Remembering the Playstation 2: The weird and the wonderful

In Feature on January 23, 2013 at 11:08 pm


You may or may not have heard already, but just before the end of 2012 the news broke out that Sony was finally ending production of the Playstation 2 (PS2) console.

In a way the console itself had already become an irrelevance some time ago, after all its successor (the Playstation 3 of course) was first launched over six years ago. However within the first three years the Playstation 3 became available, the Playstation 2 managed to outsell that and other consoles representing the “next generation”.

In total Sony is believed to have sold over 153 million PS2 consoles worldwide in total, from the moment it first hit stores in Japan back in March 2000, before arriving to Europe later on in November the same year.

On top of that impressive feat it’s also estimated that 11,000 different game titles have been released for the Playstation 2.

Remarkably even more PS2 games are due to be released, like a new Final Fantasy game called Seekers of Adoulin due in March 2013. Although in this case it appears only the Japanese market will get a PS2 version of the title.

Still regardless, all these facts and figures are testament to just what an incredible success story the Playstation 2 has proven to be.


The wonderful…

Many gamers including myself will likely remember the Playstation 2 for the immense anticipation which surrounded its launch. In every criteria it felt like a huge leap forward in terms of what new games were capable of, particularly in regards their detail and scale.

From the get-go, gamers craved after the big blockbuster titles, the big sequels looking to make the step up from Playstation One to Two.

Looking back there are many games which many will likely remember fondly for a long time, some of which were PS2 exclusives at least for a temporary time period if not permanently.


Some examples which spring to mind include Gran Turismo 3 and 4, Shadow of the Colossus, Black, God of War (1 & 2), Tekken Tag Tournament, Devil May Cry, Jax and Daxter, Ratchet and Clank and Ico.

Then of course, perhaps most tremendous of all, the PS2 offered Silent Hill 2 and 3, Metal Gear Solid 2 and 3 and the earlier 3D-graphics Grand Theft Auto games.

These latter examples have since of course become available on many other platforms but in their very early days they all started out as Playstation 2 exclusives.

There’s plenty of reason then that gamers even of a wide age group will in years to come hold nostalgic memories for this console, and for good reason!


But the weird…

When it comes to remembering the early days just prior and after the launch of the Playstation 2 in the UK, there’s one thing that’ll forever stick in my mind personally and that’s the advertising.

More specifically the downright bizarre, nonsensical advertisement which seemed to have about as much relevance to computer games and games consoles, as a block of floating cheese would in an advert about retirement pension schemes.

The early advertisements made for the Playstation 2, shown both online and on TV, were directed by American filmmaker David Lynch. The man has covered many areas of art/media in his career and is famous for his unique surrealist style of making things. This is certainly reflected in his Playstation 2 ads which include the tagline “The Third Place”.

What is “The Third Place”? Who knows! A bigger question worth asking though, is what in the flying shit is happening in these adverts?!

There are several other crazy examples from David Lynch you can find online, like the “I am the Wolfman” promotion you can view just below.

Still this fine dose of mindfuckery evidently wasn’t disruptive enough to steer gamers away from the Playstation 2. The good times shared with it can forever overshadow crazy stuff like this.

I still can’t get over that talking duck though…


Written by Stephen Goldasz. For more you can follow the Gaming Kick Twitter account.


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