Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Sony Japan PlayStation (Games)

In Japan, PlayStation 2 Ends a 12-Year Run 146

Posted by timothy
from the old-enough-for-comics dept.
The PlayStation 3 may have overshadowed it technically, but the PlayStation 2 has seniority. Now, the PS2 is being retired in Japan after nearly 13 years. That doesn't mean the games have stopped: "To this day, developers have continued to release games on the platform due to its enduring popularity, with the last title in Japan, Final Fantasy XI: Seekers of Adoulin, due out in March this year."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

In Japan, PlayStation 2 Ends a 12-Year Run

Comments Filter:
  • by RogueyWon (735973) * on Saturday December 29, 2012 @06:43AM (#42418599) Journal

    Ah... the PS2. I don't think I can ever remember a console that's dominated its generation in quite the same way. I'm not just talking about unit sales (though its figures there and its lead over the Xbox and Gamecube were impressive enough), but rather about the sheer scale of the influence it exercised over gaming in general.

    Back in the PS2's generation, if you were developing a console game, then unless you were being given bags and bags of money by MS or Nintendo, you had no choice but to make the PS2 your primary target. It didn't matter that it had underpowered hardware that was known for pain a pain in the arse to develop for. The Xbox and the Cube were optional. The PC (which was on a back-foot for most of that console cycle) was even more optional. The PS2 was where you had to be to get the sales. It had games from every genre represented; and often the best titles in their respective genres were for the PS2.

    In many ways, it wasn't a particularly brilliant console. Its UI was butt-ugly. Cross-platform ports tended to look like a dog next to their Xbox and Cube versions (though the latter were admittedly quite uncommon). The memory cards for savegames were tiny, expensive and prone to data corruption. But it had the games, so if you were at all passionate about console gaming, you had to own one.

    The funny thing is that, despite its hardware being completely obsolete, I've often felt Sony sent it to the back burner (via the PS3 launch) too soon. Both the console and its games were still selling well when the PS3 launched, with the 360 having failed to take much wind out of its sales. I do wonder what would have happened if Sony had held back the PS3 for 6-9 months, to work out some of the oddities in the hardware, let the launch price fall, get a stronger launch-lineup and maybe get proper back-compatibility into the hardware as a standard across the world. As it is, when the PS3 launched, it was too expensive for most and still suffering fierce competition from its own predecessor (some of the PS2's best games launched after the PS3, such as Personas 3 and 4). Certainly, for the first 18 months I owned my imported US 60 gig model, it spent far more time running PS2 titles than PS3 ones.

    Nothing in the 360/PS3/Wii console generation has come close to replicating the PS2's dominance. The Wii got a big installed sales base early (which later stagnated, with the result that its lead, while still there, is much eroded), but never even came close to converting that into PS2-style dominance of games development. The 360 and the PS3 have more or less run neck and neck; if I remember, the 360 has a small worldwide installed base lead despite its Japan deficit, but the gap between the two isn't much more than a rounding error. And if you're developing a game these days, then unless you are being given large amounts of cash by a console manufacturer, you need to target the 360, PS3 and PC (the latter is very much back in the game), while giving consideration to the idea of a Wii-U port or a scaled down Wii version.

    I wonder whether, to an extent, the PS2's dominance wasn't linked to Sony's ability to lock down what were, at the time, some of the biggest and most important franchises in the world to its console; Final Fantasy, Gran Turismo and Metal Gear Solid. Those were really the names that started shifting consoles (after what was actually a slightly lacklustre launch). These days, of course, all of the really big name franchises are cross-platform (and almost all Western, rather than Japanese). A couple of exceptions; the Nintendo first party games (not everybody's cup of tea), Forza (the 360's superior reflection of Gran Turismo) and the Halo/Gears vs Resistance/Killzone shooter pairings (where the games are essentially interchangable). But increasingly, it's cross-platform that dominates the charts (particularly when it features angry men with thick necks shouting "OSCAR MIKE" every 5 seconds).

