06 million owners.
The success of the PlayStation 2 may be due to it being a sociable console.
Victoria says the PS2 was able to bring people together and it made her feel like she belonged to a part of a community.
‘It gave you an easy topic of conversation. If you were into it, there was always flowing conversation… Even when you were watching someone play, it felt like you were the one playing,’ she said.
Victoria said she played PS2 with lots of her friends and family. Friends used to go to her house after school, excited to huddle around the console and play it for hours on end.
She says she would sometimes find herself sitting in lengthy gaming sessions that often lasted hours – sometimes five or six hours at a stretch.
Her favourite gaming titles were popular crime game, Grand Theft Auto (GTA) Vice City alongside Ratchet and Clank, a platform game.
And she’s not alone – the two most popular games for the PS2 are GTA: San Andreas and GTA Vice City, selling more than 36 million copies between them.
Victoria admitted that she while she wasn’t old enough to play the crime game, she still loved stealing things and driving around for hours on end.
Just like many other games in the 2000s, she had a well-used sheet of cheat codes at her ready when she played. Cheat codes for GTA often wielded special vehicles, an arsenal of weapons or huge amounts of cash.
Victoria’s memories are echoed across the world, with many taking to social media to pay tribute to the PlayStation 2 on its 20th birthday.
For Alex, the PS2 earned its place in the history of gaming.
She said it has the best games – the type that made people really excited during that era.
Alex names stealth game, Metal Gear Sold, and Victoria’s favourite GTA as two of her favourite games.
The PlayStation 2, for Alex, has earned its place in gaming history.