PlayStation 2

The PlayStation 2 (PS2) (Japanese: プレイステーション2) is Sony's second video game console, the successor to the PlayStation and the predecessor to the PlayStation 3. Its development was announced in March 1999, and it was first released in Japan on March 4, 2000 and in North America and Puerto Rico on October 26, 2000. It was released in Europe on November 24, 2000.

The PS2 is part of the sixth generation era, and has become the fastest selling gaming console in history, with over 100 million units shipped by November 2005, beating the previous record holder, the PlayStation, by three years and nine months.

History

Only a few million users had obtained consoles by the end of 2000 due to manufacturing delays. The PlayStation 2 was such a hot item after its release that it was near impossible to find one on retailer shelves, leaving those wanting a PlayStation 2 to either wait or purchase the console online at sites such as eBay, where the console was being sold by many people for twice and sometimes five times as much as the manufacturer's listed price. Developers also complained that it was difficult to develop for the system, with little in the way of reference material from Sony for its exotic architecture. The PS2 launch seemed unimpressive and gaffe-prone, compared to the well-planned launch of the Sega Dreamcast, which was making a genuine attempt to woo developers and which had better launch titles. Yet, the PS2 initially sold well solely on the basis of the strength of the PlayStation brand and its backwards compatibility, selling over 900,000 units in the first weekend in Japan. This allowed the PS2 to tap the large install base established by the PlayStation. Another major selling point over the Dreamcast was the PlayStation 2's ability to play DVDs, which gained it a presence in electronics stores which did not formerly sell video game consoles. Later, Sony gained steam with new development kits for game developers and more PlayStations for consumers.

Many analysts predicted a close 3-way matchup between the PS2 and its soon-to-be-released competitors Microsoft Xbox and Nintendo GameCube, noting that the PS2's graphics were inferior but that it had the advantage of a head start, and had a wide assortment of games of every genre (Xbox's strength was in its hardware; GameCube was the cheapest of the 3 consoles). However, the release of several blockbuster games during the 2001 holiday season pushed the PS2 far in front even as the Xbox and GameCube made their impressive debuts. Shortly afterwards, Sony also slashed PS2 prices greater than expected in order to maintain momentum and hold off its potential rivals. [1]

Although Sony placed little emphasis on online gaming during its first year, that changed upon the launch of the online-capable Xbox. Sony rolled a PS2 online adapter in late 2002 to compete with Microsoft, with several online first party online titles released alongside it, such as SOCOM US Navy SEALS in order to show that Sony was supporting this feature actively. Sony also advertised heavily, and its online model had the advantage of being supported by Electronic Arts. As a result, although Sony and Nintendo both started out late and although both followed a decentralized model of online gaming where the responsibility is up to the developer to provide the servers, Sony's attempt was the more successful between the two. The Xbox Live system (with it's built in capabilities) is however the most successful of the three.

Hardware sales remained strong until 2004 saw the console apparently approaching saturation point, causing it to lose the top sales position for a time [2]. The heavy dependence of Sony on its Computer Entertainment division was shown when dropping PlayStation 2 sales [3] caused the parent's profits to fall 89% [4]. During that year, game sales fell to $7.5 billion from $8.2 billion. Its operating income slid to $650 million from $1 billion, losing $25 million in Q4 of 2004. [5]. Acording to NPD Group the Xbox outsold PS2 during 5 months of 2004: April, July, August, November and December. Despite this, Sony console won the total 2004 sales by 600 thousands units of difference.

In September of that year, in time for the launch of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (the best-selling game during the 2004 Holiday season), Sony revealed a new, smaller PS2 (see Hardware revisions). In preparation for the launch of a new, slimmer PlayStation 2 model (SCPH-70000), Sony had stopped making the older PS2 model (SCPH-5000x) sometime during the summer of 2004 to let the distribution channel empty out stock of the units. After an apparent manufacturing issue caused some initial slowdown in producing the new unit, Sony reportedly underestimated demand, caused in part by shortages between the time the old units were cleared out and the new units were ready. This led to further shortages, and the issue was compounded in Britain when a Russian oil tanker became stuck in the Suez Canal, blocking a ship from China carrying PS2s bound for the UK. During one week in November, sales in the entire country of Britain totalled 6,000 units — compared to 70,000 a few weeks prior. [6] Shortages in North America were also extremely severe; one retail chain in the U.S., GameStop, had just 186 PS2 and Xbox units on hand across more than 1700 stores on the day before Christmas. [7]

Sales record

When the PlayStation 2 launched in Japan in March 2000, Sony sold 980,000 units over the opening weekend. [8]

When the PlayStation 2 launched in America in October 26, 2000, Sony sold 510,000 units within the first 24 hours. With a price of $299.99 per console, Sony made gross sales of roughly $153,000,000. To this day, the PS2 holds the record for the most consoles sold in a single day as well as the record for most consoles sold in launch day in America. PS2's opening day console sales eclipsed the previous record of 225,000 made by the Sega Dreamcast in 1999.

The PlayStation 2 holds the record of fastest selling video game console ever, 100 million PlayStation 2 units were shipped in only five years and nine months, shattering the previous record of nine years and six months by the PlayStation. [9]

Games

The PlayStation brand's strength has lead to strong third-party support for the system. Although the launch titles for the PS2 were unimpressive in 2000, the holiday season of 2001 saw the release of several best-selling and critically acclaimed games. Those PS2 titles helped the PS2 maintain and extend its lead in the video game console market, despite increased competition from the launches of the Microsoft Xbox and Nintendo GameCube. In several cases, Sony made exclusivity deals with publishers in order to pre-empt its competitors. Critically acclaimed games on the machine are the Grand Theft Auto and the ever-popular Final Fantasy (Square Enix) series, the latest two Metal Gear Solid titles, all three Devil May Cry titles, the SSX series, latest three Ace Combat titles, the Square Enix/Disney collaboration Kingdom Hearts, and first-party Sony Computer Entertainment brands such as the Gran Turismo, SOCOM, Ratchet & Clank and Jak and Daxter series, ICO, Shadow of the Colossus, God of War and the Everquest spin-offs Champions of Norrath and Champions: Return to Arms.

