PlayStation2 Crash Course
November 4th, 1999
If you read this easy to follow feature, you'll know more about the PlayStation 2 than 99 percent of the people in the videogame industry.
If you're a PlayStation fan, then you've already read about PlayStation specs, you've seen it in action, and you basically understand what it does. Even so, many of the details you've seen are some raw numbers that only make sense to the guys at your local Radio Shack (though not ours, our local Radio Shack is staffed by simpletons). Well, we don't think that's good enough. Our readers deserve better. So, put on your reading glasses and get ready to become a graduate of
the PS2 Crash Course:
This is simple enough to figure out.
Suggested Retail Price (Japan): 39,800 Yen ($370)
Although the PlayStation 2 will ship for this price in Japan, it will likely debut in the US around
$249 or $299. This price will be the result of new Emotion Engine factories which are already being built.
Note, however that current rumor says Sony may continue its efforts to push the DVD format and
promote the PS2's multimedia capabilities by offering some kind of free DVD incentive with new
purchases. Remember this is just an early rumor.
Accessories included: Dual Shock 2 analog controller, High-capacity 8MB Memory Card,
PlayStation2 Demo Disc, AV Multi Cable, AC Power Cord.
The Dual Shock 2 analog control is almost exactly the same as the current PlayStation controller
except that all the buttons are analog. This means that if you push a button only half way, it will have
only half the effect, which will be perfect for games like Gran Turismo where slight touches to the throttle
and brake are better than using full throttle or full brake. There are 256 degrees of pressure sensing.
The High-Capacity 8MB Memory Card is also similar to the original PlayStation card, except that it stores
up to 8MB of information (64 times more than the original) and the information transfer rate is 250 times
faster (which means almost instantaneous transfer rates for most current games). Note that you won't
be able to transfer saves from old cards to new, or vice versa.
Dimensions: 301mm (W) x 178mm (H) x 78mm (D), (12" x 7" x 3")
Weight: 2.1 kg (4 lbs. 10 oz.)
Media: PlayStation2 CD-ROM, DVD-ROM, and PlayStation CD-ROM, CD Audio
This means your PlayStation 2 will basically play all your old PlayStation games (but not make them look
any better), all music CDs (except Backstreet Boys) and all North American DVDs.
Formats supported: Audio CD, DVD-Video
Interfaces: Controller Port (2)
These are the same as the controller ports on the current PlayStation. Unfortunately the console will ship
with only two ports as a money saving feature. Link cables will still work, and you'll likely find USB
controllers near launch that would give you four controllers altogether.
Interfaces: Memory Card Slot (2)
Once again these slots are very similar to the ones on the original PlayStation, except they support the new,
faster transfer rate.
Interfaces: AV Multi Cable Output (1)
This is where you plug the cord that goes to the back of your television.
Interfaces: Optical Digital Output (1)
This port will let you send data directly to a digital receiver. This is perfect if you plan to plug your
PlayStation into a DTS or Dolby receiver and get perfect sound.
If you don't use digital output, your data will be converted to an analog signal (to travel through your
ancient copper wires) and then be converted back to digital at the receiver. This usually results in some
loss of quality.
Interfaces: USB Port (2)
Considering the incredible amount of hardware that currently supports USB (Universal Serial Bus) and the
amount of planned hardware, this is an exciting development for PS2 plans. USB enables you to connect
any number of devices to your system with a high-speed data link.
Interfaces: I.Link (IEEE1394) (1)
The IEEE139 port is known by two names: I.Link and for Mac owners, FireWire - there are some minor
differences between the two. This high-data transfer port has the advantage of supplying (some) power
to devices that are connected. You can expect that an enormous number of hardware devices will use
this port including speakers, printers, and other like devices.
Interfaces: Type III PCMCIA Card Slot.
This slot is a lot like a laptop's add-in slot. Here you will be able to plug in a modem, more speakers,
and eventually the connection for Sony's planned broadband network and hard drive.