THE RANT: The succesor to Sony's Playstation is currently the most successful game system out there, in terms of sales that is. Within a few days of it's release the Playstation 2 sold several million units. Retailers jacked the price up on systems like crazy, some going for more than $1000. But as expected from Sony the first batch of systems had some major problems. Early Japanese systems shipped with the DVD drivers stored on the memory cards (thus screwing it up if you deleted them) and also another hardware bug that let you get rid of DVD region encoding. Retailers rushed to get systems on the shelf, and many more reports of dodgy hardware began to surface, crappy lazers, the blue screen of death, etc.
Despite all the problems PS2 continues to sell millions and millions of units becasue of the incredible amount and quality of it's game library. Millions of dollars in marketing and good business pracatices have paid off for Sony big time. One thing PS2 has going for it is vairety. All of the good stuff is on PS2.
Basic stuff: The PS2 is backwards compatible with all original PS1 games, and some of them load faster and look better too. USB ports means it's easy to find compatible controllers, keybaords, etc. Comes standard with the ol' PS Dualshock controller, which proves the adage "If it ain't broke, then don't fix it."
My personal opinion: Why did I wait so long to buy a PS2? First off I'm not really impressed with the way the games look for the most part. Put the same versions of a PS2, Xbox, and GC game right next to each other, and the PS2 game tends to look the crappiest. 2nd generation titles tend to look a lot better for this console though, like it took a little while for developers to learn the system.
Also in my opinion PS2 hasn't taken advantage of on-line gaming to it's fullest potential, and only a few of the games take advantage of the hard drive. It's like the system can do all this cool stuff but developers are afraid to push the envelope and instead stick with overused racers and platformers.
The best reason to own this system is for all the cool Japanese niche games, like RPGS, Beatamania, etc, of which Sony has always been very good about bringing stateside.
THE GOOD: Has a bazillion games. Most of them are good. Has the exatct same controller as the PS1 (which I personally never liked but at least it's durable.) Easy to find el-cheapo used software all over the place. Has built in DVD capabilities. It's backwards compatible with all PS1 games. Tons and tons and tons of 3rd party accessories to collect, more stuff than you will ever want, need, or use.
THE BAD: A lot of the early games tend to not take advantage of the console's capabilites. While this is true with most game systems, for some reason with the PS2 it's glaringly obvious. A lot of the early stuff doesn't look as good as say, 1998 era Dreamcast games. True to Sony cheapness the earlier models tended to screw up sometimes.
There are also a large amount of stinker games out there, making this a "rent before you buy" system.
THE UGLY: The front of the unit looks like you should be able to grill burgers on it.
PS2 Network adapter:
Play PS2 games online
PS2 Remote Control
Digital camera that lets you play games using your whole body.
PS2 FFII Advent Children skin
Make your PS2 look cool
Why should I buy a PS2?
-You like having tons and tons and tons of games to choose from
-You like playing cool Japanese niche games that no one else will consider releasing
-You like being able to throw a rock and find someone else who owns one
Why should I not buy a PS2?
-You like games that look good compared to versions on other systems
-You don't sorting through ten crappy games to find the good one
-PS3 will problably be backwards compatible, so just wait a few months
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Buy import PS2 games at Lik-Sang