Hardware compatibility

PlayStation 2 default black 8MB Memory Card

The PS2 hardware can read both compact discs and DVDs. It is backwards compatible with older PlayStation (PS1) games, allows for DVD Video playback, and will play PS2 games off cheap CD-ROMs or higher-capacity DVD-ROMs. The ability to play DVD movies allowed consumers to more easily justify the PS2's relatively high price tag (in October 2000, the MSRP was $300) as it removed the need to buy an external DVD player (indeed, it could be said that the success of the DVD format was partly due to the PS2's ability to play DVDs, as the format seemed to appeal more to consumers after the console's launch). The PS2 also supports PS1 memory cards (for PS1 game saves only) and controllers as well. The PS2's Dual Shock 2 controller is essentially an upgraded PS1 Dual Shock; analog face, shoulder and D-pad buttons replaced the digital buttons of the original.

When it was released, the PS2 had many advanced features that were not present in other contemporary video game consoles, including its DVD capabilities and USB and IEEE 1394 expansion ports. It was not until late 2001 that the Microsoft Xbox became the second console with (non-standard) USB and DVD support. (This is assuming the Nuon, an advanced DVD player graphics coprocessor, is not considered a console.) Even then, the Xbox required separate remote accessory to unlock the DVD function and Sony could continue to pitch the PS2 as DVD capable out of the box.

Note that compatability with USB devices is dependent on the software supporting said USB device. For example, the PS2 will not boot an ISO image from a USB flash drive, but Gran Turismo 4 can save screenshots to one.

Software compatibility

Support for original PlayStation games was also an important selling point for the PS2, letting owners of an older system upgrade to the PlayStation 2 and keep their old software, and giving new users access to older games until a larger library was developed for the new system. As an added bonus, the PS2 had the ability to enhance PlayStation games by speeding up disc read time and/or adding texture smoothing to improve graphics. While the texture smoothing was universally effective (albeit with odd effects where transparent textures are used), faster disk reading could cause some games to fail to load or play correctly.

A handful of PlayStation titles (notably Metal Gear Solid: Special Missions) fail to run on the PS2 at all (Special Missions fails to recognise Metal Gear Solid at the disk swap screen, for example). This problem appears to have been rectified in the slimline versions of the PS2, where most of the previously unplayable PSone games can now be played. It is a common misconception that disk swapping in a game (for example, for multi-disk games or expansion packs) is not possible on the PS2. The anomalous failure of the above title at its disk swap screen may have given birth to this rumor. Software for all PlayStation consoles contains one of four region codes: for Japan and Asia: NTSC/J, North America: NTSC-U/C, Europe and Oceania: PAL, and China: NTSC/C[10].

Online play

With the purchase of a separate unit called the Network Adaptor (which is built into the newest system revision), some PS2 games support online multiplayer. Instead of having a unified, subscription-based online service like Xbox Live, online multiplayer on the PS2 is split between publishers and run on third-party servers. However, this comes at a price as any connection can connect to the internet with a PS2, resulting in lag whenever slow connections are present. Most recent PS2 online games have been developed to exclusively only support broadband internet access. Xbox Live exclusively requires broadband internet.

All newer online PS2 games (since 2003) are protected by the Dynamic Network Authentication System (DNAS). The purpose of this system is to prevent piracy and online cheating. DNAS will prevent games from being played online if they are determined to be pirated copies, or if they have been modified.

Home development

Linux for PlayStation 2

Sony released a version of the Linux operating system for the PS2 in a package that also includes a keyboard, mouse, Ethernet adapter and hard disk drive. Currently, Sony's online store states that the Linux kit is no longer for sale in North America. However as of July 2005, the European version was still available. (The kit boots by installing a proprietary interface, the Run-time environment which is on a region-coded DVD, so the European and USA kits each only work with a PS2 from that region).

In Europe and Australia, the PlayStation 2 comes with a free Yabasic interpreter on the bundled demo disk. This allows simple programs to be created for the PlayStation 2 by the end-user. This was included in a failed attempt to circumvent a UK tax by defining the console as a "computer" if it contained certain software.

A port of the NetBSD project is also available for the PS2.

It is also possible to listen to MP3 music and watch DivX movies with homebrew programs running in consoles that have a modchip installed or with network software like GameShark's Media Player.

Hardware revisions

The PlayStation 2 has undergone many revisions, some only of internal construction and others with substantial external changes. These are colloquially known amongst PlayStation 2 hardware hackers as V0, V1, V2, etc., up to V14 (as of 2005).

V0 was a Japanese model and was never sold in Europe or the US. These included a PCMCIA slot instead of the Expansion Bay (DEV9) port of newer models. V0 did not have a built-in DVD player and instead relied on an encrypted player that was copied to a memory card from an included CD-ROM (normally, the PS2 will only execute encrypted software from its memory card, but see PS2 Independence Exploit). V3 has a substantially different internal structure from the subsequent revisions, featuring several interconnected printed circuit boards. As of V4 everything was unified into one board, except the power supply. V5 introduces minor internal changes and the only difference between V6 (sometimes called V5.1) and V5 is the orientation of the Power/Reset switch board connector, which was reversed to prevent the use of no-solder modchips. V7 and V8 are also similar. Assembly of the PS2 moved to China with the V9 (model number SCPH-50000/SCPH-50001), which added the Infrared port for the optional DVD Remote Control, removed the widely unused FireWire port, added the capability to read DVD-RW and +RW discs, and a quieter fan. V10 and V11 have minor changes.