    PS. Another Final Fantasy XI expansion? My word. I stopped playing that years ago and didn't realise it was still going. It feels a bit like a relic from another world now; easy to forget it was probably the world's most successful MMO until World of Warcraft launched.

    • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

      by loufoque (1400831)

      The Xbox 360 has clearly been dominating this generation, just like the PS2 did.

      • You were joking...right?

        The Xbox 360 is in last place in worldwide sales this gen.

        An absolutely mind boggling failure for Microsoft. The Xbox 360 was suppose to be the console where Microsoft recovered from the first Xbox multi-billion dollar fiasco and finally got it right.

        Instead Microsoft:

        * Killed off the first Xbox leaving pissing off developers who wasted resources developing engines for the console

        * Rushed the worst console hardware ever created out the door that lead to the RRoD fiasco and many other

        • by loufoque (1400831)

          You must be living in a different world, like Japan.

          Games are designed first and foremost for the Xbox 360, and PC and PS3 versions, when they happen, are outsourced sub-par ports.
          Games released on multiple platforms usually have a better experience on the Xbox 360, especially graphics.

          There are also many games which get DLC on Xbox 360 first. There are even some multi-platform games that only get DLC on the Xbox 360 version.

          While the PS3 remains the best console for japanese games, the Xbox 360 is a much b

          • by tlhIngan (30335)

            While the PS3 remains the best console for japanese games, the Xbox 360 is a much better console for western audiences. The Wii did sell better, but who is still playing their Wii? The console was just a gimmick.

            Actually, I think the Xbox360 outsold the Wii sometime this year in total units (the Xbox360 has been outselling the Wii for the past 18 months, so it's been only a matter of time before it overtook the Wii). The PS3 has consistently been third.

            And the primary reason people are developing for Xbox36

      • by Patch86 (1465427)

        Debatable. It might be the most popular of the 3 consoles (although I don't think it is- the Wii outsold it), or the most profitable, but Xbox 360 hasn't dominated in the way that the PS2 did in it's day, or the SNES in it's. It doesn't have vast numbers of exclusive games, and the other consoles haven't tried to emulate it. If anything, both MS and Sony have expended much effort to try to emulate the Wii, making Nintendo this generation's "trend setter"- although it'd be extremely generous to say the Wii "

    • by LordLucless (582312) on Saturday December 29, 2012 @08:30AM (#42418907)

      I do wonder what would have happened if Sony had held back the PS3 for 6-9 months, to work out some of the oddities in the hardware, let the launch price fall, get a stronger launch-lineup and maybe get proper back-compatibility into the hardware as a standard across the world.

      Possibly, something entirely unrelated to the console market - HD-DVD may have become the de facto standard for high-def media. Upgrading their console platform was only one reason Sony launched the PS3 - the other was to get a player for their proprietary high-def format in the lounge room of as many consumers as possible. Remember, at launch, the PS3 was the most cost-effective BluRay player on the market, due to console subsidies.

      • by RogueyWon (735973) *

        Hah, so very true. I remember how close I came to buying the HD-DVD addon for the 360, before remembering the old-adage that console peripherals never really take off. On that basis, it was clear that even if the 360 sold the PS3, the PS3's inclusion of blu-ray as standard was going to carry that format over the line.

        And yes, my parents bought a PS3 to go with their new HD-TV, not because they wanted to play games on it, but because it was indeed the cheapest blu-ray player around.

      • Also, other consoles already would have had a 1 year lead on the next-gen platform; which would have made it much harder for the PS3 to take a stand.
    • It didn't matter that it had underpowered hardware that was known for pain a pain in the arse to develop for

      It mattered a whole hell of a lot. It threw developers back to the days of the (S)NES, where you had to develop your own development tools to actually create something that is usable. The video RAM limitation alone was a massive drawback to development, so much so, I can name two studios that eventually folded because development time targeting the PS2 was insurmountable with a small shop.
    • by PopeRatzo (965947)

      Best writer on games on Slashdot: RogueyWon

    • TL;DR (just another thread about console cretinitis disease apparently destroying pc gaming lol)

      • by RogueyWon (735973) *

        I don't mention consoles destroying PC gaming anywhere in my post. In so far as I do mention PC gaming, it is to say that it was on the back foot during the PS2/Xbox/GC era (which it was) and that it is resurgent towards the end of the PS3/360/Wii era (which it is).

