As of today, there will be no new shipments of the PlayStation 2. After almost 13 years, what’s out there is all there is and ever will be.
Sony pushed 150 million PS2s during its run. No other console has reached that peak.
Credit what you will for its iconic status. For me, its a twofold affair — obviously the library of PlayStation 2 games is and was bangin’. First and foremost, however, the console holds major nostalgia.
Embarrassingly, I only got into gaming in college. I was raised in a — erm — Puritanical home, where gaming was not an option. At all. Ever. I mean, I dabbled with my cousins’ consoles when I had the chance, but it was a very passing thing. Except for a very determined marathon of Sonic the Hedgehog on my older cousin’s Sega Genesis. And Gran Turismo on my uncle’s original PlayStation any time I got the chance. Hm. I guess it wasn’t a very passing thing.
Anyhoo, when I moved into the dorms, I fell in with the geek crowd. I could relate to these kids on almost everything, except, of course, a love of these console things. Out of a combination of obligation, pity, and being damn tired of my stupid questions, they hooked me up — showed me the ropes on their well-worn PS2s.
My friend busted out Katamari Damacy. She said it was the game that most reminded her of me. I could see her point: very “WTF?!” That was probably the best starter game she could have pulled. Just nonsensical, colorful, odd fun. It was love at first start.
Another friend, a self-proclaimed Tekken master, sat me down for countless rounds of Tekken 4. Slightly more frustrating, but still enjoyable, and it was the first game that I really tried to become good at. Metal Gear Solid, Soul Calibur, Devil May Cry: I’d felt like I’d been missing out on some serious stuff here.
My love for the sticks grew and blossomed from a once in a blue moon affair, to a coordinated effort with friends, to something to do in my down time, to something I wanted to be good at.
I eventually gave up the old standard when I finally saved up for a shiny new PlayStation 3, but I’ll never give up the nostalgia of the PS2 for ushering me into something I now love.
Pour one out for that PlayStation 2, whether you sold yours, or its sitting somewhere in your house collecting dust. I’m sure I’m not the only one it served well.