The two versions of the PS2 with an Eye Toy camera

In September 2004 Sony unveiled the third major hardware revision (V12, model number SCPH-70000). Available in November 2004, it is smaller and thinner than the old version and includes a built-in Ethernet port. In some markets it also integrates a modem. Due to its thinner profile, it does not contain the 3.5" expansion bay, and therefore does not support the internal hard disk drive but due to the presence of USB 2.0 ports an external USB Hard disk can still be used, and now uses an external power supply, like the Gamecube. Although external USB 2.0 enclosures are affordable the lack of internal hard disk has implicated a problem for users with perhaps little knowledge of the software required to enable the external disk functionality. For some consumers this is in fact a limitation, especially for the fans of titles such as Final Fantasy XI, which requires the use of this peripheral, and prevents the use of the official PS2 Linux kit. A product named HD Connect can be soldered into the unit giving hard drive support though. It is widely believed that Sony has abandoned support for the hard drive. There are also some disputes on the numbering for this PS2 version, since there are actually two sub-versions of the SCPH-70000. One of them includes the old EE and GS chips, and the other contains the newer unified EE+GS chip, otherwise being identical. Since the V12 version had already been established for this model, there were some disputes regarding these sub-versions. Two propositions were to name the old model (EE and GS, separate chips) V11.5 and the newer model V12, and to name the old model V12 and the newer model V13. Currently, most people just use V12 for both models, or V12 for the old model and V13 for the newer one.

The new V12 model was first released in black. A silver edition is available in the United Kingdom and Germany exclusively. It is unknown whether or not this will follow the color schemes of the older model.

The Japanese PSX console.

There is also now a V14 model (SCPH-75001) which contains an integrated EE and GS (disputed ), and different ASICs compared to previous revisions, some chips having a copyright date of 2005 compared to 2000 or 2001 for earlier models. It also has a different lens and some compatibility issues documented by Sony for earlier PS2 games.

Sony has also made a PVR/DVD burning consumer device that plays PlayStation 2 games called the PSX. The device was poorly received, with some major features absent from the first revisions of the hardware, and has thus far experienced very weak sales in Japan, in spite of major price drops [11]. The machine's future continues to be uncertain, with North American and European launches considered to be distant if at all.

Later hardware revisions had better compatibility with PlayStation games (Metal Gear Solid: VR Missions works on most silver models). However, the new Japanese slim models have more issues with playing PlayStation games than the first PS2 revisions. [citation needed]

Accessories

DualShock 2

Main articles: DualShock, PlayStation 2 Expansion Bay

The PS2's controller is largely identical to the PlayStation's, with the same basic functionality; however, it includes analog pressure sensitivity on the face and shoulder buttons, is lighter and includes two more levels of vibration. The fact that the design didn't change pleased some consumers who were already used to the PS1 controller, however, it disappointed others who were hoping for a more ergonomic design (the two analogue sticks being as they are in an awkward-to-use position for the thumbs to operate).

Optional hardware include additional controllers ,a DVD remote control, a hard disk, an Ethernet adapter, memory cards, and various cables and interconnects: Multitap, YPbPr, S-Video, RGB SCART and composite video cables, RF modulator, USB camera ("EyeToy"), keyboard, mouse and a Headset. Unlike the original Playstation, which required that the user use an official Sony Playstation mouse to play mouse-compatible games, the few Playstation 2 games with mouse support work with standard PC-compatible USB mice. Early versions of the Playstation 2 could be networked via an iLink port, though this had little game support and was dropped.

Technical Issues

Disc Read Error

Owners of early PS2 models purchased from launch until spring 2002 commonly reported faulty optical drives in their consoles. The earliest drives suffered from a constantly misaligning laser lens but later defects were the result of a shift in voltage to the laser itself. The first problem was relatively easy to remedy, but it required opening the machine's casing and tweaking a cog that controlled the lens' distance from the discs it was supposed to read, thus voiding the warranty. This usually didn't matter, as the warranty had already expired by the time such problems began to appear. The second fix involved the use of an oscillator. As time went on, more and more drives began breaking down and a class action lawsuit was filed against Sony. They had the option of either paying the requested fines in damages, or offering free repair and replacements at their discretion. [12] Sony chose the latter and, until February 2005, they honored their agreement.

A second lawsuit is being filed against Sony for all of the above, plus claims that defective hardware is damaging media discs. The first hearings are set to commence in April and May, 2006. More information: PS2 Settlement

Modchips

The PlayStation 2, like the original PlayStation, incorporates circuitry to prevent the playing of copied or out-of-region discs. In response to this, a thriving "underground" grey market exists, selling modchips. These devices, when installed, bypass the checks and allow the discs to run.

The installation of modchips in PlayStation 2 consoles is widely discouraged by Sony and many user groups and technicians. The obvious reason is piracy, but the chips also have several other drawbacks as well. Many of these chips work on a different voltage than the console, risking damage to the unit.

Because of the existence of these hazards, Sony has overlaid a seal onto each of their consoles. If this seal is broken (thus providing evidence that the console has been opened and possibly modified), Sony will refuse to repair the system.

However, in Australia, the court has ruled that using a modchip to play legally purchased game from another region is legal, thus making the modchip legal in Australia. Conversely, a court in the United Kingdom ruled [13] in 2004 that commercial possession, sale, installation or use of a modchip was illegal under the EU Copyright Directive.

