PlayStation 2 Discontinued in Japan

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PlayStation 2 Discontinued in Japan

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After almost 13 years of service, the world's best-selling home console is finally approaching retirement.

The average gamer is currently in their 30s, so most of us have lived through at least five console generations. We're pretty used to the cycle: A new technology is introduced, we play it to death for a few years, and then move on to the next big system. The only major exception is the PlayStation 2, the best-selling home console ever produced, which can still be purchased new nearly 13 years after its initial release. Sadly, the beloved console's age is finally catching up to it. PS2 shipments to Sony's native Japan have been discontinued, making this the last chance for Japanese gamers to snatch up their own copy.

It's difficult to understate the importance of the PlayStation 2 in its prime. Not only did Sony secure several important early exclusives (including Grant Theft Auto III and Metal Gear Solid 2), the system came with backwards compatibility for PS1 titles, ensuring it had a massive catalog available at release. Perhaps more importantly, the PS2 launched with full DVD playback support, making it a tempting option for non-gamers seeking to make the switch from VHS players. All told, the PS2 sold over 150 million units and encompasses a library of over 2000 games.

While the PS2 is still being produced for the rest of the world, that's unlikely to continue for much longer. The console still sells millions of units annually, but those figures are steadily dropping, especially with a new console generation on the horizon. On the bright side, the system isn't terribly priced these days, so anyone wanting a unit still has time to get one before they disappear for good. At that point, I imagine millions of players around the world will have a brief moment of silence for the many games that have come and gone.

Source: Famitsu, via Kotaku

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*tear

I'm thinking of getting a new PS2, I already own the fat/slim, and keeping it boxed up just in case my older consoles ever die I'll have a back-up.

The PS2 is to the 3D gen what the SNES was to the 2D gen.
The best of the best of the best.

13 years? Damn, I feel old.

Still have my PS2 and it even gets relatively frequent use between Persona 3 & 4, Guilty Gear X2, Final Fantasy X & XII, and Kingdom Hearts 1 & 2.

Excuse me, nostalgia is calling me and I'm compelled heed its summons.

The last console to be sold without premium DLC...

...See you in another life, PS2.

Will you all stop being so maudlin, it's not finished yet!

Speaking of which, the house PS2 continues to put in sterling service as a DVD player and occasional Wipeout/Time Splitters/Metal Gear/GT machine. So far only the resident N64 and hifi system are outlasting it.

The best console ever? Perhaps.

Its had a hell of a run anyway.

I think this is most appropiate.

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Let us not remember that it is gone, but that it ever was.

gigastar:
I think this is most appropiate.

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Let us not remember that it is gone, but that it ever was.

I figure this song is only all to appropriate.

This was a console that was rivaled by few and cherished by many. I still remember getting it simply to play metal gear solid 2...and being introduced to a library that even now remains unmatched.

Rest now Playstation 2, you've served admirably and you will live on in the hearts and memories of everyone. Not just on the forum, but from those who have played you. You were a truly great console.

And so the beginning of the end of an era is here. It is official. This is the saddest story on The Escapist. The greatest console that has ever been shall begin to fade. We will remember ye, PlayStation 2.

My PS2 still puts in massive amounts of work. There's so many brilliant games for it and I'm always going back to it. I shall probably need to purchase a new one just in case mine finally goes kaput. I'm not letting my library of PS1 and PS2 games have any chance of being unplayable.

I solute you PS2! You were the best console ever. Because you understood, the most important part of a games console is the games.

So much frustration, yet so much happiness.
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Truly, you were the greatest generation.

Ah man, I wanna go and play some good old PS2 games now. I'll have to dig it out. I'm thinking some Final Fantasy.

The PS2 will never die in my eyes! It is my most played console ever, in fact I just came back from playing some Kingdom Hearts Final Mix.
Now I really have to get all the imports I wanted before they disappear. Although I do have the main ones I wanted.

gigastar:
I think this is most appropiate.

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Let us not remember that it is gone, but that it ever was.

STILL IN A DREAM!!!! SNAKE EATER!!!!!!!!!

I love you ps2 you were the best game console ever

So you're finally retiring huh? Best of luck you magnificent bastard *salutes*.

