My double-barreled PS2 attack from back when both were active systems in my arsenal. One US model, one Japanese. Both are launch systems, and both work perfectly – I know this may shock you given the notorious unreliability of first-generation PS2’s, but I have had no problem whatsoever with either one over nearly four years of pretty active gameplay.
Somewhere down the line I lost both the original controller and the box to my Japanese PS2. The controller there is the American one, and it’s so loose at this point that it’s barely usable (the thumbsticks twirl around and slip all the time). Here’s the box:
I was pretty shocked when the US model was released with the same plain blue box as the Japanese model. This is almost unheard of in the US.
Anyway, I’ve gotten a lot of play out of my PS2’s but I can’t say I’m a big fan of the system. Like the Xbox, it doesn’t really have a soul. It has no identity of its own. It’s just a box that plays a lot of random games from different publishers and developers, as I guess is probably going to be the fashion from now on. Gone are the days when one manufacturer basically controlled the destiny of a console, when a good console would have a completely balanced and controlled first-party game library that all conformed to a “house style”. In other words, I like a lot of PS2 games, but I have absolutely no feeling one way or another towards the PS2 itself – those games could be on any system. There’s absolutely nothing about the PS2 that makes those games unique.
To digress a bit, a lot of people wonder why I bother keeping two PS2’s hooked up these days when I could just mod one to play imports. Well, the truth is this: a) they’re not actually both hooked up (I swap the cables and whatnot around when I want to play imports), and b) I actually used to have the import system modded and was so dissatisfied with the results that I literally opened the thing back up and violently ripped the mod chip off the motherboard one day, like it was some sort of cancerous tumor I was expunging from the system. PS2 mod chips have really been a disaster compared to the methods for playing imports on other systems. The only foolproof way of doing it is to just have two PS2’s.
Like the original PlayStation, I have a feeling that once I package up the system in favor of the PS3, I will probably never have cause to even look at it again (unless I decide to take some better pics for a site like this). It’s not a system anyone’s ever going to feel nostalgia for, however popular it may be now.
(2016 update: I was right.)