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Your Move: The Best-Selling Game Console Of All Time


PlayStation 2 is the best-selling game console of all time. First released in Japan 20 years ago this week, it sold over 158 million units over its lifetime.

When the system was released in the U.S. in October of 2000, it sold half a million units on the first day, instantly making the PS2 the fastest-selling game console ever. Sony shipped 100,000 units a week for the rest of the year, and availability was still spotty for months thereafter. I asked for one for my birthday in January of 2001, and my Dad couldn’t find one until May.

Back then, a reasonable DVD player would cost anywhere from $200 to $400, and most people didn’t have one yet. The PlayStation 2 launched at $300, and was one of the best DVD players you could get at the time, even ignoring the fact that it was also the most advanced video game console on the market. The value proposition was clear: if you wanted to watch DVDs, you could buy a standalone player, or spend roughly the same amount of money and get a DVD player that also doubled as a Christmas gift for your kids.

The PS2 had 28 games available at launch. None of them were particularly notable, but the system could also play the huge library of original PlayStation games. The system eventually got a number of its own games that are still some of my favorites, such as Final Fantasy X, Metal Gear Solid 2 and 3, and Kingdom Hearts.

Sony continued to produce the PS2 long after they released the PlayStation 3, finally ending production in 2013 - the same year the PS4 came out. PS2’s almost 13 year lifespan remains one of the longest-lived video game systems ever.

Samuel McConnell is a games enthusiast who has been playing games in one form or another since 1991. He was born in northern Maine but quickly transplanted to Wichita.