Written by Ryan Johnson (RyanDJ) Tuesday, 07 February 2012 06:00
Okay, so I went on my rage spree on my favorite console and listed all the reasons it was terrible. Time for me to buy some flowers and make up, right? Here's my Top 5 PS2 Wins, the hardware-specific things that Sony did right with their sleek black console.
5) The little spinny PS Logo: When Sony gave you the chance to set your box vertically, they let you spin the little color bling PS logo 90 degrees to set upright when you were in either position. A completely unneccessary thing, mind you. Seriously, would any of us thought twice if it wasn't there? Just a little thing that I really appreciated.
4) Interface: I felt that the PS2 was really one of the first systems to warrant an interface. Prior, they were mostly "plug a cartridge in and the game starts." The PS1 was the first I remember to have something that screamed "YOU ARE PLAYING THIS SYSTEM" in the blaring gold SONY logo followed by the soft sound of the PS logo that still echos in my mind, but the soft waves and calm select sounds of the PS2 showed that they were willing to put effort into something so simple.
3) Backwards Compatibility: It seems to be a staple these days, but even then the 360 has limited compatibility, the PS3 took a good chunk of it out, and the newest Wiis neglect to point out that they lost GameCube compatibility. PSOne service was a simple given through the PS2 life cycle, and nobody ever countered that. Sony took the time to make an option that would potentially speed up loading times and smooth graphics for PS1 games. Even the PS1 controllers and memory cards worked! Also, later games allowed use of PS1 controllers if they didn't need the bells and whistles of an official PS2 control. This also let me play 2 players in Time Crisis II with my PS1 guns and cruise Ridge Racer V with my NegCon, which I still wish I could plug into the Xbox. Sony really did it right with their PS2/1 backwards compatibility, something never seen before and sadly not seen as well done since.
2) Logical Controller Progression: The PS2 controller looked like the PS1 controller. Yes, we had the nightmare of adding sticks to the PS1 controller mid cycle, but they were a needed progression to what we have today. Look at Nintendo. I love 'em, but dang if we don't have to learn a brand new way to claw our hands around a controller for every new system! When you got a PS2, you felt as if you were playing an upgraded PS1, which is what a sequel system should be. I love my Wii, waggle games are fun, but....well, let's just say I'm really happy the Classic Controller exists and is supported.
1) iLink: This was in my "fails" article because they took it out. I really loved linking consoles, and still do. The games that are only available via a full-on internet link are sad. LAN parties were around before PS2, but I felt Sony in the PS1 really introduced linkage to the console market. There's something extra special about it: you get the community feel of a one-console multiplayer game with the comfort of solo online play. You don't have to harass your opponent over a scratchy headset microphone. It allows a sense of community. Even though they moved on and allowed links through other means in later consoles, I still pine for those old games that are amazing in multiplayer linked console such as Time Crisis II and Gran Turismo 2 that can never be recreated without finding that first-gen PS2 system.
So, my dear PS2, do you forgive my earlier rant? Can we go play some Katamari and roll off into the sunset together? I love you, I really do.