It’s official, we can now have backwards compatibility on PlayStation 4 — sort of. Yes, we may have to pay again to revisit our beloved games of the sixth-generation and it’s not just as simple as putting in our old PS2 discs, but it’s a step in the backwards(right) direction.
The announcement instantly induced all the fond memories had with that beautiful, black machine. All these memories surround a myriad of different games, so it wouldn’t be fair to give attention to just one; Rather, let’s look back on the console as a whole and celebrate another gem in the history of gaming. It’s time to reminisce about the juggernaut console known as the Sony PlayStation 2.
On March 1st, 1999, Sony announced the official successor to the PlayStation, the PlayStation 2. The console was set to be a direct competitor to the Sega DreamCast and released in Japan on March 4, 2000. It launched with 29 titles, some of which were heavy hitters such as Tekken, Street Fighter, SSX, and Unreal Tournament. As for commercial reception, it sold over 980,000 within its first day of release and later reached 150 million units as of 2011, earning it the title as the best-selling console in history.
The PlayStation 2 trounced its competitors — Microsoft’s Xbox and the Nintendo Game Cube — and also caused Sega to cease production of the DreamCast, ultimately making them step out of the gaming console business. It was so popular that despite its successor, the PlayStation 3, already being released, it was still being manufactured until its final run in 2013.
With all these console sales numbers and manufacturing schedules being thrown about, there’s really only one thing that truly defines a console generation, and that’s the games. The PlayStation 2 was home to thousands of games and was the only place most people chose to play them, thus a lot of third-parties having exclusive deals with the console, such as the Final Fantasy series and several Capcom titles. Not only was third-party support strong, but so was first-party. It was during this generation that a lot of PlayStation gamers experienced new franchises and characters that are staples within the PlayStation family; games such as Sly Cooper, Katamari Damacy, Jak and Daxter, Ratchet & Clank, and the list goes on. If you loved games, you loved the PlayStation 2.
Playing games, however, wasn’t the only thing the PlayStation 2 was capable of; it was your home media center. Now, you had another reason to buy a gaming console, that being you can watch those snazzy, brand new — at the time — DVDs. Now, mom and dad wouldn’t hesitate to buy the new console for their kid, since they were getting a lot of bang for their buck and it wasn’t just something that played games, it was an entertainment system.
It was also with this generation that you saw Sony exploring new avenues for gameplay, mainly with the EyeToy. This was Sony knowing that they are a pillar and a staple within the industry, so it was okay for them to take risks and experiment. Say what you will about whether the EyeToy was a success or just another gimmicky failure, but it was a sign of them knowing that they can’t stay complacent and put all their eggs in the traditional gaming basket. It was with this kind of mentality that you’re seeing them being the first of the three consoles to step into the Virtual Reality realm. Yes, you may thank the EyeToy that you’re seeing Sony do VR — no credits to The Oculus Rift.
Now, what you should do is go and download those PlayStation 2 games on your PS4, so you can play the best Grand Theft Auto game, Vice City. Go, celebrate and reminisce about the PlayStation 2 backwards compatibility and be happy it’s finally happening!
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