The PlayStation 2 (abbreviated "PS2") is Sony's second video game console, the successor to the successful PlayStation and the predecessor to the PlayStation 3 as part of the PlayStation series. Its development was announced in March 1999 and it was released a year later in Japan.
The PS2 is part of the sixth generation era, and is the best-selling console to date, having reached over 120 million units in sales in 2007. On November 19, 2005, the PS2 became the fastest game console to reach 100 million units shipped, accomplishing the feat within 5 years and 9 months from its launch. This was faster than its predecessor, the PlayStation, which took "9 years and 6 months since launch" to reach the same benchmark.
Only a few million people had obtained consoles by the end of 2000 due to manufacturing delays. The PS2 was so popular after its release that it was difficult to find units on retailer shelves. Another popular option was purchasing the console online through auction websites such as eBay.Template:Fact The PS2 initially sold well partly on the basis of the strength of the PlayStation brand and the console's backward compatibility, selling over 900,000 units in the first weekend in Japan.Template:Fact This allowed the PS2 to tap the large install base established by the PlayStation — another major selling point over the competition. Later, Sony gained steam with new development kits for game developers and more PS2 units for consumers.
A notable piece of advertising for the PS2 launch was accompanied by the popular "PS9" television commercial. 9 was to be the epitome of development, which the PS2 was the next step on the way towards. The ad also presaged the development of a portable PlayStation (first released in Japan on December 12 2004).
Many analysts predicted a close three-way matchup between the PS2 and competitors Microsoft's Xbox and the Nintendo GameCube (which was the cheapest of the three consoles and had an open market of games); however, the release of several blockbuster games during the 2001 holiday season maintained sales momentum and held off the PS2's rivals.
Although Sony, unlike Sega with its Dreamcast, placed little emphasis on online gaming during its first years, that changed upon the launch of the online-capable Xbox. Sony adapted in late 2002 to compete with Microsoft, with several online first–party titles released alongside it, such as SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs to show its active support for Internet play. Sony also advertised heavily, and its online model had the support of Electronic Arts. Although Sony and Nintendo both started out late, and although both followed a decentralized model of online gaming where the responsibility is up to the developer to provide the servers, Sony's attempt made online gaming a major selling point of the PS2.
In September 2004, in time for the launch of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (the best-selling game during the 2004 holiday season), Sony revealed a new, smaller PS2 (see Hardware revisions). In preparation for the launch of a new, slimmer PS2 model (SCPH-70000; also known unofficially as the "PStwo"), Sony stopped making the older PS2 model (SCPH-5000x) during the summer of 2004 to let the distribution channel empty its stock of the units. After an apparent manufacturing issue caused some initial slowdown in producing the new unit, Sony reportedly underestimated demand, caused in part by shortages between the time the old units were cleared out and the new units were ready. The issue was compounded in Britain when a Russian oil tanker became stuck in the Suez Canal, blocking a ship from China carrying PS2s bound for the UK. During one week in November, British sales totaled 6,000 units — compared to 70,000 units a few weeks prior. There were shortages in more than 1700 stores in North America on the day before Christmas.
The PS2's brand strength has led to strong third-party support for the system. Although the system's launch titles were unimpressive in 2000, the Christmas season of 2001 saw the release of several best-selling and critically acclaimed games. These games helped the PS2 maintain and extend its lead in the video game console market, despite increased competition from the launches of the Microsoft Xbox and the Nintendo GameCube. In several cases, Sony made exclusivity deals with publishers in order to preempt its competitors. Critically acclaimed games on the PS2 include the Grand Theft Auto series, several entries in the Final Fantasy series, Metal Gear Solid 2 and Metal Gear Solid 3, the Devil May Cry series, four SSXs , the Ace Combat series, Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts II, Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec and Gran Turismo 4, SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs, the Sly Cooper trilogy, Ape Escape, the Splinter Cell series, the Jak and Daxter series, ICO, Shadow of the Colossus, the God of War series, Champions of Norrath, Champions: Return to Arms, five Dragon Ball Z: Budokai games, seven Tony Hawk games, the WWE SmackDown! series, and the Ratchet and Clank series. Horror genre including Resident Evil, Silent Hill, Project Zero and Forbidden Siren. The PS2 has also been the home to many music games, such as the latest entries in the Dance Dance Revolution series and SingStar games and the guitar controller-based Guitar Hero series.
