The PlayStation 2 was a game-changer, and that's an indisputable fact. At the time it launched, consoles were a more niche pursuit than they are today, and it was really Sony's second-generation console that helped turn that around. But now, after 12 years of loyal service, it's hanging up its optical media and will get to spend more time with its family in Japan.
The PS2 was released on March 4, 2000 in Japan, and in Europe in November of that year and the release schedule alone shows you how much times have changed. Would anyone wait eight months for a console to make its way from Japan to Europe in the era of the internet?
It retires having sold 150million units, which is nothing to be sniffed at. It's quite likely too that many PS2s are still being loved, and played, even today because it has a fantastic back catalogue of nearly 11,000 titles. Amazingly, Sony says that 1.5 billion games have been sold for the PS2 in its history. Wikipedia tells us that the best selling PS2 game was Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, which shifted a massive 17.33 million copies - even to this day, that's an impressive number and it's rare a game that will sell that many copies.
And of course, the PS2 helped DVD along its way too, offering playback of the then immature video format. Something that Sony tried - and pretty much failed - to achieve with Blu-ray on the PS3.
If you're feeling a bout of nostalgia, act now: there are still a few "new" consoles floating around on Amazon Marketplace, and we're sure there are more than enough second-hand consoles out there for the purchasing.
But, as sad as its passing is, we have to spare a moment here for Dan Holmes who changed his name, via deed poll, to Mr PlayStation 2. What of him now? Will he stick with the retired name, or will he perhaps seek to change it to PlayStation 3?