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.
Sony have the future of Playstation all mapped out. The PS2 formally launched Playstation Online gaming during August 2002. So what is it all about – apart from spending money!
It all started with the PS2 Network Adapter (NA) launched in the USA 27th August 2002 for around $40 and in the UK June 2003 at £25 – now £17.99. This rectangular plate clamps to the back of the PS2 and will internet enable your machine The US NA has both analogue 56k modem and an Ethernet connection for cable TV and broadband users, but in the UK only a Broadband Unit is offered (not an analogue Modem). The new Slimline PS2 now comes equipped with an integrated Ethernet port for network gaming.
Sony launched the PlayStation 2 Hard Disc Drive (HDD) with storage capacity of 40Gb (more than your average PC memory) in Japan, but there is no date available for UK and Europe. The HDD slots neatly into the expansion bay at the rear of the PS2. The HDD enables your machine to store huge amounts of internet download data – saves, upgrades, music, videos and even whole new games. The HDD now seems unlikely to be available in Europe following the introduction of the Slimline PS Two.
Sony UK Broadband partners include AOL Broadband, Telewest Broadband, BT Openworld and BT Broadband, NTL and Wanadoo and each offer competitive packages specifically tailored to PlayStation 2 network gaming. PS2Home recommends Bulldog (Cable & Wireless) and their 8Meg Broadband offering for the best fast value currently available. More Information
Sony has left it to the Games Developers to shape the online gaming environment. Some initially supported analogue modem speeds – like Tony Hawks Pro 3, the first PS2 Game to come with a Network feature. In the US the Network Adapter is capable of both broadband and analogue, but in UK and Europe PS2 games are playable on Broadband only and this is now the only future for gaming online. For the complete list of online games see PS2 Online Games.
A new, sexier model of the current PS2, dubbed the PS TWO, shipped to retailers in November 2004 – similar to the PS One that Sony introduced to the market after PS2 had launched. Like the PS One, which is still selling strongly, the PS Two has the same internal components and functionality of the current PS2, but come in a smaller, sleeker package and equipped with an integrated Ethernet port for network gaming. This fits in with the 10-year lifecycle plan that Sony outlined at Destination PlayStation.
Probably the forerunner of the PS3 – the next step up from PS2 – known as the PSX launched in Japan December 2003. This high-end device is designed to run PS2 and PlayStation games, connect to broadband and record both DVDs and television on hard drive. The unit is also capable of receiving analogue television broadcasts to an included TV tuner and will be able to download movies and music. Two versions have been released, one with 160GB hard drive, and one with 250GB hard drive at a PC competitive price of £570 and £450 respectively.
The next Playstation Online era is now in motion with the PSP Playstation Portable and the momentous Playstation 3. You will have to wait until 2006 for PS3 but the Playstation Portable handheld is now available with online and wi-fi capability.
However, the PS2, launched over 3 years ago still has plenty of life yet – at less than £97, tons of peripherals and a library of well over a thousand well priced games plus plenty to come – and now the new slimline version PS TWO is also available at £97 too !