It should be noted that the "WWE" series, the "Splinter Cell" series, "Dragon Ball Z: Budokai" series, "Tony Hawk's" series, "Dance Dance Revolution" and "Guitar Hero" series are not exclusive to the PS2, but in fact most if not all iterations of the aforementioned franchises are available on one or more competing consoles.
At the end of 2006, 8,571 PS2 titles had been released worldwide (4,745 in Asia, 1,375 in North America, and 2,451 in Europe), accounting for cumulative production shipments of 1.205 billion units.
The PS2 hardware can read both CDs and DVDs. It is backward compatible with PlayStation games and allows for DVD video playback. The ability to play DVD movies was an added incentive for consumers to be able to justify purchasing the PS2 (the MSRP was US$300 in October 2000).
The PS2 also supports PlayStation memory cards (for PlayStation game saves only) and controllers as well, although the memory cards only work with PS1 games and the controllers may not support all functions (such as analog buttons) for PS2 games. There is also support for the internal PlayStation 2 HDD which is placed in the expansion bay at the rear of the console (pre-Slim models only).
The PS2's DualShock 2 controller is essentially an upgraded PlayStation DualShock; analog face, shoulder and D-pad buttons replaced the digital buttons of the original. All of the input buttons include the D-pad, the right buttons (X,O,□,∆), the back buttons (R1, R2, L1, L2), the analog joystick buttons (R3, L3), and the middle buttons (Start, Select, Analog). This design has been carried on to Sony's PlayStation 3 (PS3), which is known as the SIXAXIS controller. Like its predecessor, the DualShock 2 controller has force feedback, which is commonly called the "vibration" function; this, however, is notably absent from the SIXAXIS, because the vibration would supposedly interfere with motion sensing. Force feedback was reintroduced with the DualShock 3 (trademarked DUALSHOCK 3), a PS3 controller with the same function and design as the SIXAXIS but with vibration capability.
When it was released, the PS2 had many advanced features that were not present in other contemporary video game consoles, including DVD-playback functionality, USB support, and IEEE 1394 expansion ports. It was not until late 2001 that the Microsoft Xbox became the second console to include USB support (USB 1.1 with a proprietary Microsoft Xbox-shaped socket) and DVD playback capabilities (sold separately).
Compatibility with USB devices is dependent on the software supporting said USB device. For example, the PS2 BIOS will not boot an ISO image from a USB flash drive or operate a USB printer, as the machine's operating system does not include this functionality. By contrast, Gran Turismo 4 is programmed to save screenshots to a USB mass storage device and print images to certain USB printers.
Support for PlayStation games was also an important selling point for the PS2, letting owners of an older system upgrade to the PS2 and keep their old software, and giving new users access to older games until a larger library was developed for the new system. As an added bonus, the PS2 had the ability to enhance PlayStation games by speeding up disc read time, adding texture smoothing to improve graphics, or both. While the texture smoothing was universally effective (albeit with odd effects where transparent textures are used — white borders would be seen around sprites), faster disk reading could cause some games to fail to load or play incorrectly. Additionally some titles have unique bugs even when the enhancements are not used — for instance, the famous RPG Tactics Ogre cannot be used with the component video outputs. PlayStation 1 games do not support component video output. However, they do work with the digital optical sound port.
A handful of PlayStation titles (notably Metal Gear Solid: Special Missions) fail to run on the PS2 at all (Special Missions fails to recognize Metal Gear Solid at the disc swap screen, for example). This problem appears to have been rectified in the slimline versions of the PS2, where most of the previously unplayable PlayStation games can now be played. It is a common misconception that disc swapping in a game (for example, for multi-disc games or expansion packs) is not possible on the PS2 without modifying the console. The anomalous failure of the above title at its disc swap screen may have given birth to this rumor. Software for all PlayStation consoles implements regional lockout by containing one of four region codes: NTSC/J for Japan and Asia, NTSC-U/C for North America, PAL for Europe and Oceania, and NTSC/C for China.