Screenshots

Technical specifications

The specifications of the PlayStation 2 console are as follows, with hardware revisions:

Emotion Engine CPU
  • CPU: 128 bit "Emotion Engine" clocked at 294 MHz (later versions 299 MHz), 10.5 million transistors
    • System Memory: 32 MB Direct Rambus or RDRAM (note that some computers use this type of RAM)
    • Memory Bus Bandwidth: 3.2 GB per second
    • Main processor: MIPS R5900 CPU core, 64 bit
    • Co-Processor: FPU (Floating Point Multiply Accumulator × 1, Floating Point Divider × 1)
    • Vector Units: VU0 and VU1 (Floating Point Multiply Accumulator × 9, Floating Point Divider × 1), 128 bit
    • Floating Point Performance: 6.2 GFLOPS (single precission 32-bit floating point)
    • 3D CG Geometric Transformation: 66 million polygons per second (1)
    • Compressed Image Decoder: MPEG-2
    • I/O Processor interconnection: Remote Procedure Call over a serial link, DMA controller for bulk transfer
    • Cache Memory: Instruction: 16KB, Data: 8KB + 16 KB (ScrP)
  • Graphics: "Graphics Synthesizer" clocked at 147 MHz
    • DRAM Bus bandwidth: 47.0GB per second
    • DRAM Bus width: 2560-bit (composed of three independendent buses: 1024-bit write, 1024-bit read, 512-bit read/write)
    • Pixel Configuration: RGB:Alpha:Z Buffer (24:8, 15:1 for RGB, 16, 24, or 32-bit Z buffer)
    • Maximum Polygon Rate: 75 million polygons per second (1)
    • Dedicated connection to: Main CPU and VU1
  • Sound: "SPU1+SPU2" (SPU1 is actually the CPU)
    • Number of voices: 48 hardware channels of ADPCM on SPU2 plus software-mixed channels
    • Sampling Frequency: 44.1 kHz or 48 kHz (selectable)
  • I/O Processor
    • CPU Core: Original PlayStation CPU (MIPS R3000A clocked at 33.8688 MHz or 37.5 MHz)
    • Sub Bus: 32 Bit
    • Connection to: SPU and CD/DVD controller.
    • Interface Types: 2 proprietary PlayStation controller ports (250KHz clock for PS1 and 500KHz for PS2 controllers), 2 proprietary Memory Card slots using MagicGate encryption (250KHz for PS1 cards, up to 2MHz for PS2 cards -may be just 1MHz, please, confirmate it-), Expansion Bay (DEV9 or PCMCIA on early models) port for Network Adaptor, Modem and Hard Disk Drive, IEEE 1394 (2), Infrared remote control port (2), and 2 USB 1.1 ports with an OHCI-compatible controller.
  • Disc Media: DVD-ROM (CD-ROM compatible) with copy protection. 4.7GB capacity, a few are DVD-9 (8.5 GB)

(1) Polygons per second under ideal circumstances (e.g. no texturing, lighting, or vertex colors applied). Some criticize these figures for being unrealistic, and not indicative of real-world performance. The true polygons per second figure with full textures, effects etc. is around 7 million.

(2) IEEE 1394 removed in SCPH-50000 and later hardware versions, and Infrared remote port added.

Price history

North America

  • US$299.99 (October 26, 2000, Launch Price)
  • US$199.99 (May 14, 2002)
  • US$179.99 (May 13, 2003)
  • US$149.99 (May 11, 2004)

Japan

  • JP¥39,800 (March 2000, Launch Price)
  • JP¥35,000 (June 29, 2001)
  • JP¥29,800 (November 29, 2001)
  • JP¥25,000 (2002)
  • JP¥19,800 (November 13, 2003)
  • JP¥17,800 (June 2004)

Republic of China (Taiwan)

  • NT$10,900 (January 24, 2002, SCPH-30007, Launch Price)
  • NT$ 7,980 (January 1, 2003, SCPH-30007)
  • NT$ 6,980 (2003, SCPH-39007)
  • NT$ 6,980 (October 10, 2003, SCPH-50007)
  • NT$ 6,480 (January 1, 2004, SCPH-50007)
  • NT$ 5,888 (June 1, 2004, SCPH-50007)
  • NT$ 5,888 (November 3, 2004, SCPH-70007)

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Republic of China (Taiwan). The Range Rover was Car and Driver magazine's Best Luxury SUV for 2002. Japan. She can be seen driving this vehicle in the documentary Elizabeth R. North America. Queen Elizabeth II owns several Range Rovers, with a 1972 model being her favourite. (2) IEEE 1394 removed in SCPH-50000 and later hardware versions, and Infrared remote port added. A similar system is also used on Land Rover Discovery and Land Rover Range Rover Sport.

is around 7 million. This system is linked by a fibre optic network known as Media Oriented Systems Transport or MOST. The true polygons per second figure with full textures, effects etc. Audio = Harman Kardon. Some criticize these figures for being unrealistic, and not indicative of real-world performance. Telephone (PTI) = Nokia. no texturing, lighting, or vertex colors applied). Integrated Head Unit and Rear Seat Entertainment = Alpine car audio.

(1) Polygons per second under ideal circumstances (e.g. Touch screen and navigation = DENSO Corporation. The specifications of the PlayStation 2 console are as follows, with hardware revisions:. The suppliers include:-. Conversely, a court in the United Kingdom ruled [13] in 2004 that commercial possession, sale, installation or use of a modchip was illegal under the EU Copyright Directive. Also available is a DVD rear seat entertainment which is fully integrated. However, in Australia, the court has ruled that using a modchip to play legally purchased game from another region is legal, thus making the modchip legal in Australia. The audio system is Harman Kardon Logic7 surround sound.