PS2 was and is the greatest console. I never moved past it, since after PS2 I truly switched to PC and haven't looked back.

Ive got 4 of the things sitting under my bed upstairs, each one refuses to play DVDs and half the games I put in them... still, even though the Gamecube will always be my favourite I still have many good PS2 memories.

*Salutes*

A tip of the glass to you, old friend. May your rest in your well-rendered Valhalla be comfortable.

I guess it's time I buy another one after my last one broke years ago. Time to go back and play some Timesplitters: FP again.

Remember also, this was the first ever halfway decent controller. Twin thumbsticks, double set of shoulder buttons, no N64 retardedness, ergonomic rather than just a brick with buttons, fit in your hands unlike the xbox's monolith... just pure bliss.

Well time for me to be well... me.

My speculation on the subject is that Sony is trying to kill it's own most successful product to avoid having to compete with itself in another generation. One of the problems with the PS-3, and to a lesser extent, the 360 (which Sony does not control) has always been that the PS-2 was such a high quality system with games people still wanted to play. The games for the PS-2 being so popular, that people have been complaining about the lack of backwards compadibility in the PS-3 (which existed only briefly, as an excuse to pump up it's launch library it seems) and the superiority of many PS-2 game installments over their current-gen equivilents, something that can apparently in part be blamed to horrible system archetecture especially when it comes to the PS-3. Not to mention the gradual shift away from RPGs to more "hardcore" titles, the PS-2 is still the best machine out there when it comes to a library of good RPG games. The PS-2 still sells, because of heavy use, and established libraries, all of which detract from attempts to get people to invest more heavily in new titles and hardware.

Marketing also comes into it, as another poster pointed out, the PS-2 is also a system that sold complete games, before the entire DLC-heavy, microtransaction model. Not to mention it doesn't do everything it can to force you online. Being able to just pop a game into your console and have the entire thing, under your control, is kind of an affront to the current gaming industry. The availibility of the discs and hardware also means that attempts to try and re-sell old games digitally have met with mixed results.

Given the changes in the industry's business model, it's desire to re-sell the same products it's already sold, and of course wanting to move entirely new console units and games, I can see why the PS-2 might make Sony's hit list, to avoid being their own competition. To be totally honest I could easily see the PS-2 stealing the thunder of another console generation, or at least taking another chunk out of it.

While PS-2 sales might have decreased a bit, it's a fairly durable machine, once you have one, you have one. The rate of replacements always seemed incredibly low compared to the tendency of newer consoles to "brick". Truthfully if they kept manufacturing them, I'd imagine there would always been a reasonable market for replacements though, it's not so much about the product itself being viable, so much as the industry wanting to force gamers to move away from the PS-2 to line their own pockets to a greater degree.

As someone who still plays PS-2 games (especially RPGs), and has already invested in a backup system in case my backwards compadible PS-3 (original release) ever breaks, I feel little direct threat here for the moment. But I'll also be honest in saying that my opinions about the new console generation are mixed, since just about everything they are lionizing seems to be the kinds of things that are ruining gaming. The promises are basically that the new systems will be more interconnected than ever before, but in a practical sense that seems to mean more avenues for monetization and microtransactions, less games that I can enjoy on my own and get the most out of without needing other people (I like MMOs, but in general I do want to game on my own as well and not be gimped about it), not to mention being increasingly primed to have the companies monitor your behavior and usage, largely for marketing data so they can gouge more money out of you.

Given that the biggest market for Sony has always been in it's back yard of Japan, it seems likely that they are trying to cut it there first, before moving on to other arenas. I suspect they will have done everything they can to outright murder the PS-2 by the time the new console comes along.

I'd also point to some of the conspiricy theories going around out there about Sony in paticular. While never proven to my satisfaction, there have been people claiming for a while that Sony effectively has a "kill switch" to brick people's PS-3s outright as opposed to just being able to lock them out of PSN for TOS violations and such. The rumor being that they plan to gradually start bricking systems, claiming it's natural wear out, a few at a time as they release their next generation console to pressure people into upgrading, in order to preven the PS-3 from being a stumbling block the way the PS-2 was. Not that I feel it remotely had that potential, the PS-3 never having lived up to it's potential IMO.

