A Look Back at the World’s Best Selling Console: The PS2

It’s been sixteen years since the successor to Sony’s incredibly popular flagship video game console, the PlayStation, was released. We’ve seen video games come a very long way in that time, but for some reason the PlayStation 2 remains the most popular video game console in history. With a record 155 million PS2s sold since launch, there’s no denying that fact- especially because its competition at the time, the Xbox and Gamecube, sold only 24 million and 22 million units, respectively.

ps2-playstation-2
Image provided by PS2 Home

So just what contributed to the PS2’s overwhelming popularity? Let’s take a look back and see.

The DualShock 2 

The PS2’s controller was hands-down better than both the Xbox and the GameCube’s. It fit comfortably in your hand, was durable, and had buttons and analog sticks that were easy to press and never awkwardly positioned. The best part? Four trigger buttons, which Microsoft was quick to copy on their next controller. The design was so good that even the DualShock 4 looks almost exactly like the 2 (despite adding a lightbar, touch pad and removing the wires, of course).

The Games 

The PS2 had one of the best exclusive lineups of games that we’ve ever seen. Series’ like God of War, Grand Theft Auto, Final Fantasy, and Metal Gear Solid were all exclusive to the PS2 at the time, and it’d be hard to find anyone who wouldn’t say that those are all some of the best gaming franchises of all time. Even today, in the world of remasters and remakes, you see more games coming out that were original PS2 releases than any other.

The Backwards Compatibility 

Never owned a PlayStation? No worries! The PS2 was backwards compatible with all PS1 games, so buying it was kind of like getting two consoles in one. This was a fantastic feature that the GameCube and Xbox physically couldn’t provide, and made the decision on which console to purchase easier for a lot of gamers. This was the first console in history that allowed backwards compatibility, and it set an important precedent for future consoles.

The Japanese Market 

There’s no denying that the Xbox wasn’t very popular in Asia, and the GameCube didn’t sell as well as expected either. The PS2, on the other hand, was a huge hit in the Pacific, especially in Japan. The reasoning? JRPGs. Japanese gamers love their RPGs, and the PS2 had an overwhelming amount of them available. The fact that the PS2 was the primary console selling in Japan allowed Sony to continue producing more units and ultimately increased sales around the rest of the world, too.

The Slim 

The PlayStation 2 wasn’t a real bulky console to begin with, especially when compared with the Xbox, but the release of the PS2 slim definitely boosted sales. The new console was incredibly compact and undeniably sleek, and it still provided all of the features that the original PS2 had… at only a fraction of the price. Toward the end of the PS2’s lifespan, you could really only find the Slim version on store shelves, which was a testament to its popularity.

The DVD Drive 

Back when the PS2 was first released, DVD players were still pretty new to the consumer market and definitely much more expensive than even Blu Ray players are today. But when you bought a PS2, you not only had a new video game console but a new DVD player as well! Two expensive electronic devices for one price was a tough deal to ignore.

Free Online 

Unlike the Xbox, where you had to pay a monthly subscription in order to play online; and the GameCube, where online wasn’t even an option, the PS2 allowed you to play all of your favorite multiplayer games online without having to pay a dime. You had to have a network adapter, sure, but once you got that little piece of equipment then you could play to your heart’s content. If you bought the Slim, though, a network adapter was built right into the hardware! And while it’s true that the PS2 definitely had a weaker online presence in terms of games, the few games that could be played online were massive hits.


Leave a Reply

Please Login to comment
  Subscribe  
Notify of

Recent Articles

How to win at Baccarat

Baccarat is a classic gambling game that utilizes cards and is commonly played in casinos and elsewhere. It involves the use of careful strategy,...

The Top 20+ Military Strategy Games

Military strategy is a pretty popular genre, and for obvious reasons. The appeal of watching troops execute a perfectly-planned strategy and take down their...

Top 5 Reasons why Online Games are getting so popular

In 2013 a report on the online gaming was published, it clearly had some data about the gaming industry which stated that the global...

Sony Announces PlayStation 5 For Holiday Period Next Year

You may have expected it or it may come as a bolt from the blue, but it’s now completely official: Sony has announced its...

The Best Games With Casino Minigames In 2019

The excitement of placing a bet and waiting for the result has been well-documented. There's just nothing quite like watching a sports game or...

Related Stories

Stay on top - Get the daily news in your inbox