If this seal is broken (thus providing evidence that the console has been opened and possibly modified), Sony will refuse to repair the system. This includes a touch screen with on and off-road navigation, radio, CD, Satellite Radio (US), telephone and other additional features all accesed via the same user interface. Because of the existence of these hazards, Sony has overlaid a seal onto each of their consoles. In addition, the 2006 Range Rover is equipped with an updated "Infotainment" system. Many of these chips work on a different voltage than the console, risking damage to the unit. This new Range Rover will be shown for the first time at the 2005 North American International Auto Show and will be released for sale in the summer. The obvious reason is piracy, but the chips also have several other drawbacks as well. The new engine choices will be based on Jaguar's AJ-V8, and include a 4.4 L 345 hp (227 kW) or 4.2 L 430 hp (298 kW) supercharged option.

The installation of modchips in PlayStation 2 consoles is widely discouraged by Sony and many user groups and technicians. The Range Rover's exterior will be updated for 2006 along with the expected replacement of the BMW V8 with a Ford unit. These devices, when installed, bypass the checks and allow the discs to run. This model was released for sale in late 2005. In response to this, a thriving "underground" grey market exists, selling modchips. On 26 November 2004, Land Rover released the first photographs of the Range Rover Sport, a new model it planned to show to the public for the first time at the 2005 North American International Auto Show (The photographs showed an example with a orange-painted body.) Though called the Range Rover Sport, it was not merely a new specification within the Range Rover line-up, but rather an entirely new vehicle, based on the Discovery/LR3 chassis. The PlayStation 2, like the original PlayStation, incorporates circuitry to prevent the playing of copied or out-of-region discs. This time, a monocoque body was chosen, with many design cues from the original model.

More information: PS2 Settlement. The last model has improved ground clearance and cross-linked air springs. The first hearings are set to commence in April and May, 2006. Range Rovers now come with BMW M62 V8 gasoline and 6-cylinder diesel engines (a legacy of Land Rover being owned by BMW when the third generation Range Rover was being developed), although only the V8 gasoline is offered in North America. A second lawsuit is being filed against Sony for all of the above, plus claims that defective hardware is damaging media discs. In 2002 a third generation was introduced which saw the model move further up-market. [12] Sony chose the latter and, until February 2005, they honored their agreement. Other features included ABS brakes, and 2-wheel traction control - although later models saw this feature applied to all four wheels.

They had the option of either paying the requested fines in damages, or offering free repair and replacements at their discretion. The chassis was also made stronger and new welding techniques were used. As time went on, more and more drives began breaking down and a class action lawsuit was filed against Sony. This could also detect when the vehicle had become 'grounded' and attempt to raise itself to maximum height in an attempt to gain traction. The second fix involved the use of an oscillator. The new model was even more luxurious, incorporated new engine management (smoother and more powerful) and improved air suspension that allowed automatic, speed proportional height adjustment. This usually didn't matter, as the warranty had already expired by the time such problems began to appear. There was also the option of a 2.5 litre BMW turbo-diesel.

The first problem was relatively easy to remedy, but it required opening the machine's casing and tweaking a cog that controlled the lens' distance from the discs it was supposed to read, thus voiding the warranty. A second generation Range Rover - the P38A - was introduced for the 1995 model year, with an updated version of the Rover V8 engines. The earliest drives suffered from a constantly misaligning laser lens but later defects were the result of a shift in voltage to the laser itself. It was introduced to the US in 1987, where it is known as an SUV (sport utility vehicle). Owners of early PS2 models purchased from launch until spring 2002 commonly reported faulty optical drives in their consoles. The vehicle was built on a steel ladder frame, and most body panels were aluminium. Early versions of the Playstation 2 could be networked via an iLink port, though this had little game support and was dropped.
. Improvements compared to the "Series" model include constant four-wheel-drive through a lockable centre differential, all-coil suspension, disc brakes on all wheels, and a 3.5 L aluminum Rover V8 engine.

Unlike the original Playstation, which required that the user use an official Sony Playstation mouse to play mouse-compatible games, the few Playstation 2 games with mouse support work with standard PC-compatible USB mice. The first generation Range Rover was introduced in 1970. Optional hardware include additional controllers ,a DVD remote control, a hard disk, an Ethernet adapter, memory cards, and various cables and interconnects: Multitap, YPbPr, S-Video, RGB SCART and composite video cables, RF modulator, USB camera ("EyeToy"), keyboard, mouse and a Headset. . The fact that the design didn't change pleased some consumers who were already used to the PS1 controller, however, it disappointed others who were hoping for a more ergonomic design (the two analogue sticks being as they are in an awkward-to-use position for the thumbs to operate).
. The PS2's controller is largely identical to the PlayStation's, with the same basic functionality; however, it includes analog pressure sensitivity on the face and shoulder buttons, is lighter and includes two more levels of vibration. In 1972 the British Trans-Americas Expedition became the first vehicle-based expedition to traverse both American continents north-to-south, including traversing the infamous roadless Darien Gap.

Main articles: DualShock, PlayStation 2 Expansion Bay. Among enthusiasts, the original model is known as the Classic, the second generation is known as the P38A and the latest generation is known as the L322 or just "new Range Rover". [citation needed]
. From its inception, the Range Rover has been one of the most luxurious sport utility vehicles although it has always been built for off-road capability foremost. However, the new Japanese slim models have more issues with playing PlayStation games than the first PS2 revisions. In 1993, with the arrival of the Defender 110 and the imminent arrival of the Discovery, the company changed its name to Land Rover USA. Later hardware revisions had better compatibility with PlayStation games (Metal Gear Solid: VR Missions works on most silver models). From that time until 1993, the US marketing was all in the name of Range Rover--they were a one-product company.