        Judging by your post history, you seem to have trouble reading posts over 3 lines in length. There is specialist adult education out there that might help you with this. I'd urge you to consider it.

    • by Nyder (754090)

      ...

      The funny thing is that, despite its hardware being completely obsolete, I've often felt Sony sent it to the back burner (via the PS3 launch) too soon. Both the console and its games were still selling well when the PS3 launched, with the 360 having failed to take much wind out of its sales.../p>

      That is funny thing to say. Because Sony was the only one selling games for the previous generation system when the new systems came out. Did MS still support the original Xbox? Fuck no. Yet Sony still had new games coming out for the PS2 long after the PS3 was released. In fact, for being a "back burner" they just finally stopped making PS2, did MS still make Xboxes 5 years ago? No? So why is the back burner so bad when they have a new product? At least they were keeping it warm, not forge

    • by Belial6 (794905)
      You obviously were not around for the Atari 2600. The influence of the 2600 dwarfed the PS2. It defined a generation in a way that Sony could only dream their console could. For a time, the name Atari was literally synonymous with game console. Even the competitors like ColecoVision would frequently be referred to as a Coleco brand Atari.
    • by AbRASiON (589899) *

      I pretty much agree with most of your post, despite being more of an Xbox 1 over PS2 gamer (my first consoles and coming from PC, I liked the more PC-centric stuff on the Xbox)

      That being said, I now love my PS3, so many good games for it and more importantly so many good exclusive games for it, often unique ones to boot.

      I'm curious if you'd agree (and suspect so) that the PS3 and 360 are about to also be retired too early. The replacements for both systems are heavily rumoured to come out next year before X

      • by RogueyWon (735973) *

        No, I think this time, they may even have moved too late.

        The shadow in the backdrop of the console cycle is PC gaming. People talk about console gaming killing PC gaming. It could, in theory, happen, but it hasn't to date. The reverse could also happen. And while it hasn't happened yet, we've been close at a couple of points in the past and are quite close now.

        The PC had its first gaming surge at the end of the NES/Mastersystem era. That's when we got the likes of the original Wing Commander and Ultima 7, w

    • by hairyfeet (841228)

      Holding back the PS3 probably wouldn't have helped because it had two major design flaws that ultimately kept it from taking the same place of its sibling, I'm of course talking about the cell and the BD drive. The cell is notorious for being a serious PITA to get any kind of performance out of without being just incredible when it comes to programming, similar to the Itanium in that regard, and while IBM tried for a little while to get the cell in more devices (such as the cell based PCIe video conversion

  • It was either released in march this year, or it is due to be released march next year, as we are currently in december

  • not game (Score:4, Informative)

    by musikit (716987) on Saturday December 29, 2012 @07:05AM (#42418649)

    to be fair FFXI: seekers of adoulin is an expansion to the FFXI game released close to 7 years ago now. it is not a full game and can not be played seperately without buying the original title from 7 years ago.

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      to be fair FFXI: seekers of adoulin is an expansion to the FFXI game released close to 7 years ago now. it is not a full game and can not be played seperately without buying the original title from 7 years ago.

      So then it requires a HDD? Do most FF fans in Japan have HDDs in their PS2s?

      • by musikit (716987)

        yes requires the HDD. i moved here after the ps3 generation started so dont know how popular ps2 hdds are. wii u seemed to sell pretty decently. donno how US sales went.

        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          wii u seemed to sell pretty decently. donno how US sales went.

