October 26, 2000: PlayStation 2 released in the U. S.
As we get ready to ring in the joys and triumphs of the PlayStation 4, let’s not forget that 13 years ago this week, the PlayStation 2 descended upon the gaming world. When asked about the console, Kazuo Hirai, president and COO of Sony Compute Entertainment America, boasted, “The PlayStation 2 . . . is not the future of video game entertainment, it is the future of entertainment period.”* Like the first PlayStation, the PS2 could play DVDs was well as games on CD. It was also backwards compatible with PS1 games, and it accepted PS1 memory cards. The PS2 controllers had been upgraded with analog sticks, but PS1 controllers could be used with the machine with limited functionality. The PS2’s launch price was $299.
When the console was displayed at E3 2000, it faced stiff competition from the Sega Dreamcast, which had been released in 1999 and, at the time, had a stronger catalog of games. But the 2000 holiday season proved that the market was ready for the PS2, which eclipsed the Dreamcast in sales — the PS2 brought in $250 million on it first day, while the Dreamcast fell short of $100 million in sales on its first day. Among the PS2’s launch titles were Madden NFL 2001, Street Fighter EX3, and TimeSplitters.
Where were you when the PS2 hit the streets? If you were looking forward to its release, did you get one on or near its release day, or did you wait until the madness of the season had died down? Tell us in the comments!
*Steven Kent, The Ultimate History of Video Games