All speculation on my part, I doubt many here will agree with me, or think the way I do. At the end of the day killing the PS-2 despite it still moving reasonable numbers of units amounts to good business strategy, even if it's not good for gamers who still use those systems.

PS2, the little console that could. That thing was pushed way beyond the specs often in games like God of War and Black. Abused the hell out of the system with Timesplitters 2 & Future Perfect, hell it still gets use.

That's a little depressing, I only recently got into the PS2 and I still only own four games for it. I better get on hoarding them.

I'm gonna miss you, little buddy.

You may have been the third console I've ever gotten, but you will always be my favorite.

Your legacy will still live on as many play your timeless collection in the future. And of course, I will still remember you for giving me some of the best gaming experiences I have ever had. And for giving me Persona 4.

You've lived a strong life. It's time for you to rest now.

I got my PS2 here and am comforting it since it had recently heard this news. I have about 50 or so games for this little guy. Time to go boot one up. Maybe some Ace combat. That always cheered my little guy up.

erttheking:
That's a little depressing, I only recently got into the PS2 and I still only own four games for it. I better get on hoarding them.

only recently? only have four games?

sweet jesus, right in the the childhood...easily can say i racked up a years worth of life in my ps2's, and not regretting an second of it, you're missing out on some great stuff.

OT: good thing I have 2 ps2's that i take damn good care of, better hoard up on a few games off amazon though, too bad steam doesn't sell used ps2 games..

Tanis:
*tear

I'm thinking of getting a new PS2, I already own the fat/slim, and keeping it boxed up just in case my older consoles ever die I'll have a back-up.

The PS2 is to the 3D gen what the SNES was to the 2D gen.
The most overrated of the most overrated.

There we go, fixed for you. No need to thank me XD

Despite not being the best console in the world, over time it has had some quality titles to its name, and if anything it showed people how good business is done in the games industry.

13 years...has it really been that long?

It seems like just yesterday I was unwrapping my first PS2 under the Christmas tree, along with it's first game: Jak and Daxter.

And now we've come to this, 13 years later and it's almost time for the end of the era of one of the greatest game consoles ever.

All the franchises that had their beginnings on the humble little black box: Sly Cooper, Ratchet and Clank, Jak and Daxter, Kingdom Hearts...

That machine is still sitting on my shelf, I'll bet it still runs like new even after all these years of non-use. They won't make 'em like that ever again.

Man this is depressing. This system deserves one hell of a sendoff. But what could possibly do it justice?

ForgottenPr0digy:

gigastar:
I think this is most appropiate.

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Let us not remember that it is gone, but that it ever was.

STILL IN A DREAM!!!! SNAKE EATER!!!!!!!!!

I love you ps2 you were the best game console ever

So appropriate....that song is so appropriate.

Someday you'll feed on a tree frog...

*Sniff*

Good night, Sweet Prince

Mark my words- never again will we see a console live for 13 years. Hell we probably won't get one that lives even half as long.

I may cringe at the thought of not having a PS3 with so many awesome exclusives it already has, but I'm almost sleepless at the thought of not having a PS2 with almost 5 times the number of truly awesome and iconic games I've missed since 2003.

I think it's time to finally snatch up one or maybe two. I'll never forget the first time I booted it up and I'll definitely, never, EVER forget the magical moment I ever first booted up Metal Gears Solid 2. Say whatever you want about that game, it's still one hell of a game and it still has some of the best gameplay mechanics ever concieved for any game.

*salutes*

But how will people play their PS2 games now?!

Brothers and sisters today we see a bright old star fall from the skies. It is the soul of a warrior who's finally found it's way to Valhalla. May it's time in peace be one filled with as much glory as it's time here. /salute

i got my ps2 the year it came out and its sitting next to my xbox and ps3, and it still works like the day it was opened. so many memories of metal gear, dragon ball z, metal of honor, madden, and x men legends 2. thank you dear friend for your service

Man, oh man. My PS2 has been there for me through the greatest of gaming times and I can't think of any other console that has not only been reliable, but also had the ability to play such games as Legend of Mana, Final Fantasy Tactics, Star Wars: Battlefront 2, Timesplitters, Legend of Dragoon and Grandia. Such awesome times.

Speaking of Grandia...

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