The persistent Playstation 2

On the eve of Halloween we prepare ourselves for the arrival of those many spirits from the past who provide us with a darker day before the happier, more festive ambince of the holiday season. But fortunately for us, these ghastly spectres of the past are not the only creatures that are rearing their heads from the depths of time and neither are they proof that only dreadful remembrances can return.

Behold the Playstation 2. Even in the wake of its sleeker and more powerful younger brother, the PS3, the PS2 remains not only the greatest selling console of all time (with over 140 million units sold to this date) but is still a viable contender for shelf space right alongside the other next generation systems (XBOX 360, The Wii). Its hardware is still being manufactured by Sony, and more then enough reasons can be found to make any generous parent or financially conscious gamer look twice before buying a newer console.

1. The Age – The PS2 has been around for eight years now and while to some that means that both its hardware and software have long since passed their expiration date, it still stands as a testament to the staying power and the quality that Sony brings to the table with their landmark console. Its increased lifespan has provided it with a vaccine to the many bugs, glitches, and malfunctions that often plague the many moving parts of early-year next-gen consoles, and that time has allowed its developers to decrease the system’s size in the updated “slim line version”, its age has also allowed game developers to squeeze every last bit of graphical power out of an already impressive system whose later game releases still hold up to par even when compared to next-gen games.

2. The Price – With recent economic troubles, everyone can feel the money belts tightening around their waist and the fact that even the cheapest next gen console (The Wii) is at $250, (a basic Xbox 360, with no hard drive, is $200) the PS2’s current low price of $130 makes it the economically sound choice for anyone trying to save a little money. Add this to the fact that the PS2 is often sold in bundle packs (the more recent being the Sing Star Pack and the Lego Batman/ Justice League: The New Frontier Pack) and gamers can essentially get their first playable software for free, leaving extra cash to be put toward other desirable games or interests.

3. The Games – Probably the most important thing that the PS2 has is its huge library of games. Containing the most diverse list of software of any console past or present, the PS2 has what you desire whether it’s the quiet peaceful solitude of a fishing simulator or the explosive adrenaline-pumped excitement of an action game. Anyone looking to skateboard the city streets in Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3, run from the law in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, lob a Hail Mary for a touchdown in NFL 2K3, uncover a government conspiracy in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, burn rubber in Gran Turismo, hold off a zombie apocalypse in Resident Evil 4, wreak revenge upon the gods of Greek myth in God of War II, knock heads in Tekken 5, or even level grind in Final Fantasy XII can find a home within the PS2.

A jack of all trades and a master of many, the PS2 is a force to be reckoned with and a constant reminder that you don’t have to necessarily look to the future of video games in order to get what you want from them.