With the next generation of consoles looming in the horizon it was inevitable that older generations would be finally be put to pasture. Such is the case with the PlayStation 2, which has been officially been discontinued in Japan — with the final retail versions being shipped out to retailers earlier this week.

Even though many gamers have already forgotten about the PS2, there were still plenty of people out there that were in the market for Sony‘s best-selling console for various reasons. As the PS3 grew in popularity, and conversely shrunk in price, Sony phased out the backwards compatibility of the console, transforming it into a dedicated PS3 entertainment system and Blu-Ray player.

So, for those games (admittedly the number is decreasing every week) that can not be found on the PSN, the PS2 was the only answer. Cult classics like my personal favorite Legend of Dragoon are only available on-disc.

And to think back on the launch of the PS2, and titles like SSX and The Bouncer, and then look at how far that console came. It’s simply incredible how Sony was able to take their sizeable lead in the previous generation and absolutely demolish the competition.

Nevertheless, the PS2 has enjoyed a long and storied 13 years of service, and has amassed a tally of 150 million+ units sold during that time span. With a larger focus on multiplatform gaming in this generation it would be unlikely that any of the big three would achieve such a milestone. The Wii comes the closest with around 97 million units in worldwide sales.

So as we near the next phase of console evolution let us also look back on a console that pioneered many of the features we know and love today. And while it’s hard to say what the PS2’s legacy will be on video gaming we know that, for the moment, it was still an important console to own for a good decade.

What are your fondest memories of the PS2? What single game is your favorite from that generation?

Source: Famitsu (via Kotaku)

tags: PlayStation, PS2, Sony