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 functionallity.

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 card.

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 1.

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 XBOX
CPU Clock Freq. 294.912 MHz 733 MHz
Instructions p/sec. 30 Million More than 1 Trillion
System Memory 32 MB 64 MB
Maximum Resolution 1280 X 1040 1920 X 1080
System Floating-point Arithmetic Capability 6.2 GFLOPS 120 GFLOPS
Image Processing Features Fog, 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 (S3TC)

Model 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.

Model SCPH-50002 Silver Version: With Mod Chip installed pictured in blue highlight.

Sony PlayStation 2 PS2 PAL Model SCPH-50002 Sony PlayStation 2 PS2 PAL Model SCPH-50002 back Sony PlayStation 2 PS2 PAL Model SCPH-50002 bottom Sony PlayStation 2 PS2 PAL Model SCPH-50002 serial number Sony PlayStation 2 PS2 PAL Model SCPH-50002 Expansion Bay Sony PlayStation 2 PS2 PAL Model SCPH-50002 Inside
Sony PlayStation 2 PS2 PAL Model SCPH-50002 Inside Heat Sink Sony PlayStation 2 PS2 PAL Model SCPH-50002 Inside CD Drive Sony PlayStation 2 PS2 PAL Model SCPH-50002 Ports Sony PlayStation 2 PS2 PAL Model SCPH-50002 Inside Power PCB Sony PlayStation 2 PS2 PAL Model SCPH-50002 Inside Power PCB Removed Sony PlayStation 2 PS2 PAL Model SCPH-50002 Inside Expanson Bay Removed
Sony PlayStation 2 PS2 PAL Model SCPH-50002 Fan Sony PlayStation 2 PS2 PAL Model SCPH-50002 RF Shield 1 Sony PlayStation 2 PS2 PAL Model SCPH-50002 Main PCB Motherboard Sony PlayStation 2 PS2 PAL Model SCPH-50002 Main PCB Motherboard Bottom Sony PlayStation 2 PS2 PAL Model SCPH-50002 RF Shielding 2 Sony PlayStation 2 PS2 PAL Model SCPH-50002 PSU Power Supply PCB
Sony PlayStation 2 PS2 PAL Model SCPH-50002 PSU Power Supply PCB Bottom Sony PlayStation 2 PS2 PAL Model SCPH-50002 Optical Drive Sony PlayStation 2 PS2 PAL Model SCPH-50002 Power Supply PCB Optical Drive Laser Sony PlayStation 2 PS2 PAL Model SCPH-50002 Optical Drive Laser Removed Sony PlayStation 2 PS2 PAL Model SCPH-50002 Optical Drive Motor Sony PlayStation 2 PS2 PAL Model SCPH-50002 Optical Drive Rails Parts
Sony PlayStation 2 PS2 PAL Model SCPH-50002 ASSY Number Sony PlayStation 2 PS2 PAL Model SCPH-50002 Silver Sony PlayStation 2 PS2 PAL Model SCPH-50002 Silver Back Sony PlayStation 2 PS2 PAL Model SCPH-50002 Silver Bottom Sony PlayStation 2 PS2 PAL Model SCPH-50002 Silver Serial Number Sony PlayStation 2 PS2 PAL Model SCPH-50002 Silver PSU Power Supply PCB
Sony PlayStation 2 PS2 PAL Model SCPH-50002 Silver PSU Power Supply PCB back Sony PlayStation 2 PS2 PAL Model SCPH-50002 Silver Motherboard PCB Mod Chip Sony PlayStation 2 PS2 PAL Model SCPH-50002 Silver Motherboard PCB Mod Chip Back Sony PlayStation 2 PS2 PAL Model SCPH-50002 Silver Motherboard PCB Mod Chip ASSY Number    
 
Unit pictured has been sold and its location is unknown.