The machine's future continues to be uncertain, with North American and European launches considered to be distant if at all. In the summer of that year, the Land Rover company began selling the Range Rover in the USA. The device was poorly received, with some major features absent from the first revisions of the hardware, and has thus far experienced very weak sales in Japan, in spite of major price drops [11]. However, prior to 1987, Land Rover vehicles were not sold in America. Sony has also made a PVR/DVD burning consumer device that plays PlayStation 2 games called the PSX. The vehicle proved popular in the UK and elsewhere in the world. It also has a different lens and some compatibility issues documented by Sony for earlier PS2 games. The Range Rover was built on a box section ladder type chassis, much like the contemporary Series Land Rover, but utilised coil springs as opposed to leaf springs, permanent four wheel drive, disc brakes all round and powered by the lightweight Rover V8 of 3528cc (3953cc in later variants).

There is also now a V14 model (SCPH-75001) which contains an integrated EE and GS (disputed ), and different ASICs compared to previous revisions, some chips having a copyright date of 2005 compared to 2000 or 2001 for earlier models. The Range Rover is the top luxury SUV (4 Wheel Drive in British English) model of Land Rover. It is unknown whether or not this will follow the color schemes of the older model. A silver edition is available in the United Kingdom and Germany exclusively. The new V12 model was first released in black.

Currently, most people just use V12 for both models, or V12 for the old model and V13 for the newer one. Two propositions were to name the old model (EE and GS, separate chips) V11.5 and the newer model V12, and to name the old model V12 and the newer model V13. Since the V12 version had already been established for this model, there were some disputes regarding these sub-versions. One of them includes the old EE and GS chips, and the other contains the newer unified EE+GS chip, otherwise being identical.

There are also some disputes on the numbering for this PS2 version, since there are actually two sub-versions of the SCPH-70000. It is widely believed that Sony has abandoned support for the hard drive. A product named HD Connect can be soldered into the unit giving hard drive support though. For some consumers this is in fact a limitation, especially for the fans of titles such as Final Fantasy XI, which requires the use of this peripheral, and prevents the use of the official PS2 Linux kit.

Although external USB 2.0 enclosures are affordable the lack of internal hard disk has implicated a problem for users with perhaps little knowledge of the software required to enable the external disk functionality. Due to its thinner profile, it does not contain the 3.5" expansion bay, and therefore does not support the internal hard disk drive but due to the presence of USB 2.0 ports an external USB Hard disk can still be used, and now uses an external power supply, like the Gamecube. In some markets it also integrates a modem. Available in November 2004, it is smaller and thinner than the old version and includes a built-in Ethernet port.

In September 2004 Sony unveiled the third major hardware revision (V12, model number SCPH-70000). V10 and V11 have minor changes. Assembly of the PS2 moved to China with the V9 (model number SCPH-50000/SCPH-50001), which added the Infrared port for the optional DVD Remote Control, removed the widely unused FireWire port, added the capability to read DVD-RW and +RW discs, and a quieter fan. V7 and V8 are also similar.

V5 introduces minor internal changes and the only difference between V6 (sometimes called V5.1) and V5 is the orientation of the Power/Reset switch board connector, which was reversed to prevent the use of no-solder modchips. As of V4 everything was unified into one board, except the power supply. V3 has a substantially different internal structure from the subsequent revisions, featuring several interconnected printed circuit boards. V0 did not have a built-in DVD player and instead relied on an encrypted player that was copied to a memory card from an included CD-ROM (normally, the PS2 will only execute encrypted software from its memory card, but see PS2 Independence Exploit).

These included a PCMCIA slot instead of the Expansion Bay (DEV9) port of newer models. V0 was a Japanese model and was never sold in Europe or the US. These are colloquially known amongst PlayStation 2 hardware hackers as V0, V1, V2, etc., up to V14 (as of 2005). The PlayStation 2 has undergone many revisions, some only of internal construction and others with substantial external changes.

It is also possible to listen to MP3 music and watch DivX movies with homebrew programs running in consoles that have a modchip installed or with network software like GameShark's Media Player. A port of the NetBSD project is also available for the PS2. This was included in a failed attempt to circumvent a UK tax by defining the console as a "computer" if it contained certain software. This allows simple programs to be created for the PlayStation 2 by the end-user.

In Europe and Australia, the PlayStation 2 comes with a free Yabasic interpreter on the bundled demo disk. (The kit boots by installing a proprietary interface, the Run-time environment which is on a region-coded DVD, so the European and USA kits each only work with a PS2 from that region). However as of July 2005, the European version was still available. Currently, Sony's online store states that the Linux kit is no longer for sale in North America.

Sony released a version of the Linux operating system for the PS2 in a package that also includes a keyboard, mouse, Ethernet adapter and hard disk drive. DNAS will prevent games from being played online if they are determined to be pirated copies, or if they have been modified. The purpose of this system is to prevent piracy and online cheating. All newer online PS2 games (since 2003) are protected by the Dynamic Network Authentication System (DNAS).

Xbox Live exclusively requires broadband internet. Most recent PS2 online games have been developed to exclusively only support broadband internet access. However, this comes at a price as any connection can connect to the internet with a PS2, resulting in lag whenever slow connections are present. Instead of having a unified, subscription-based online service like Xbox Live, online multiplayer on the PS2 is split between publishers and run on third-party servers.

With the purchase of a separate unit called the Network Adaptor (which is built into the newest system revision), some PS2 games support online multiplayer. Software for all PlayStation consoles contains one of four region codes: for Japan and Asia: NTSC/J, North America: NTSC-U/C, Europe and Oceania: PAL, and China: NTSC/C[10]. The anomalous failure of the above title at its disk swap screen may have given birth to this rumor. It is a common misconception that disk swapping in a game (for example, for multi-disk games or expansion packs) is not possible on the PS2.

This problem appears to have been rectified in the slimline versions of the PS2, where most of the previously unplayable PSone games can now be played. A handful of PlayStation titles (notably Metal Gear Solid: Special Missions) fail to run on the PS2 at all (Special Missions fails to recognise Metal Gear Solid at the disk swap screen, for example). While the texture smoothing was universally effective (albeit with odd effects where transparent textures are used), faster disk reading could cause some games to fail to load or play correctly. As an added bonus, the PS2 had the ability to enhance PlayStation games by speeding up disc read time and/or adding texture smoothing to improve graphics.