          I don't know either, but the only mention of it I've even heard since the launch is a woman who works in my bank who didn't know if it would even play Wii games. (I stayed out of it, I don't want to get too friendly with the bank employees, as some of them are excessively nosy as it is. The dark side of the local credit union.)

  • by ModernGeek (601932) on Saturday December 29, 2012 @07:27AM (#42418717) Homepage
    March of this year has already passed. I believe that they mean March 2013, which would be March of next year.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      It was due March 2012, but had to be postponed because of the time requirements of putting in sufficiently huge boobies.

      • It was due March 2012, but had to be postponed because of the time requirements of putting in sufficiently huge boobies.

        They are following the advice of Ted Stryker, "We can't live in the past any more, or the present. This is the future."

  • ... but it's way beyond the time to let it go. I remember back in 2006~7 when all the good games(at least here in Japan) were still being released for the PS2 while the PS3 was left to gather dust.
    Now sony only needs to kill the PSP too, as it is cannibalizing all the sales the vita could have and as well as dividing developers (some are scratching their game's vita versions in favor of the PSP and others are developing for both).
    Sony should learn that no risk no return. Apple kills successful products al
    • I agree. However, planned obsolescence is rarely what's best for the consumer. If we want games to be treated as an artistic medium, as I believe they can be, then we have to stop with the bullshit "end of life" -- If a developer wants to make a game for the PS1, NES, C64, x86 DOS or any other platform then they should be able to. Should people be able to port, say, Cavestory to run on an SNES? I think so. The difference between the consoles and PC platforms is that you can still publish software for t

      • by ikaruga (2725453)

        I totally agree with you. Consoles may have some advantages(usability, optimization, hardware uniformness, etc...), but the disadvantages(licences, censorship, pricing, forced gimmicks, obsolesce) far outnumber them. Imagine if the film industry or the music industry worked liked the game industry. Imagine a world where in order to play disney movies you'd have to buy a disney movie console. To the hell with that world. As a gamer one of the things that really pisses me off is that I grew up with nintendo (

  • by Argerich (2804589) on Saturday December 29, 2012 @07:43AM (#42418757)

    I remember the excitement in the company when the first PS2 devkit arrived and were placed in a locked room. Only a few top engineers in the company had access to the room. People would come and stare through the glass at the devkit demos running on the screens and standing around chatting with the guys working on the PS2 hardware. And I remember the engineers holding mini seminars in one of the conference rooms diagramming out the amazing PS2 hardware architecture and how engines will be written for the hardware.

    Sony did an absolutely amazing job with the PS2 hardware design. It was a system that much resembles some finely tuned race car that has had every single bit of wasted weight trimmed from it and setup so the driver can do one single thing, drive fast. Looking back at the PS2 code for our games it is wonderful to look at just how small and straightforward the PS2 engine code is. Pack as much data into DMA packets down to the point where not a single bit is wasted. None of the wasteful lines and lines of setup code one has to go through when writing engines for a desktop PC(or a desktop PC in console case like the Xbox).

    It is no surprise Sony was able to keep the PS2 hardware viable for almost 13 years. Unmatched console hardware design and manufacturing prowess mixed with the best developer support and tools.

    And Sony treats developers better than anyone else. They've always had the mindset of tell us what you need and well make it happen. Nintendo has always been too focused on their own first party titles and have always had an underlying attitude of 'we don't really need anyone but ourselves'. And Microsoft...I don't know where to being with how bad they are with supporting developers. The fact that they managed to piss off their sole important first party developer Bungie so much that they forced Microsoft to let them leave the company is a good an indication as any of just how bad Microsoft is with supporting developers.

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      Sony did an absolutely amazing job with the PS2 hardware design

      It's absolutely amazing that Sony decided to use the cell, but it's even more amazing that there's still people like you who think it was a good decision. Multiplatform games always look better on Xbox than on PS2, because the PS2 is such a bitch and keeping the hardware fully utilized is virtually impossible, and it's an achievement only ever reached by a small handful of titles.

