December 31st, 2007, 19:26 Posted By: wraggster
Continuing our network wide feature for just about every console thats emulated and that we own, in time it can be used as a reference point for people to look at what games are the very best on each system
Firstly heres a look at each system and a description to remind you of the history of the console.
Sony Playstation 2
In 1997, rumors began to surface about the successor to Sony's Playstation console. Those rumors became reality in 1999 when Sony began talks of a new console called the Playstation 2 (PS2).This next generation system would use the immense storage of DVD, would use the raw processing power of a chip called the ?Emotion Engine? (created with partner Toshiba). be able to play DVD Movies and music CD?s right out of the box, and be backwards compatible with the original Playstation software.
The PS2's backwards compatibility feature offered two modes that could improve the Playstation?s large library of games. One option took full advantage of the systems drive to speed up loading time in some games. The other was a Texture Interpolation option that could clean up jagged edges and other problems for much needed graphic improvement. These modes were either not compatible or cause glitches in some games, but was truly a novel idea by Sony.
Backed up by a lot of hype, the Playstation 2 was released in Japan on March 4th 2000. The console broke records by selling well over a million units in just a matter of days. Sony struggled to keep up with the demand, and initially shipped units with glitched memory cards. The Japanese PS2 used these memory cards with ?Gate Way? technology, and it stored the drivers needed to run DVD movies. Later on Sony again had to deal with another bug in initial PS2 units. This however was not a bad bug since it allowed users to override the region coding system, and play DVD movies regardless of region. When the PS2 was finally released in America on October 26th, Sony did away with the DVD playback issues by hard coding the drivers into the PS2 unit. Europe saw a release a month later.
Just like in Japan, the demand for PS2 units were high. Consoles sold out rapidly as Sony made promises to ship more units. Online retailers and auctioneers took advantage of the 'supply and demand' and sold PS2 consoles for well over $500-$1000. Reports of robberies occurred everywhere, or some units contained other manufacturer defects. Definitely one of the craziest console launches to date.
Although the Playstation 2?s initial launch was a complete success, the console itself had its early share of problems. There are no doubts that the PS2 ?Emotion Chip? was state of the art, but it?s multiprocessor design made things difficult for software developers who had grown spoiled by the Dreamcast.
Rather then suffer the fate of the Sega Saturn, Sony opened up developer assistance forums, documentation, phone assistance, and websites to provide whatever technical assistance was needed for software developers. However, the initial batch of PS2 games where indeed a rushed effort. PS2 launch games seemed to pale in comparison to the Dreamcast?s latest offerings. How could this be? Wasn?t the Playstation 2 a more superior console?
As with most new consoles, it takes time for developers to truly take advantage of a consoles capabilities. Early developers complained about the console's amount of video ram, and centered all programming to the main CPU. It wasn?t till later that they learned to take advantage of the ?Emotion Chip?s? two other co-processors.
Another drastic complaint was jaggie graphics and flickering in launch games. One of the reasons behind this was the games lacked Full Screen Anti Aliasing (FSAA). The Playstation 2 hardware did not seem capable of producing this effect which could be seen in Nintendo 64 and Dreamcast. It was only till later on that Sony revealed methods of producing FSAA in software (rather then using hardware). One method that was unique to the PS2 and differs from traditional methods is a field bending technique that works well with televisions. By the year 2002, it became clear what the Playstation 2 console can really do.
Sony would soon take a page from Sega?s online gaming efforts, and produce an adapter that would allow for 56K / broadband gaming. Word of a hard drive, zip drives, voice chat devices and more brought the Playstation 2 console closer to Sony?s multimedia conception. Even with the introduction of newer consoles by rival Nintendo and newcomer Microsoft, the Sony Playstation 2 remained the most popular console even to the end of year 2005. With so many consoles sold, developers saw it wise to cash in. As a result the console has one of the largest software libraries available. Add the backward compatibility of the original Playstation library and you have quite a successful console.
In November 2004, Sony released a reduced sized version of it's Playstation 2. This new model called Slim Line (SCPH-7000 CB) was 75 percent smaller, and came with a built in Network Adaptor. It retailed for $149 upon release. However, the new Playstation 2 lacked the hard drive support of it's original model.
In 2005, Sony announced it's entry into the 8th console generation . The Playstation 3 will also support backwards compatibility with both PS2 and PSOne games.
FACT: Just it was done for the Playstation (Yaroze), Sony catered to the dreams of "would be" developers. In April / May of 2002, Sony released a specialized kit which turned the Playstation 2 console into a full-fledged computer. . The Playstation 2 Linux kit came with a Linux distribution DVD that runs on the PS2 hardware, additional software, a 40GB hard drive, an Ethernet adapter, a USB mouse, a USB keyboard, a computer monitor cable, and a wealth of documentation containing the same information that Sony provides its licensed game developers. It could only be purchased from Sony's official Playstation webpage, and retailed at $199.99USD.
In 2003, Sony decided to take the heart and power of Playstation 2 and create a high priced multimedia device. The Sony PSX was an "all in one" box providing a DVD / TiVO recorder, TV tuner, CD / DVD player, game console, digital photo manager, and more.
Thanks again to Dark Watcher for his info above.
Now heres our question to you - Whats the greatest PS2 Game Ever ?
Check out PS2 Emulation for info on all things PS2 Related.
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