Sony PlayStation 2 ('FAT' PS2) PAL Model SCPH-50002
SCPH-50002 specific details at the end.
Announced in 1999 and released in 2000 the
PlayStation 2 was Sony's jump into the sixth generation game console
market. After the huge success of its predecessor the PlayStation the
PS2 commanded initial skyrocketing sales, continued success and a solid,
new console purchasing fan base well after the seventh generation
consoles landed with it only being discontinued in late 2013.
Part of its huge success was that it had been designed to be backwards
compatible with Playstation. Supporting both most legacy software and
controllers made it the first console intentionally released with this
Looking back however the PS2 had more of a haphazard release with a dash
to add features not initially available to keep up with offerings from
the competition. Most notably is the SEGA Dreamcast, PS2 then Microsoft
XBOX gauntlet. The Dreamcast marketing focused heavily on trying to
elevate online gaming to something that could be viable, reliable and
actually a fun reality. Sony initially completely ignored the online
option offering no online connectivity at all; pre SCPH-500xx series
PS2s could be connected via the i.Link port for local multi-play.
When the XBOX was released in 2001 backed by the at the time
impressive XBOX Live Service Sony scrambled to fill the feature gap. The
bulky PS2 Network Adapter add-on in Dial-up or Dialup and Ethernet
versions was the answer. The add-on was inserted into the 3.5" Expansion
Bay (available on models 30000 to 500xx) which could also accommodate a
40GB IDE Hard Drive, the PS2 HDD. Unlike Microsoft's in house server
hosted online environment, Sony relied on game publishers to provide
their own online options hosted on third party servers linked via a Sony
hub. Setting for each game's connection needed to be stored on a memory
The service seems to have been so quickly released that it
doesn't even have a name. PS2 Online, PS2 Network Play and PS2 Network
Gaming are all commonly used, however none are an official, legal name.
Compared to Microsoft's XBOX Live it was an okay solution to a
glaring feature omission with by far the biggest drawcard being that
while XBOX Live was paid subscription based and the PS2 option was free.
One of the other hardware options that Sony seemed to back away from
is the ability to add a 40GB IDE drive to the PS2 (models 30000 to 500xx
and SCPH-70000 if you want to get creative). The PS2 HDD also required
the PS2 Network Adapter to connect it to the PS2's main circuit board
and power and so were sold as a pack. While the option allowed games to
be par copied onto the PS2 HDD to reduce loading time, only 35 US
released games supported it and the Expansion Bay was removed with the
release of the slim PS2. Final Fantasy XI is an example the few games
that required the hard drive add-on to run.
All that stale stuff out of the way, more culturally
interesting is the almost immediate arguments as soon as the XBOX was
released as to which was the better console, PS2 or XBOX. Not since the
Sega Mega Drive/Genesis VS SNES fan war had such whining existing.
Before you start throwing stones the truth is while not necessarily
the better console the XBOX wiped the floor with the PS2 as far as
hardware goes. As a console it was a beast of a thing as the below
abridged specs show.
In addition the Playstation 2 proprietary
'Emotion Engine' was extremely difficult to code for VS the XBOX's
hybrid nVidia/Microsoft custom chip.
However.... the Playstation
2 had something the XBOX could never compete with..... the Playstation
Having been such an amazingly well received console the
Playstation had paved a clear path for its successor sporting a solid
fan base which greatly impacted both console and game sales. So even
while graphically for example the PS2 was greatly inferior (no anti
aliasing for a start) and many games that looked poor on the XBOX being
PS2 ports with anti aliasing added (Electronic Arts regularly did this)
the Playstation 2 was better received.
Which was the better console?
Depends on whom you ask.
|| Playstation 2
||More than 1 Trillion
||1920 X 1080
Floating-point Arithmetic Capability
Curved Surface Generation, Lighting
||Programmable vertex and pixel
shaders, fog, Subpixel Anti-aliasing, 8 Hardware Lights, Alpha
Blending, Multi-texturing, Bump Mapping, Environment Mapping,
MIP Mapping, Bilinear Filtering, Trilinear Filtering,
Anisotropic Filtering, Real-time Hardware Texture Decompression
SCPH-50002 (the final number indicates the county released:
'2' for Australia)
The 500xx series saw the addition of an
infrared receiver to accommodate use of the PS2 Remote. The i.Link port
was removed due to it seeing too little use and game support to make its
continuation financially worthwhile.
Silver Version: With Mod Chip installed pictured in blue