It may feel as though it’s been around for longer than time itself but, while the PlayStation 3 continues to stutter and stumble through the marketplace, the stalwart – and markedly cheaper – PlayStation 2 is managing to outshine its glossy big brother despite greying hair, lack of teeth, and an ominous arthritic limp. Which is exactly why Sony is still standing firmly behind its hugely popular ‘last-gen’ console (while Microsoft has completely abandoned the Xbox) and has recently intimated its plans for the existing PS2 brand.
More pointedly, current reports offer that Phil Harrison, the executive vice president of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE), hinted during last week’s Tokyo Game Show that the Japanese electronics giant is perhaps looking to introduce new and unique game controllers for its long-standing PlayStation 2.
When quizzed by gaming magazine Gamasutra about the possibility of Sony developing and releasing new game controllers for the PlayStation 2 that could compete with the motion-sensing attributes of the Nintendo Wii’s Remote and Nunchuk, Harrison ducked the question initially, claiming that he was not familiar with what the question was referring to.
However, he then went on to say:
“…but we put USB ports on the PlayStation 2 for a reason, which was to support open technology. So anything that is based around USB can be plugged into a PS2 and could add some unique experience.”
While far from a cast-iron revelation that the PlayStation 2 is to receive an interactive controller injection, the bald-headed executive then offered that, although Sony has “done well” with similarly inventive controllers such as those used in the Buzz quiz show series and also in editions of SingStar and EyeToy, “there are others coming as well.”
“We’re by no means done with PS2,” enthused Harrison. “We can’t make enough PS2s at the moment, which is a fantastic situation to be in eight years into the lifecycle.” A state of prolonged consumer demand that Sony no-doubt wishes its new PlayStation 3 was experiencing rather than its much older, vastly underpowered, and not at all glamorous PS2.
In terms of global sales performance, the PlayStation 2 has thus far amassed more than 120 million unit sales throughout its eight years at retail. By comparison, the powerhouse PlayStation 3, which is approaching its first birthday, has yet to hit the 5 million mark, while both its market rivals (Nintendo Wii, Xbox 360) have passed 11 million sales.