The PlayStation 2 Celebrates Its 20th Birthday in Japan

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Sony’s PlayStation 2 will soon celebrate its 20th birthday in Japan, as the console is now two decades old. The PlayStation 2 released on March 4, 2000 in Japan for 39,800 yen, around $369, on its launch date. It combined both CD-ROM and DVD-ROM formats, which allowed players to game and enjoy a DVD too. [Thanks, Game Watch!]

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Global fans of Sony were able to acquire the PS2 within the same year. North America saw it release on October 26, 2000, European fans got their chance to get one on November 24, 2000, and Australian players could buy theirs on November 30, 2000. Years later, the PlayStation 2 would get a new, slimmer model aptly titled the PlayStation 2 Slimline. Sony also produced a second slim model in 2007.

The console was produced until 2012, when Sony discontinued the system after over twelve years of life. Still, it received new games well into 2014, and had an active repair service in Japan until 2018. Additionally, over the consoles’ lifetime, it accumulated over 1,800 games from a variety of genres and franchises. Furthermore, players could also enjoy backwards compatibility, opening up the library to include original PlayStation titles.

In 2019, the Guiness World Book of Records would certify the PlayStation brand as the best-selling home console brand to date, with a total 450,000,000 units across the PlayStation, PS2, PS3, and PS4. As of 2020, the PlayStation 2 alone has sold 155,000,000 units globally and remains the world’s best-selling home console of all time.

On the PS2’s 20th Birthday, PlayStation Japan’s Twitter asked users what games made them fall in love with the system. PlayStation fans took to to Twitter with a variety of responses, including mentioning Final Fantasy X, Persona 4, Ratchet & CLank, and Metal Gear Solid 2.

Though the PlayStation 2’s time has come and gone, it still remains an impactful console in and outside of Japan. What’s a game that made you fall in love with the PlayStation 2?

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Mercedez Clewis
Mercedez is a former staff writer, Japanese to English translator and a glasses-wearing, cardigan-loving gamer with a passion for visual novels, Etrian Odyssey, and peaches. They'll be covering Japanese gaming news on the reg.