Sony killed my teenage years yesterday by announcing it was to no longer produce Playstation 2 consoles in Japan.
To coin a phrase (and more aptly to cricket commentary legend Christopher Martin-Jenkins, who sadly died this week), it’s had a good innings. It launched in Europe 11 months into the new millennium; about a year after the Sega Dreamcast, and 10 months after Dreamcast players had got bored of it already.
Long after the initial fevered rush for its successor, the Playstation 3, had died down, it seems that the PS2 still remains popular; games are still to be made for the console despite its being put out to pasture in the Far East. Pocket-Lint reckons that more than 11,000 games have been produced for the PS2 during its 12-year lifespan; my supreme maths skills tell me that this equates to almost 1,000 new titles per year. Imagine trying to play that lot all by yourself!
Now I’ve never been a fanatical gamer but the PS2 meant a lot to me personally; there was a time in my life where, with the day beginning at 1pm and nothing to look forward to until my girlfriend came home with the bread she’d won, I’d spend the day perfecting my Raw franchise in General Manager mode on WWE Smackdown vs Raw 2006. I can probably still mimic the great Jerry Lawler on commentary with comments like “that guy’s so cheap, he wouldn’t tip a canoe!” and similar.
There’s a reason why the Playstation 2 has sold more than 150 million units during its lifetime; Sony didn’t overreach themselves with the latest and greatest technology – the Wii succeeded for much the same reasons and despite the same limitations – but it made for some great-looking and even better-playing games. Now I’m off to put Michael Cole through a table; after that, I’ll play Smackdown vs Raw 2006.
Update: 7/1/2013 – Yep, it’s over, Johnny. This story from the Guardian website confirms that worldwide production of the Playstation 2 has ended. So long, you wondrous giant (or little depending on the version) black box.