With the purchase of a separate unit called the Network Adapter (which is built into the slimline model), some PS2 games support online multiplayer. Instead of having a unified, subscription-based online service like Xbox Live, online multiplayer on the PS2 is split between publishers and run on third-party servers. Most recent PS2 online games have been developed to exclusively support broadband Internet access. Xbox Live similarly requires a broadband Internet connection.
All newer online PS2 games (since 2003) are protected by the Dynamic Network Authentication System (DNAS). The purpose of this system is to prevent piracy and online cheating. DNAS will prevent games from being played online if they are determined to be pirated copies or if they have been modified. Recently, however, methods have been developed to get around this protection by modifying key files in the pirated game.
The PS2 has undergone many revisions, some only of internal construction and others involving substantial external changes. These are colloquially known among PS2 hardware hackers as V0, V1, V2, etc., up to V14c (as of 2006). In November 2007 Sony announced a new, physically smaller, version of the PS2 
Original case designEdit
Three of the original PS2 launch models (SCPH-10000, SCPH-15000, and SCPH-18000) were only sold in Japan, and lacked the expansion bay (Dev9) of current PS2 models. These models included a PCMCIA slot instead of the Dev9 port of newer models. A PCMCIA-to-Dev9 adapter was later made available for these models. SCPH-10000 and SCPH-15000 did not have a built-in DVD player and instead relied on an encrypted player that was copied to a memory card from an included CD-ROM (normally, the PS2 will only execute encrypted software from its memory card, but see PS2 Independence Exploit). V3 had a substantially different internal structure from the subsequent revisions, featuring several interconnected printed circuit boards. As of V4 everything was unified into one board, except the power supply. V5 introduced minor internal changes, and the only difference between V6 (sometimes called V5.1) and V5 is the orientation of the Power/Reset switch board connector, which was reversed to prevent the use of no-solder modchips. V7 and V8 included only minor revisions to V6.
Assembly of the PS2 moved to the People's Republic of China during the development of V9 (model numbers SCPH-50000 and SCPH-50001), which added the infrared port for the optional DVD remote control, removed the IEEE 1394 port, added the capability to read DVD-RW and DVD+RW discs, added progressive-scan output of DVD movies, and added a quieter fan. V10 and V11 were only minor revisions to V9.
The PS2 standard color is matte black. Several different variations in color have been produced in different quantities and regions, including ceramic white, light yellow, metallic blue (aqua), metallic silver, navy (star blue), opaque blue (astral blue), opaque black (midnight black), pearl white, Sakura purple, satin gold, satin silver, snow white, super red, and transparent blue (ocean blue).
Slim case designEdit
In September 2004, Sony unveiled its third major hardware revision (V12, model number SCPH-70000). Available in November 2004, it is smaller, thinner and quieter than the older versions and includes a built-in internet port (in some markets it also has an integrated modem). Due to its thinner profile, it does not contain the 3.5" expansion bay and therefore does not support the internal hard disk drive. It also lacks an internal power supply, similar to the GameCube, USB ports are only version 1.1, and has a modified MultiTap expansion. The removal of the expansion bay has been criticized as a limitation due to the existence of titles such as Final Fantasy XI, which require the use of the HDD. The official PS2 Linux also requires an expansion bay to function. Currently only the modified MultiTap is sold in stores, meaning that owners of older PS2s must find a used or non-Sony MultiTap in order to have 4 or 8 players during a single game. Third-party connectors can be soldered into the unit giving hard drive support, however IDE connections were completely removed in the V14 revision, thereby eliminating this option.
