View Full Version : The New PStwo is checked out
October 16th, 2004, 12:31
With four years in the life of the PS2 behind us we were expecting to see a lot more quality games and maybe some more online options, but to see a complete overhaul of the system was a complete surprise. But that's what really happened at the Tokyo game Show and unfortunately the tiny new versions were all under plexiglass and all we could do is stare at them and wonder if they really worked. Well, we don't wonder any more because we got one in the office and after every editor had to come and hold the thing we checked out to see what was new.[br][br]The first and most overwhelming thing about the new PS2 (aka the PStwo) is that it's tiny. Not just small or svelte or wearing some slimming outfit, but the new shape is a small fraction of its former self. Measuring in at 1"x9"x6" the PStwo can easily be overwhelmed by a graphic novel and can be stacked right next to some games with anyone barely noticing. As soon as we put it down on Tal's desk for an impromptu photo shoot everyone dragged out every other console they could find for a comparison. Aside from the PSone, the new PStwo is one of the smallest consoles in recent history.[br][br]The second big change is that the PStwo no longer has a tray that slides out. With a flip-top lid games can be placed in from the top and there's no more worries about the motor for the sliding tray wearing out in the future. This is a slick feature, but it has a couple of consequences which are fine for when the console is on top, but otherwise it's a little tricky. For one thing the console can't be buried beneath books, other games, or any other paraphernalia that might be lying around the house. The other problem is that when the PStwo is in the vertical position it's a little more difficult to get the games onto the spindle since they need to be pushed in instead of being dropped in like before. Getting a stand or setting the PStwo up against a solid object will be unavoidable. [br] [br]To get down to fighting weight and then past that to Ally McBeal status the PStwo has had to make a couple of change along the way. The AC adaptor is now external like the GameCube with a cord similar to the original PS2's (except for the tip that's a figure 8 like the Xbox's) that feeds into the adaptor that then connects to the PStwo. Another big change is that there is no longer a big gaping hole for the HDD since the PStwo has no HDD support. This is a bummer, but unless gamers are playing Final Fantasy XI or want to play the upcoming downloadable levels of SOCOM II this shouldn't be a problem. [br] [br]One of the changes makes the machine smaller and more powerful in the same step. The Network Adaptor has now been internalized and there is an Ethernet port as well as a dial-up jack that is on the back. Say goodbye to the bulky addition on the back of the old PS2 and hello to the possibility of some quick and easy transport for a gaming machine that can jump in on a LAN game at a friend's house. While it's sad and unfortunate and frustrating that Gran Turismo 4 will not be online the game will be LAN-enabled and with the PStwo it will be at least an option to go to another spot and set up a network game.
October 16th, 2004, 12:33
One of the differences in the design is that the memory card slot and the front of the controller ports are no longer flat on the front of the PStwo. The controller ports are just as far below as before, but they are also inset a little less than a centimeter. The problem with this is that the multitaps that worked perfectly fine with the old PS2 are no longer functional. The memory card plug fits, but not the controller plug. While the new design looks cool there doesn't seem to be any good reason for making an official peripheral useless with the change. Add that to the HDD and that makes two devices that will now be collecting dust.
On the bottom of the PStwo there is a threaded hole for the stand to go into. Unfortunately the stand isn't included in the box, but interestingly enough there are a couple of other threaded holes on the back of the PStwo. This could mean something monumental such as there being the future possibility of an LCD screen like the PSone had or maybe even an external hard drive (not likely), but since these holes have appeared in previous versions of the PS2 it could mean pretty much nothing except that Sony likes to put holes in the backs of their machines.
When we finally had enough of just looking at the PStwo and finally plugged it in it worked out just like a PS2. Games played and the controller worked and it was just like it's been for the last four years. The biggest change is that there was practically no sound coming from the PStwo itself. There were some disc access noises and some minor grunts that were only apparent after one puts his ears right next to it. Other than that the jet sounds from the PS2 were a thing of the past.
After getting over the slight hardware differences the software itself ran smoothly. Sony has claimed that some titles will not run on the PStwo, but so far we have not run into any games that have a problem with it. We will be continuing to use this machine in the future and will report any and all problems that we encounter.
So far one of the biggest problems that we've run into is that there is a problem with using the Logitech Cordless Action Controller (aka the kick-ass wireless controller that we love). The receiver that plugs into the controller port fits in there just fine and the controller works on the new PStwo. But since the new PStwo is lower than before and the controller port is barely above the table the extra-deep receiver pokes out below and becomes an extra leg for the PStwo as it pushes it off the ground. This is not a huge problem in and of itself, but we love our Cordless Action Controllers and will be forced to place the PStwo on top of something else so that the front has a slight overhang or find some way of getting the whole thing vertical and be able to easily put games inside of it.
Taken as a whole, the new PStwo is looking nice and sexy with its tiny new profile and the ability to easily carry it around. There are some quirks and oddities about the design so if you're hooked on the sliding tray or the possibility of using the top of the PS2 to hold a drink, then this may be a bit of a problem. Still, for all those folks who have managed to hold out this long for a PS2 or whose old one has just bit the dust or who just want a quiet machine, this is the one for you.
As a final extra bonus, the PStwo has a warranty for a full year instead of the old 90 days from before. While it's unlikely that this would be the final kick in the pants to get a new machine, it's still one hell of an incentive. We wouldn't be too surprised if many gamers get a new machine just to get another year of a warranty to help pass the time before the inevitable release of the PS3.
October 16th, 2004, 12:34
October 16th, 2004, 14:38
I'm playing to walk into the store and buy my DS and PStwo at the same time.
October 16th, 2004, 19:38
I just have one word to describe all I feel: BLAAAAARGH!!
It took 4 years and several versions for finally Sony make the thing they should have done years before... and even then is still buggy as it apparently seems. God, gotta love Dreamcast, oh well maybe even GC and Xbox...
October 17th, 2004, 03:50
Did'nt realise it was that small! :o
October 17th, 2004, 11:30
can it be chipped?
October 17th, 2004, 11:48
yes the dms4 already works on it, see http://www.ps2emu.co.uk for more details
October 17th, 2004, 12:03
Swap magic also works for it so i've heard.
October 18th, 2004, 17:32
damn... i wonder if it will have an lcd screen like the psone. That thing is tiny!!! It was smart to put a nic/modem built into it! =D shame about the hardrive... i was thinking this may be the smallest linux box ever.
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