Just a wee bit of personal history first: 10 years ago today, I was standing in EB with my PS2 t-shirt, handing out hardware to anxious gamers who had pre-ordered and fending off those who hadn't. One guy even offered me $500 if I'd grab one of those pre-ordered systems in the back and give it to him. Ah, good times.
It's just hard to believe that was 10 years ago. SCEA celebrates a decade of the PlayStation 2; it launched for the first time in this country on October 26, 2000. Offering consumers an unprecedented entertainment blend of DVD and CD technology, online connectivity and even the first motion-sensing via EyeToy, it was quite the phenomenon at the time. The console is still being sold worldwide: as of now, "one in every three U.S. households own a PlayStation 2 system and 146 million people around the world can attest to its incomparable entertainment value." Those are two insane stats. But lest we forget, it had arguably the most extensive and critically acclaimed library in history, ranging from Metal Gear Solid to Gran Turismo to Final Fantasy .
More than half a billion PS2 software units have been sold in the past decade and there are now over 2,000 games available. Currently priced at $99, it's still a tremendous value for the whole family. And to help celebrate the anniversary, Sony will release the Limited Edition Disney-Pixar Toy Story 3: The Video Game PS2 bundle, which will be available nationwide on October 31. You get the goodies for free, as this will hold the aforementioned standard retail price of $99. Said Jesse Divnich, vice president of capital research & communications, EEDAR:
"The PlayStation 2 was the first true home entertainment platform, enabling consumers to consolidate their entertainment desires into one console. Since 2000, the video game industry has expanded in size and demographic diversity as the trend towards consolidating entertainment options within a single platform continues, a vision that was originally initiated by the PlayStation 2 over 10 years ago."
Perhaps it's safe to say that Atari was the pioneer of the '70s, Nintendo the pioneer of the '80s, and Sony the pioneer of the '90s. What began with the original PlayStation in 1995 has become something pretty special, hasn't it?