The PlayStation 2 (officially branded as PS2) is a home video game console developed and marketed by Sony Computer Entertainment. It was first released in Japan on March 4, 2000, in North America on October 26, 2000, and in Europe and Australia on November 24, 2000, and is the successor to the original PlayStation, as well as the second installment in the PlayStation console line-up. A sixth-generation console, it competed with Sega's Dreamcast, Nintendo's GameCube, and Microsoft's original Xbox.
PS2 is the best-selling video game console of all time, having sold over 155 million units worldwide, as confirmed by Sony.Over 3,800 game titles have been released for the PS2, with over 1.5 billion copies sold. Sony later manufactured several smaller, lighter revisions of the console known as Slimline models in 2004.
Even with the release of its successor, the PlayStation 3, the PS2 remained popular well into the seventh generation, and continued to be produced until 2013, when Sony finally announced it had been discontinued after over twelve years of production – one of the longest lifespans of a video game console. Despite the announcement, new games for the console continued to be produced until the end of 2013, including Final Fantasy XI: Seekers of Adoulin for Japan, FIFA 13 for North America, and Pro Evolution Soccer 2014 for Europe. Repair services for the system in Japan ended on September 7, 2018.
The PS2 is largely believed to have killed the Sega Dreamcast, effectively ending Sega's console run and forcing them to go third party. The console achieved high sales on opening day, with the PS2 topping $250 million in first day sales while the Dreamcast only mustered $95 million. Sales would only continue to get stronger as the year went on, with the Dreamcast dropping in popularity and costing Sega millions in losses. With a lack of support from publishers like EA and Squaresoft, piracy issues and rumors that Microsoft would enter the gaming market soon, the writing was on the wall for Sega. The Dreamcast was officially continued in 2001, and the PS2 went on to publish many Sega titles over the years.
Many different factors led to the PS2 becoming a console killer. The upgraded technology was a big draw for hardcore gamers, with the Emotion Engine CPU promising the highest quality graphics at the time and an expansion bay that allowed massive games. Some of the most acclaimed third-party games released for the PS2 included Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (the best-selling game on the console), Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, Gran Turismo 4, Grand Theft Auto 3, Final Fantasy X, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, Devil May Cry and Kingdom Hearts. These titles helped define the PS2 and established it as the go-to console for high quality games that appealed to all audiences.