The PlayStation 2 Is Now Twenty Years Old

Illustration for article titled The PlayStation 2 Is Now Twenty Years Old
Image: Sony
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On March 4, 2000, the PlayStation 2 went on sale in Japan. Can you believe it? It only seems like yesterday I got my PS2 at the Yodobashi Camera in Osaka’s Umeda.


The PlayStation 2 wouldn’t launch in North America, Europe and Australia until later. The console would go on to become the best-selling video game console ever, moving over 155 million unions, and becoming home to many of the greatest games ever made.

Happy birthday, PS2! Thanks for all the memories.

Originally from Texas, Ashcraft has called Osaka home since 2001. He has authored six books, including most recently, The Japanese Sake Bible.


I remember getting it for Christmas when I was around 8ish. One box to be shared between four siblings (and my dad). The first game I played on it was somehow Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone for the PSOne! But this was THE console. Everyone had one. It was ubiquitous. The DVD player of choice too, lest we forget. And the games. What a mix! My childhood was spent playing Crazy Taxi, SSX3, NFSU2, Jak and Daxter, all those dance mat games, eyetoy, Timesplitters, FFX and a ton more that still sit on my shelves. The leap forward that this console brought is hard to explain. It was probably the last great leap forward of any console.

I remember when ours started to fail. When it would no longer recognise the game discs. How tragic it felt. Desperately trying to clean the laser in the hopes that would help.

The PS2 occupied a space and a time, for me at least, that no other console could ever hope to. It’s a damn fine box.