There are some disputes on the numbering for this PS2 version,Template:Fact since there are actually two sub-versions of the SCPH-70000. One of them includes the old EE and GS chips, and the other contains the newer unified EE+GS chip, but otherwise they are identical. Since the V12 version had already been established for this model, there were some disputes regarding these sub-versions. Two propositions were to name the old model (with separate EE and GS chips) V11.5 and the newer model V12, and to name the old model V12 and the newer model V13. Currently, most people just use V12 for both models, or V12 for the old model and V13 for the newer one.
The V12 model was first released in black, but a silver edition is available in the United Kingdom, Germany, Australia, France, Italy, South Africa, and most recently, North America. It is unknown whether or not this will follow the colour schemes of the older model.
V12 (or V13) was succeeded by V14 (SCPH-75001 and SCPH-75002), which contains integrated EE and GS chips, and different ASICs compared to previous revisions, with some chips having a copyright date of 2005, compared to 2000 or 2001 for earlier models. It also has a different lens and some compatibility issues with a different number of PlayStation games and even some PS2 games, (see the list of incompatible games as documented by SCEA).
In the beginning of 2005 it was found that some black slimline console power transformers bought between November and December 2004 were faulty and could overheat. The units were recalled by Sony, with the company supplying a replacement model made in 2005.
Later hardware revisions had better compatibility with PlayStation games (Metal Gear Solid: VR Missions operates on most silver models); however, the new Japanese slim models have more issues with playing PlayStation games than the first PS2 revisions. Template:Fact
In 2006, Sony released the latest hardware revisions (V15, model numbers SPCH-77001a and SPCH-77001b). It was first released in Japan on September 15, 2006, including the Silver limited edition. After its release, it was then shipped to North America and to other parts of the world. The new revision uses an integrated, unified EE+GS chip, a redesigned ASIC, a different laser lens, an updated BIOS, and updated drivers. This revision is currently shipping in retail game stores. The V15 model still has compatibility issues with some PS2 games and PlayStation games, and it has been criticized due to overheating problems and disc read errors.
In July of 2007, Sony started shipping a revision of the slim PlayStation 2 (SCPH-79000) featuring a reduced weight of 600 grams compared to 900 grams of the SCPH-77001, achieved through a reduction in parts. The AC adaptor's weight was also reduced to 250 grams from the 350 grams in the previous revision. Another refinement of the slim PlayStation 2 (SCPH-90000) was announced for release in Japan on November 22, 2007, with an overhauled internal design that incorporates the power supply into the console itself, with a further reduced total weight of 720 grams.
Sony has also made a consumer device called the PSX that can be used as a digital video recorder and DVD burner in addition to playing PS2 games. The device, which was only released in Japan, was poorly received, with some major features absent from the first revisions of the hardware, and has thus far experienced very weak sales in Japan, in spite of major price drops. The machine's future continues to be uncertain, with North American and European launches considered to be distant, if at all, especially since the release of the PlayStation 3.
Template:Main The PlayStation 2's DualShock 2 controller is largely identical to the PlayStation's DualShock, with the same basic functionality; however, it includes analog pressure sensitivity on the face and shoulder buttons, is lighter and includes two more levels of vibration. The L2 and R2 buttons are also significantly larger. The fact that the design did not change pleased some consumers who were already used to the DualShock controller.
Optional hardware includes DualShock or DualShock 2 controllers, a PS2 DVD remote control, an internal or external HDD, a network adapter, horizontal and vertical stands, PlayStation or PS2 memory cards, light guns (GunCon), fishing rod and reel controllers, and various cables and interconnects: Multitap for PlayStation or PS2, S-Video, RGB, SCART, VGA (for progressive scan games and PS2 Linux only), component and composite video cables, RF modulator, USB camera (EyeToy), Konami microphone for use with the Karaoke Revolution games, dual microphones (sold with and used exclusively for SingStar games), various "guitar" controllers (for the Guitar Freaks series and Guitar Hero series), Onimusha 3 katana controller, Resident Evil 4 chainsaw controller, USB keyboard, USB mouse and a headset. Unlike the PlayStation, which required the use of an official Sony PlayStation mouse to play mouse-compatible games, the few PS2 games with mouse support work with standard PC-compatible USB mice. Early versions of the PS2 could be networked via an iLink port, though this had little game support and was dropped. The original PS2 multitap cannot be plugged into the newer slim models (as the multitap connects to the memory card slot as well as the controller slot and the memory card slot on the slimline is shallower). New slim-design multitaps exist for these models, however third-party adapters exist to permit original multitaps to be used.