Support for original PlayStation games was also an important selling point for the PS2, letting owners of an older system upgrade to the PlayStation 2 and keep their old software, and giving new users access to older games until a larger library was developed for the new system. For example, the PS2 will not boot an ISO image from a USB flash drive, but Gran Turismo 4 can save screenshots to one. Note that compatability with USB devices is dependent on the software supporting said USB device. (This is assuming the Nuon, an advanced DVD player graphics coprocessor, is not considered a console.) Even then, the Xbox required separate remote accessory to unlock the DVD function and Sony could continue to pitch the PS2 as DVD capable out of the box.

It was not until late 2001 that the Microsoft Xbox became the second console with (non-standard) USB and DVD support. When it was released, the PS2 had many advanced features that were not present in other contemporary video game consoles, including its DVD capabilities and USB and IEEE 1394 expansion ports. The PS2's Dual Shock 2 controller is essentially an upgraded PS1 Dual Shock; analog face, shoulder and D-pad buttons replaced the digital buttons of the original. The PS2 also supports PS1 memory cards (for PS1 game saves only) and controllers as well.

The ability to play DVD movies allowed consumers to more easily justify the PS2's relatively high price tag (in October 2000, the MSRP was $300) as it removed the need to buy an external DVD player (indeed, it could be said that the success of the DVD format was partly due to the PS2's ability to play DVDs, as the format seemed to appeal more to consumers after the console's launch). It is backwards compatible with older PlayStation (PS1) games, allows for DVD Video playback, and will play PS2 games off cheap CD-ROMs or higher-capacity DVD-ROMs. The PS2 hardware can read both compact discs and DVDs. Critically acclaimed games on the machine are the Grand Theft Auto and the ever-popular Final Fantasy (Square Enix) series, the latest two Metal Gear Solid titles, all three Devil May Cry titles, the SSX series, latest three Ace Combat titles, the Square Enix/Disney collaboration Kingdom Hearts, and first-party Sony Computer Entertainment brands such as the Gran Turismo, SOCOM, Ratchet & Clank and Jak and Daxter series, ICO, Shadow of the Colossus, God of War and the Everquest spin-offs Champions of Norrath and Champions: Return to Arms.

In several cases, Sony made exclusivity deals with publishers in order to pre-empt its competitors. Those PS2 titles helped the PS2 maintain and extend its lead in the video game console market, despite increased competition from the launches of the Microsoft Xbox and Nintendo GameCube. Although the launch titles for the PS2 were unimpressive in 2000, the holiday season of 2001 saw the release of several best-selling and critically acclaimed games. The PlayStation brand's strength has lead to strong third-party support for the system.

[9]. The PlayStation 2 holds the record of fastest selling video game console ever, 100 million PlayStation 2 units were shipped in only five years and nine months, shattering the previous record of nine years and six months by the PlayStation. PS2's opening day console sales eclipsed the previous record of 225,000 made by the Sega Dreamcast in 1999. To this day, the PS2 holds the record for the most consoles sold in a single day as well as the record for most consoles sold in launch day in America.

With a price of $299.99 per console, Sony made gross sales of roughly $153,000,000. When the PlayStation 2 launched in America in October 26, 2000, Sony sold 510,000 units within the first 24 hours. [8]. When the PlayStation 2 launched in Japan in March 2000, Sony sold 980,000 units over the opening weekend.

[7]. [6] Shortages in North America were also extremely severe; one retail chain in the U.S., GameStop, had just 186 PS2 and Xbox units on hand across more than 1700 stores on the day before Christmas. During one week in November, sales in the entire country of Britain totalled 6,000 units — compared to 70,000 a few weeks prior. This led to further shortages, and the issue was compounded in Britain when a Russian oil tanker became stuck in the Suez Canal, blocking a ship from China carrying PS2s bound for the UK.

After an apparent manufacturing issue caused some initial slowdown in producing the new unit, Sony reportedly underestimated demand, caused in part by shortages between the time the old units were cleared out and the new units were ready. In preparation for the launch of a new, slimmer PlayStation 2 model (SCPH-70000), Sony had stopped making the older PS2 model (SCPH-5000x) sometime during the summer of 2004 to let the distribution channel empty out stock of the units. In September of that year, in time for the launch of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (the best-selling game during the 2004 Holiday season), Sony revealed a new, smaller PS2 (see Hardware revisions). Despite this, Sony console won the total 2004 sales by 600 thousands units of difference.

Acording to NPD Group the Xbox outsold PS2 during 5 months of 2004: April, July, August, November and December. [5]. Its operating income slid to $650 million from $1 billion, losing $25 million in Q4 of 2004. During that year, game sales fell to $7.5 billion from $8.2 billion.

The heavy dependence of Sony on its Computer Entertainment division was shown when dropping PlayStation 2 sales [3] caused the parent's profits to fall 89% [4]. Hardware sales remained strong until 2004 saw the console apparently approaching saturation point, causing it to lose the top sales position for a time [2]. The Xbox Live system (with it's built in capabilities) is however the most successful of the three. As a result, although Sony and Nintendo both started out late and although both followed a decentralized model of online gaming where the responsibility is up to the developer to provide the servers, Sony's attempt was the more successful between the two.

Sony also advertised heavily, and its online model had the advantage of being supported by Electronic Arts. Sony rolled a PS2 online adapter in late 2002 to compete with Microsoft, with several online first party online titles released alongside it, such as SOCOM US Navy SEALS in order to show that Sony was supporting this feature actively. Although Sony placed little emphasis on online gaming during its first year, that changed upon the launch of the online-capable Xbox. [1].