      • He's talking about PS2, you're talking about the PS3
        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          He's talking about PS2, you're talking about the PS3

          Whoops! Wrong rant, and what's hilarious is that I didn't C&P, I just have deep structures for these rants now. The PS2 was equally retarded. They took two 64-bit MIPS cores with 128-bit data types and a 32-bit MIPS core with 64-bit data types and glued them together in such a way that it was a total nightmare to keep both vector units (VU0 and VU1, weren't they?) busy, especially because in their infinite wisdom they made them asymmetrical.

          This always brings me to what's hilarious about the PS3 in ligh

          • by Argerich (2804589) on Saturday December 29, 2012 @10:47AM (#42419413)

            I don't even know what the hell that rambling wall of text is supposed be.

            Our company being one of the largest developers/publishers working on the original Playstation our engineers worked directly with Sony on the design of the PS2(and the PS3). The PS2 was our dream console.

            It is such an elegant machine. It was able to put out graphics that were just as good for all but a few areas like multipass rendering and AA as the Xbox while easily surpassing it in areas like frame buffer effects(one of the major reasons the Xbox couldn't handle the Metal Gear port from the PS2 without bogging down) and physics calculations for animation thanks to the insane floating point power in the PS2. And all this while the manufacturing cost of the PS2 was roughly half that of the Xbox 360.

            It really is bizarre to read someone who has never worked on a real console game spew a bunch of techno babble.

            The PS2 and PS3 are almost identical hardware designs that are almost perfectly designed to maximize graphical power with the absolute minimum hardware costs. The only exception being the Blu-Ray drive which was very new tech compared to the PS2 more mature and cheaper drive tech.

            It really is strange to hear desktop PC game programmers cry about how the PS2/PS3 isn't exactly like their desktop PC and how they can't just dump their code designed for a completely(and massively inefficient) architecture like the standard x86 desktop PC is.

            The main engine starts off on the EE/PPU. Does basic setup. Loads tasks into the VUs/SPUs. The heavy lifting tasks on the VUs/SPUs start firing away asynchronously while the main engine continues along with the less computationally heavy game code. As data in the VUs/SPUs become ready for rendering, that data is DMAed over to the GS/RSX.

            Over time you continue to maximize the parallelism going on and get to the point where all three parts of the PS2/PS3 are cranking away at their respective tasks. Thanks to the bus architecture of the PS2/PS3 this happens with a minimal amount of bus contention slowing the system down. It is always funny to hear some PC programmer or someone on the Net parroting them crying about the split bus architecture and how they can't just dump everything into one big block of memory.

            That amazing design by Sony is the PS2 was able to put out graphics that were so close to a machine that came out a year later and had components that cost roughly twice as much.

            • The PS3 hardware was clearly a mistake. Or rather it was miscalculation. They originally planned not to need a GPU because Cell was supposed to have enough FP power to do the 3D graphics all by itself but that turned out not to be the case. So they had to rush to NVIDIA and slap a GPU in there. With its own dedicated memory. The result was a very expensive console. Cell itself had a massive die size and probably only got cheap enough to build after two shrinks. Programming the Cell was a nightmare for a lo

              • by Argerich (2804589) on Saturday December 29, 2012 @12:13PM (#42419831)

                "They originally planned not to need a GPU because Cell was supposed to have enough FP power to do the 3D graphics all by itself but that turned out not to be the case."

                Please stop parroting crap from the Beyond3D forums.

                Our company is large enough to have had access to the PS3 hardware designs at a very early stage and were in a dialog with Sony engineers about the design. At no time did the PS3 have any other design than what is in the shipping hardware today. The only things that were to be determined were clockspeeds, number of SPUs, etc.

                Not only is that stupid lie started on the Beyond3D forums false, it doesn't even make sense. The PS2 and PS3 have almost identical hardware designs. That is the feedback we console developers gave to Sony - we want a PS2 taken to the next level. Which is exactly what the PS3 was and is.

                • Huh? (Score:2, Insightful)

                  by Anonymous Coward

                  I have no idea what company you worked for, but the PS3 hardware design went through a radical change between its early stage incarnation and what shipped. You must have worked for a late-access company.