Sony released a version of the Linux operating system for the PS2 in a package that also includes a keyboard, mouse, Ethernet adapter and HDD. Currently, Sony's online store states that the Linux kit is no longer for sale in North America. However as of July 2005, the European version was still available. The kit boots by installing a proprietary interface, the run-time environment, which is on a region-coded DVD, so the European and North America kits only work with a PS2 from their respective regions.
In Europe and Australia, the PS2 comes with a free Yabasic interpreter on the bundled demo disc. This allows simple programs to be created for the PS2 by the end-user. This was included in a failed attempt to circumvent a UK tax by defining the console as a "computer" if it contained certain software.Template:Fact
Disc read errorEdit
Template:Refimprovesect Owners of early PS2 models purchased from launch until spring 2003 often reported faulty optical drives in their consoles. The earliest drives suffered from a constantly misaligning laser lens, but later defects were the result of a shift in voltage to the laser. The first problem was easily remedied by opening the console's casing and tweaking a cog that controlled the lens' distance from the disc. However, this action voided the console's warranty. The second problem could be fixed by using an oscillator. After many consoles had broken down, a class action lawsuit was filed against Sony. Sony agreed to provide free repair or replacement for the faulty consoles and continued to do so until February 2005.
Another problem that could cause a disc read error is wear on the coupling in the head assembly to the worm gear that moves the laser. A symptom of this is a loud repetitive clicking sound. However, this problem rarely occurs on newer consoles.Template:Fact
A third problem was also found. A handful of early PlayStation 2 consoles were unable to read dual layered DVDs.Template:Fact Such problems were found at the launch of the game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.Template:Fact Sony promised to replace any old consoles for a new console if this problem occurred for anyone.Template:Fact Also, some older slim models, that have dirt and dust built up in, or under the laser after awhile are able to play regular games, but unable to read dual layered DVDs, and movie DVDs.Template:Fact An example is God of War, because the game is on a dual layered disk, it does not work in some slim models.Template:Fact
Before the PS2 was even released in Japan, there were controversies over the capabilities of the PS2. Japan initially imposed export restrictions on the PS2. The PS2 was even said to contain parts, especially its powerful graphics hardware, which could be used in the guidance systems of military ballistic missiles.
The specifications of the PlayStation 2 console are as follows, with hardware revisions:
- CPU: 64-bit/128-bit "Emotion Engine" clocked at 294 MHz (299 MHz on newer versions), 10.5 million transistors
- System Memory: 32 MB (MiB) Direct Rambus or RDRAM (note that some obsolescent computers still use this type of RAM)
- Memory bus Bandwidth: 3.2 Gigabyte per second
- Main processor: MIPS R5900 CPU core, 64 bit
- Coprocessor: FPU (Floating Point Multiply Accumulator × 1, Floating Point Divider × 1)
- Vector Units: VU0 and VU1 (Floating Point Multiply Accumulator × 9, Floating Point Divider × 1), 128 bit, at 150 MHz.
