After twelve years of success and more sales than anyone could have expected, Sony has ended production of its popular PlayStation 2 console. Once the existing stock sells out, that will be the end of new PS2 consoles available at retail. Here's The Guardian with a respectful obituary:
Launched in 2000, the successor to the original PlayStation ended up with a library of more than 10,000 games titles by 2011, with 1.52bn individual games sold since launch. "At the height of the PlayStation 2's success, the word effectively came to mean video games for a lot of people," said Anna Marsh, a game designer who worked on Tomb Raider and Hitman.
Its success was down to three factors: cunning design, excellent games and great timing. Sony's decision to include a DVD player meant the machine found its way into living rooms, exposing many more to gaming. It trounced its underpowered rivals, the Nintendo GameCube and Sega Dreamcast, and became the exclusive home of must-have games such as Grand Theft Auto III, Final Fantasy and Metal Gear Solid – dominating an era in which developers were changing the rules of game design, crafting ambitious cinematic experiences and vast open-world adventures.
Many of the best PS2 titles live on as high definition remastered collections or straight digital downloads for the PlayStation 3: Ratchet & Clank, Jak and Daxter, God of War, Tomb Raider, Hitman, Ico, Shadow of the Colossus, and plenty more are still out there for your modern enjoyment, but as the PS2 heads off into the sunset, it's worth revisiting these classics in their original format. So, hook up your old fashioned composite video cables and fire up the... oh, good lord; it's so blurry! Quickly, let's go back to the PS3 versions! But seriously, I bought my PS2 in 2006 and while it's still hooked up to the television for that sudden Katamari craving at a moment's notice, it's been a while since I played it. Perhaps I should revisit some of my old favorites that haven't made the jump into high definition. I can't imagine that Mega Man X7 or Castlevania: Lament of Innocence will be dusted off and remastered any time soon.