                  Originally, the PS3 was going to do most of it's graphics in a souped-up 12-bit fixed point PS2-like graphics pipeline (called the RS) and do all the geometry on the Cell processors. After they found out their fixed point design was untenable for modern fragment shading, they had a crash program to retro-f

            • by drinkypoo (153816)

              Over time you continue to maximize the parallelism going on and get to the point where all three parts of the PS2/PS3 are cranking away at their respective tasks

              Well, thank you for agreeing with me, and admitting that it takes a long iterative process to milk performance out of the PS2, meanwhile your competitor has spit out three titles on the Xbox which, due to the fact that it just has more to work with even if it does less with it, and the fact that it's easier to do it with. This is what every game console programmer but you has said ever.

              That amazing design by Sony is the PS2 was able to put out graphics that were so close to a machine that came out a year later and had components that cost roughly twice as much.

              What's amazing is that Sony failed to recognize that by waiting a year they could get the same results with COTS parts, and

  • ...whatever we want to on it. There's Linux and homebrew stuff, that can run on this old hardware, but the newer ( just a couple of years:)) firmwares won't allow it without modchips.
  • Granted the Dreamcast (I am not one of those fan boys who says it's more powerful then the PS2) was the first machine I learned about "hacking" on, which was basicly learning to make boot disks so I could boot up copies of games/homebrew. The PS2 was the first gaming console that gave me a harddrive to do it with.

    Granted I didn't get my first PS2 till about 6 months before the PS3 came out. I was mostly a PC gamer at that point, but of course, had all the various consoles up till the PS2/Xbox/Gamecube c

  • I don't know about you guys, but my PS2 is still hooked up and ready to go, and I have two shelves full of PS2 titles. What if the laser goes in my PS2, is all that software suddenly worthless? I know about PCSX2 but that is not a 100% solution, and I don't want to think about the legality of BIOS and disc images that you haven't dumped yourself. I think it's a shame that soon you cannot buy a brand-new PS2 anymore, just to protect your investment in game titles.
    • by iampiti (1059688)
      This is one of the bad thing of consoles: When the machine dies the games are pretty much dead.
      Exceptions:
      • Next gen console compatible with last gen: Not always and not always perfect since sometimes it's software based emulation
      • Some titles released on newer consoles: Only some of them, and usually you have to pay for the games again (even if at a reduced rate)
      • Emulators: Best option, even then compatibility it's not perfect and for the newer consoles there will probably be workable emulators

      The PC is no

  • When I was in Japan I had a chance to turn on the old PS2 they had in the upstairs bedroom. My hosts were amused by my fascination with it and explained that video games are considered to be children's toys.
    • by qwak23 (1862090)

      When and where in Japan were you? I just moved back to the states from Japan, and while certainly many kids play video games, so do many adults. People in suits heading to work playing Monster Hunter on their PSPs. Arcades full of adults with only a couple kids playing Namco's Taiko game in the corner.

      Sure, not every adult is into games, but not every adult is into games here either. Of course we also have adults here that think video games are just children's toys and will buy GTA for their kid while co

  • Hello!!! everybody, Fashion,low price,the good shoping place, click in. ===== ( http://www.sport3trade.net/ [sport3trade.net] ) ===== Discount Air Jordan (1-24) shoes $35, Air max shoes (TN LTD BW 90 180) $36, Nike/shox (R4, NZ, OZ, TL1, TL2, TL3) $35, Handbags ( Coach Lv fendi D&G) $36, T-shirts (polo, ed hardy, lacoste) $20, Jean (True Religion, ed hardy, coogi)$35, Sunglasses ( Oakey, coach, Gucci, Armaini)$16, Watches(Rolex BREITLING IWC) New era cap $12, Discount (NFL MLB NBA NHL) jerseys, free shipping, Accept cred

TRANSACTION CANCELLED - FARECARD RETURNED

Working...