- VU0 typically used for physics and other gameplay type things
- VU1 typically used for polygon transformations, lighting and other visual based calculations
- Floating Point Performance: 6.2 gigaFLOPS (single precision 32-bit floating point)
- FPU 0.64 gigaFLOPS
- VU0 2.44 gigaFLOPS
- VU1 3.08 gigaFLOPS
- 3D CG Geometric transformation: 66 million polygons/sec
- 3D CG Geometric transformations under curved surfaces: 16 million polygons/sec
- Compressed Image Decoder: MPEG-2
- I/O Processor interconnection: Remote Procedure Call over a serial link, DMA controller for bulk transfer
- Cache memory: Instruction: 16 KB (KiB), Data: 8 KB + 16 KB (ScrP)
- Graphics: "Graphics Synthesizer" clocked at 147 MHz
- Pixel pipelines: 16
- Video output resolution: variable from 256x224 to 1280x1024 pixels
- 4 MB (MiB) Embedded DRAM video memory bandwidth at 48 GigaBytes per second (main system 32 MB can be dedicated into VRAM)
- Texture buffer bandwidth: 9.6 GBytes/s
- Frame buffer bandwidth: 38.4 GBytes/s
- DRAM Bus width: 2560-bit (composed of three independent buses: 1024-bit write, 1024-bit read, 512-bit read/write)
- Pixel Configuration: RGB: Alpha:Z Buffer (24:8, 15:1 for RGB, 16, 24, or 32-bit Z buffer)
- Dedicated connection to: Main CPU and VU1
- Overall Pixel fillrate: 16x147 = 2.352Gpixel/sec(rounded to 2.4Gpixel/sec)
- Pixel fillrate: with no texture, flat shaded 2.4(75,000,000 32pixel real-world triangles)
- Pixel fillrate: with 1 full texture(Defuse Map), Gouraud shaded 1.2 (37,750,000 32-bit pixel real-world triangles)
- Pixel fillrate: with 2 full textures(Defuse map + specular or alpha or other), Gouraud shaded 0.6 (18,750,000 32-bit pixel real-world triangles)
- Multi-pass rendering ability
- Four passes = 300M pixels/second (300M pixel/sec divided by 32pixel = 9,375,000 triangle/sec lossed every four passes)
- Sound: "SPU1+SPU2" (SPU1 is actually the CPU clocked at 8 MHz)
- I/O Processor
- CPU Core: Original PlayStation CPU (MIPS R3000A clocked at 33.8688 MHz or 37.5 MHz)
- Sub Bus: 32 Bit
- Connection to: SPU and CD/DVD controller.
- Interface Types:
- 2 proprietary PlayStation controller ports (250 kHz clock for PS1 and 500 kHz for PS2 controllers)
- 2 proprietary Memory Card slots using MagicGate encryption (250 kHz for PS1 cards, up to 2 MHz for PS2 cards)
- Expansion Bay (PCMCIA on early models for PCMCIA Network Adaptor and External Hard Disk Drive) DEV9 port for Network Adaptor
- Modem and Internal Hard Disk Drive
- IEEE 1394 (only in SCPH 10xxx – 3xxxx)
- Infrared remote control port (SCPH 5000x and newer) — IEEE 1394 port removed and Infrared port added in SCPH-50000 and later hardware versions.
- 2 USB 1.1 ports with an OHCI-compatible controller.
- Disc Drive type: 24x (PlayStation 2 format CD-ROM, PlayStation format CD-ROM), 4x (Supported DVD formats) — Region-locked with anti-copy protection. Can't read "Gold Discs" i.e., normal CD-ROMs.
- Supported Disc Media: PlayStation 2 format CD-ROM, PlayStation format CD-ROM, Compact Disc Audio, PlayStation 2 format DVD-ROM (4.7 GB), DVD Video (4.7 GB). Later models are DVD-9 (8.5 GB Dual-Layer), DVD+RW, and DVD-RW compatible.
Middle East (in Saudi Riyals)
Republic of China (Taiwan)
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- Official sites
- PlayStation Official Site
- PS2 Programming Optimisations (PDF) Shows multi-pass fillrate usage and amount of polygons at display with 1 full texture layer
- Official PS2 Developer Site – only for registered developers
- Official UK PS2 technical support and troubleshooting site
- Unofficial sites
- PlayStation 2 makes its North American Debut
- PS2: Five Years Later On the history of the PS2 from 1up.com
- Playstation 2 Linux Support community for the Playstation 2 Linux kit
- How Stuff Works - Play Station 2
- PlayStation2 (PS2) disassembled
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