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Long live the Playstation 2

Plus: Ten brand-new PS2 games for 2009

At eight years old, the Sony Playstation 2 (PS2) may be considered past its prime. However, it's certainly not dead, evenly pacing the consoles of the next generation, like its older brother the PS3.

With 140 units million sold, and 1,800 games available on the format, and the PS2 is still kicking it. While most consoles call it quits after four to five years, like previous attempts by Microsoft and Nintendo, the PS2 has rewritten the rules in terms of lasting appeal.

Sony Playstation 3 review

Microsoft Xbox 360 review

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Great games, lots of them

"There are about 30 million active PS2 homes in the US who are still playing," said John Koller, director of hardware marketing for Sony Computer Entertainment. "Affinity for the console is still high because the PS2 engendered fans with great games and lots of them."

The system has such an attentive audience, that Sony projects an additional 130 PS2 games this year, the same number of good times released in 2008. "The PS2 is still on every publisher's list," said Koller.

He wouldn't name specific upcoming titles, and virtually all first-party efforts have been shifted to the PS3, but Koller said an influx of publishers who abandoned the PS2 for newer consoles are coming back.

"They've been calling to revamp their PS2 support," he said.

Although Sony now touts the PS3 as its golden egg, millions of gamers are still buying and playing PS2 titles.

Planning ahead with third-party publishers

PS2 owners hoping for more God of War type epics, which Koller called an "early adopter" category, are out of luck though. From now on, it'll be social games like Buzz, SingStar, and Rock Band; sport staples like Madden; and whatever else third-party publishers come up with. You can also expect more "casual" stuff, said Koller.

"In the next year, we're going after the mom purchasers."

That's more than either the defunct Xbox or GameCube can say, though, something Koller acknowledged. "We've never left consumers in a ditch like other console makers," he said, a jab at Microsoft and Nintendo for pulling the plug on their respective sixth generation consoles well before the PS2.

Games reviews

NEXT PAGE: The long price of victory

  1. Why the console hasn't been eclipsed by the PS3
  2. The long price of victory
  3. Forthcoming titles


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