The PlayStation 2 in 2008
The PS2 still going strong in the new year.
Article by Chris McMahon (Email)
February 25th 2008, 02:00PM
Game bundles are also likely to be found in abundance, something that can already be seen with the planned Karaoke Revolutions Presents: American Idol Encore and the aforementioned SNK titles. The upcoming release of the Metal Gear Solid Essentials Collection only goes to support this theory. It's probable that the PS2 will find a new role in publicising and building support for current-gen games, showcasing that which has come before. To anticipate God of War 3's release the natural move would be to sell the game's two predecessors in a collector's edition package for the PS2 – a fantastic marketing ploy. Maybe something new is coming from Team Ico? An exclusive to PS2 collection containing Ico and Shadow of the Colossus, replete with additional artwork and makings-of would sell like hot cakes. Personally, I'm drooling at the mouth already. It's not hard to imagine Sony finding an easy market here. The PS2 is perfect for such a venture, what with its huge install base and legions of fans eager to eat up any such offers.
And if we're to expect re-releases and re-hashes of old games, it's not a huge leap of the imagination to expect PSP ports in abundance, especially considering they've done this already with titles like Vice City Stories and Liberty City Stories. Ratchet and Clank: Size Matters is set for a March release and Silent Hill Origins and Innocent Life: A Futuristic Harvest Moon are not far behind. SCEA have also recently announced the highly anticipated Twisted Metal: Head On: Extra Twisted Edition for the console. God of War: Chains of Olympus and Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII - although not yet announced for the PS2 - will almost definitely be making an appearance on the console.
Still, these are all only possibilities, and the titles will know about for sure are gems in an otherwise throwaway selection of games. The release schedule is anaemic to say the least, fleshed out with such titles as Sea Monsters: A Prehistoric Adventure, RC Mini Chopper and Obscure: Aftermath. True, there have always been a plethora of terrible titles on the PS2, but their profusion is now magnified by the lack of true quality titles. Even the better-looking software can be found in a more attractive format on newer, more advanced technology. It doesn't exactly paint a healthy picture for a system that relies heavily on its games. The lack of killer titles, combined with a somewhat fluid release list indicates that, although sales are reasonably high for now, these could truly be the last good days of the PS2.
Sony is staying relatively tight lipped on their plans for the console, but clearly have poised their attention firmly on the future of the PSP and PS3. The PS2 isn't receiving nearly as many triple AAA titles as it did in 2007, and third party developers are going to start looking more and more towards the newer systems to publish their high profile titles. This doesn't necessarily mean that Microsoft and Nintendo can put a stake though the PS2's heart just yet, considering the system's consistent sales and 110 million user strong install base, but it remains to be seen if the PS2 can stick it through to 2009. Even with a new model coming in 2008 it seems Sony is squeezing out the last drops rather than enticing a new generation of gamers to the console. The PS3's slowly gathering momentum means sales may soon drop, as both developers and gamers alike begin to unlock the power of the PS3.
The PS2 is a console that redefined many things about the industry, and it's hugely responsible for moulding it into the shape we know today. It will be hard to say goodbye, but one thing most gamers can probably agree on is that we've all had an astounding time during our adventures with the PS2.