Shortly afterwards, Sony also slashed PS2 prices greater than expected in order to maintain momentum and hold off its potential rivals. However, the release of several blockbuster games during the 2001 holiday season pushed the PS2 far in front even as the Xbox and GameCube made their impressive debuts. Many analysts predicted a close 3-way matchup between the PS2 and its soon-to-be-released competitors Microsoft Xbox and Nintendo GameCube, noting that the PS2's graphics were inferior but that it had the advantage of a head start, and had a wide assortment of games of every genre (Xbox's strength was in its hardware; GameCube was the cheapest of the 3 consoles). Later, Sony gained steam with new development kits for game developers and more PlayStations for consumers.

Another major selling point over the Dreamcast was the PlayStation 2's ability to play DVDs, which gained it a presence in electronics stores which did not formerly sell video game consoles. This allowed the PS2 to tap the large install base established by the PlayStation. Yet, the PS2 initially sold well solely on the basis of the strength of the PlayStation brand and its backwards compatibility, selling over 900,000 units in the first weekend in Japan. The PS2 launch seemed unimpressive and gaffe-prone, compared to the well-planned launch of the Sega Dreamcast, which was making a genuine attempt to woo developers and which had better launch titles.

Developers also complained that it was difficult to develop for the system, with little in the way of reference material from Sony for its exotic architecture. The PlayStation 2 was such a hot item after its release that it was near impossible to find one on retailer shelves, leaving those wanting a PlayStation 2 to either wait or purchase the console online at sites such as eBay, where the console was being sold by many people for twice and sometimes five times as much as the manufacturer's listed price. Only a few million users had obtained consoles by the end of 2000 due to manufacturing delays. .

The PS2 is part of the sixth generation era, and has become the fastest selling gaming console in history, with over 100 million units shipped by November 2005, beating the previous record holder, the PlayStation, by three years and nine months. It was released in Europe on November 24, 2000. Its development was announced in March 1999, and it was first released in Japan on March 4, 2000 and in North America and Puerto Rico on October 26, 2000. The PlayStation 2 (PS2) (Japanese: プレイステーション2) is Sony's second video game console, the successor to the PlayStation and the predecessor to the PlayStation 3.

NT$ 5,888 (November 3, 2004, SCPH-70007). NT$ 5,888 (June 1, 2004, SCPH-50007). NT$ 6,480 (January 1, 2004, SCPH-50007). NT$ 6,980 (October 10, 2003, SCPH-50007).

NT$ 6,980 (2003, SCPH-39007). NT$ 7,980 (January 1, 2003, SCPH-30007). NT$10,900 (January 24, 2002, SCPH-30007, Launch Price). JP¥17,800 (June 2004).

JP¥19,800 (November 13, 2003). JP¥25,000 (2002). JP¥29,800 (November 29, 2001). JP¥35,000 (June 29, 2001).

JP¥39,800 (March 2000, Launch Price). US$149.99 (May 11, 2004). US$179.99 (May 13, 2003). US$199.99 (May 14, 2002).

US$299.99 (October 26, 2000, Launch Price). 4.7GB capacity, a few are DVD-9 (8.5 GB). Disc Media: DVD-ROM (CD-ROM compatible) with copy protection. Interface Types: 2 proprietary PlayStation controller ports (250KHz clock for PS1 and 500KHz for PS2 controllers), 2 proprietary Memory Card slots using MagicGate encryption (250KHz for PS1 cards, up to 2MHz for PS2 cards -may be just 1MHz, please, confirmate it-), Expansion Bay (DEV9 or PCMCIA on early models) port for Network Adaptor, Modem and Hard Disk Drive, IEEE 1394 (2), Infrared remote control port (2), and 2 USB 1.1 ports with an OHCI-compatible controller.

Connection to: SPU and CD/DVD controller. Sub Bus: 32 Bit. CPU Core: Original PlayStation CPU (MIPS R3000A clocked at 33.8688 MHz or 37.5 MHz). I/O Processor

    .

    Sampling Frequency: 44.1 kHz or 48 kHz (selectable). Number of voices: 48 hardware channels of ADPCM on SPU2 plus software-mixed channels. Sound: "SPU1+SPU2" (SPU1 is actually the CPU)

      . Dedicated connection to: Main CPU and VU1.

      Maximum Polygon Rate: 75 million polygons per second (1). Pixel Configuration: RGB:Alpha:Z Buffer (24:8, 15:1 for RGB, 16, 24, or 32-bit Z buffer). DRAM Bus width: 2560-bit (composed of three independendent buses: 1024-bit write, 1024-bit read, 512-bit read/write). DRAM Bus bandwidth: 47.0GB per second.

      Graphics: "Graphics Synthesizer" clocked at 147 MHz

        . Cache Memory: Instruction: 16KB, Data: 8KB + 16 KB (ScrP). I/O Processor interconnection: Remote Procedure Call over a serial link, DMA controller for bulk transfer. Compressed Image Decoder: MPEG-2.

        3D CG Geometric Transformation: 66 million polygons per second (1). Floating Point Performance: 6.2 GFLOPS (single precission 32-bit floating point). Vector Units: VU0 and VU1 (Floating Point Multiply Accumulator × 9, Floating Point Divider × 1), 128 bit. Co-Processor: FPU (Floating Point Multiply Accumulator × 1, Floating Point Divider × 1).

        Main processor: MIPS R5900 CPU core, 64 bit. Memory Bus Bandwidth: 3.2 GB per second. System Memory: 32 MB Direct Rambus or RDRAM (note that some computers use this type of RAM). CPU: 128 bit "Emotion Engine" clocked at 294 MHz (later versions 299 MHz), 10.5 million transistors

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