How does a company make a follow-up to the most successful console (at that time) of all time?
If you’re Japanese electronics giant Sony, you add a DVD player and the vaunted Emotion Engine to the PlayStation 2, the best-selling console of all time with 150 million units sold and over 3800 titles to its library.
Released March 4, 2000 in Japan, the PlayStation 2 was an instant market sensation. Featuring backwards compatibility with the uber-popular PlayStation, the PS2 also had the new Dualshock 2 controller in a form factor that many consider an industry standard today.
PS2 Dualshock Controller
Initial development work for the PlayStation 2 began as soon as the first PlayStation was released with details about the console finally leaking to the press in 1997 with the official announcement coming in March 1999. Sales for the PlayStation 2 consoles, games, and related accessories topped $250 million on its first day as opposed to the $95 million debut for Sega’s Dreamcast, largely putting the figurative writing on the wall for that console’s fate.
Though the PS2 was initially launched as a competitor for Sega’s new system, it ended up actually competing against Nintendo’s GameCube and Microsoft’s Xbox – both of which were best handily in the marketplace.
Two factors played into the sensation surrounding the PlayStation 2’s launch – the DVD capability and the backwards compatibility with PS One games. Giving the console a huge installed base of titles from day one and offering DVD playback capabilities at a total unit price equivalent to or less than many DVD units on the market, the PlayStation 2 was a potent device indeed.
Video game industry watchers initially thought that the competition between the three main systems would be quite intense, especially given Nintendo’s established brands and the Xbox’s powerful specs but, in the end, the PlayStation