|Sony Playstation 2|
|Home Theater Accessories Game Systems|
|Written by Bryan Dailey|
|Sunday, 01 April 2001|
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There are only two real shortcomings to the DVD player on the Playstation 2. The first is the fact that you must control the operation of the DVD using the system’s game pads rather than an infrared remote. The second problem that I found when playing a DVD movie was that the Playstation 2 would take anywhere between 20 to 30 seconds up to a minute on some DVDs before the main menu of the DVD would appear on screen. Type A personalities beware.
Being able to play the hundreds of games that are available for the Playstation 1 is a huge upside for the Playstation 2, but at this point there are relatively few Playstation 2 games and only a handful have received rave reviews from gamers and gaming magazines. With the new machines coming from Microsoft and Nintendo, there is an air of uncertainty about the future of the Playstation 2. If Sega does in fact officially halt the production of the Dreamcast and puts its support behind designing games for the Playstation 2, then the outlook may be better. Right now, the Playstation 2 feels like a Ferrari that is running on 87-octane gas. The power of the machine has yet to be fully realized, but if the new systems are easier to program for, Sony could be left with a high-powered dinosaur of a system.
If you have been playing video games since the days of Pong and have seen first-hand how advanced video games have become, the Playstation 2 may not immediately knock your socks off. Gamers have become spoiled with amazing graphics and powerful machines over the past few years. Super-fast personal computers and advanced home gaming systems have brought better-than-arcade power and graphics to the home, and it’s easy to become jaded when exposed to graphics of this caliber. The general consensus among hardcore gamers is that the Playstation 2 is not living up to its potential but only time will tell if game designers can fix this. If you already have a Dreamcast and a slew of games, it’s hard to make the argument that you have to run out and buy a Playstation 2 today for its software. Gaming purists on a budget may want to get a Dreamcast for now and wait and see how well Microsoft’s X Box and Nintendo’s Game Cube systems turn out before plunking down three bills for a new machine.
The fact that this game system doubles as a DVD player, which justifies the high price tag, is by far the most compelling reason to go and pick one of these babies up. Even if you only end up having three or four games for it, it’s easy to justify owning a unit that gives you the ability to watch DVDs on it too. Many video rental stores such as Blockbuster now let you check out Playstation 2 games for as little as $5 for five days, so you don’t even need to invest $50 to $60 in a game. If you happen to rent a game that you absolutely love, then by all means, you should add that to your collection. Chances are, as the competition comes along, the price on the Playstation 2 will drop, but even at $299, it’s worth owning one if you don't have a video game system yet. Just think of it as a DVD player that can play some cool games, too.