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Sony Playstation 2
How The Sony Playstation 2 Has Changed Over The Years
The Sony Playstation 2 has had an extremely rich history in the nine years since its release. Hitting the shelves in the year 2000, the Playstation 2 has since broken nearly every record pertaining to video game console sales that there was to break. In fact, even though the Playstation 3 has been on the market for quite some time, the Playstation 2 continues to be a strong seller in the UK and throughout the world. As of May 6, 2009, 48 million units had been sold in Europe, according to Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, with 138 million units sold worldwide by August 18, 2009. To look at the original console and compare it to one bought of the shelves today, though, one would not think they were even the same machine.
The original Playstation 2, such as it was, was only released in Japan. It did not have an expansion bay, nor built in software to read DVDs. These features were added before the console was released in the UK.
The first and second major hardware revisions were not visible from outside the console. Initially, the Playstation 2 had many small interconnected circuit boards. In the first revision, these were mostly consolidated to one large circuit board. The second major hardware revision added more functionality to the machine, including the capability to read DVD-RW and DVD+RW discs and an infrared port for using a DVD remote control.
The third major hardware revision was also the PS2's first visual change. Sony dubbed this new version of the Playstation 2 the Slimline as it was much thinner than the original console. Previously only available in black, the slimmer PS2 was also available in silver and, in March 2007, pink. Later versions of the PS2 Slimline had compatibility issues with original Playstation games due to newer microchips and different lenses on their DVD ROM drives. Although the newer machines are smaller and quieter than the originals, and also include an Ethernet port to allow network connectivity, they do not have the expansion bay needed to use the aftermarket hard drive which has irritated some players since some games that had already been released, such as Final Fantasy XII, require the hard drive to operate.
Since the Slimline's release, Sony has updated and changed much of the internal workings of the Playstation 2, largely to reduce its weight and combat the use of homebrew applications that would allow the machine to play copies of games.