Please note that many of our FAQs were originally published between 2001-2007. Minor details such as prices, products and details will be from the time the post was originally published. Some of the FAQs have been updated.
PS2 Online Network Gaming Launch: Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE) launched the PlayStation 2 broadband network gaming trial on 31st March 2003 – a UK Consumer Trial. Following the successful trial a phased rollout began through PAL territories starting with the UK followed by Germany, France, Spain, Australia and other SCEE territories such as New Zealand in mid 2004.
This follows the highly successful launch of PlayStation 2 online gaming in North America and Japan. In both regions, PlayStation 2 has become the leading online console gaming platform.
What is Network Gaming?
Team up with friends from around the country for a spot of counter terrorist action in SOCOM: US Navy SEALs. Challenge gamers in Belgium to a skate-off in Tony Hawk’s UG, and show-off your superior driving skills to German players on the tracks in NFS Underground.
With PlayStation 2’s network gaming service you can take on real players, from different countries, 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year on your PS2. It’s a gaming community that brings friends and likeminded people together to chat, form teams and play some great games.
Taking on real people also means you won’t have to suffer lame computer opponents any more. You’ll be going up against human intelligence, so you’re guaranteed a few surprises and a much tougher challenge.
With the USB headset you’ll also be able to chat to other players in certain games such as SOCOM. You can talk with teammates about strategies, exchange help and tips, or speak with the dead after the firing’s finished !
What is the PlayStation 2 Gaming Network?
The PlayStation 2 gaming network is a collection of servers run by games publishers that are accessed over the Internet, except it’s reserved for gamers using the PlayStation 2.
This means you’ll be using exactly the same network, and network protocols, that you would use when accessing the Internet via a computer. But instead of going through laborious dial-up connections, having to configure software all the time and playing ‘guess the URL’, you simply put your network game into your PlayStation 2 and go online directly.
The difference between the Internet and PlayStation 2’s gaming network is that the PS2 network is optimised for gaming, and nothing else goes through the servers except game traffic. As a result you get fast, problem free gaming, and everyone who wants to email their friends can do that elsewhere. Naturally, as you connect to the servers via the Internet the occasional glitch can occur, but those are usually minor and temporary.
What Equipment will I need to Play Network Games on Playstation 2 in the UK?
You can get online and play PS2 network games in the UK for a fairly low cost, but it depends on what you already have to hand. You will need at the very least a PlayStation 2, a Memory Card, a Network Adaptor if you don’t have the New Playstation Two, a Broadband Internet connection, an Ethernet cable and your choice of PS2 network game. You may also want a USB Headset for online chat capability.
The PS2 and Memory Card you probably already own for standard gaming and the Official Network Adaptor pack comes with ethernet cable and Network Access Disc. All that leaves is getting your Broadband connection, and hooking up your PS2. Depending on how you choose to connect, you may have to purchase some additional networking hardware.
What PlayStation 2 Games will be Online?
There are plenty of top titles including launch titles SOCOM US Navy SEALs, Twisted Metal Black: Online, Midnight Club II – not forgetting the already available Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3 and 4. Check the Online Games Page for all the latest titles and upcoming release information.
Not at all PS2 games will be capable of online gaming. Although network gaming is an exciting new frontier, you’ll still be able to use your PS2 as you have always done in the future. Whether it’s playing single player games or multiplayer games with your friends, watching DVDs or listening to music – none of that will change.
Note that Games carrying the With Network Play descriptors (or With Network Features) are playable both ONLINE and OFFLINE. For example, SOCOM: US Navy SEALs has many one-player missions where your teammates are computer controlled, but you can still order them verbally over the USB headset, just like the network game.
Games carrying the Network Play Only descriptors are ONLY PLAYABLE ONLINE such as EverQuest Online Adventures, and Hardware Online: Arena. Checkout the List Of UK Network Games “Out Now” and those “Upcoming”.
Is There Age Restriction On the Network Adapter?
The Network Adaptor is available for sale to everyone, and there is no age restrictions on playing network games. But normal Age Restrictions apply to the purchase of Network Games – see Games Age
What will it Cost to Play PS2 Games Online?
At the present time, there will be no additional charges for playing PlayStation 2 network games beyond your usual broadband connection subscription fees, which you pay to your Internet Service Provider (or Cable TV supplier).Certain premium content games such as EverQuest Online Adventures may require a subscription fee to play. As games like EverQuest rely on persistent, online worlds, a fee has to be charged for the maintenance of the ‘game universe’. However, premium games are the exception rather than the rule, and the vast majority of network games will be free.
Sony Online Entertainment
What is the best Broadband Connection?
If you are lucky enough to live in an area where you can choose between ADSL and Cable, it can be frustrating knowing which one is right for you. Ultimately they both offer the same end result – a Broadband Internet connection – and prices are usually comparable. PS2Home recommends Bulldog (Cable & Wireless) and their 8Meg Broadband offering for the best fast value currently available.
Connecting your PS2 to Broadband
To get your PlayStation 2 online, you have to make a choice. There are three broadly different ways to connect your PlayStation 2 to your broadband connection:
1. Direct Connection – This is the easiest to understand of the connection types. You connect your PlayStation 2 and Network Adaptor directly to your broadband modem, and after configuring, you will be online.
2. Router Connection – Slightly more complex than a Direct Connection, a Router Connection can be more expensive to set up, but will allow you to share your broadband Internet connection between your PlayStation 2 and your computer.
3. Internet Connection Sharing Connection – This is the cheapest method of connecting your PlayStation 2 to your broadband Internet connection, but potentially the hardest to implement. Internet Connection Sharing (or ICS) is a Windows-based method of sharing an existing broadband connection that goes into your PC with other network enabled devices – in this case your PlayStation 2.
Can I use 56k modem to play PlayStation 2 Network Games?
To enjoy PlayStation 2 network games in the UK to their full potential, you need to have a Broadband Internet connection. Any other kind of modem or connection, such as a 56k dial-up connection, ISDN or other ‘narrowband’ service will not give you an optimal gaming experience. It’s essential that you get a Broadband connection in order to enjoy PlayStation 2 network games. We have plenty of advice to help you choose a broadband connection and get your PS2 connected.
Can I plug Broadband modem directly into my PlayStation 2?
No, you’ll need to use the PlayStation 2 Network Adaptor (Ethernet). This fits onto an expansion port at the back of your PlayStation 2, and when correctly configured and connected with the right cable, allows your broadband modem to connect to your console.
Can I connect ADSL (Broadband) line to my PlayStation 2?
Not directly. An ADSL line needs to be connected to a compatible modem, and the Network Adaptor (Ethernet) is not a modem – just a network connection. Your ADSL line will be able to connect to an ADSL modem though, and that’s what will connect to your PlayStation 2 Network Adaptor.
Can I Network Two PS2s Without i Link?
Some game titles are capable of playing over a LAN (Local Area Network), and to do this, you need a LAN compatible title, at least 2 consoles and 2 TV sets, along with a Crossover Ethernet cable.
To allow for multiple players on a LAN network, you will require a router to allow the different consoles to communicate to each other. The Network Adapter is supplied with a Straight Through Ethernet Cable, which can be used to connect directly to a router.
Please note, some games do not state on the rear of the box if it is LAN compatible, and you may wish to contact the publisher of a game first to see if a title is LAN compatible, or alternatively visit the PlayStation.com Network Gaming Forums for information.
Can I Network Two PS2s Without Going Online?
If you have not got i-link you can configure LAN play using the direct method, i.e. PlayStation 2 Network Adapter to a Crossover Ethernet Cable, directly to the second PlayStation 2 Network Adapter, you can use the following set up detailed Here