Retail shelf space in a precious commodity and when new products are poured into retail outlets something’s gotta go. Later this year, Nintendo will release the Wii-U making it the first new video game console to be released in six years. Sure to be a Christmas blockbuster, major game retailer Gamespot has decreed that it is finally time to put the venerable Playstation 2 game library into the vault.
The Playstation 2 originally launched in 2000. The system has become the best selling game console of all time with sales topping 154.4 million units, and that was back in November 2011!. Sony says the software library for the PS2 spans 10,828 titles and has sold 1.52 billion copies in total. Whether is was strategy, role-playing, platforming, shooters, or digital board games, the PS2 offered a plethora of choices for even the pickiest gamer. As time marched on, even late era PS2 games such as God of War 2, Final Fantasy 12, and Shadow of the Colossus continued to push the venerable machine to such spectacular new heights that many questioned the necessity of newer ‘next-gen’ systems that were beginning to show up on store shelves.
More than just a game system, many PS2s served double duty in households as a family's first DVD player. Once moved from the kid’s room and into the family room, the Playstation 2 continued to provide a together experience. Even the most gamepad fearing parent was hard pressed not to jump onto a DDR dance mat, flail in from of the system’s motion tracking Eye-Toy camera, or rock out on Guitar Hero’s plastic peripheral. Years before the Wii’s family friendly fanfare, Sony was already subverting the gamer paradigm and redefining family game night.
So is this this the end of the Playstation 2 era? Hardly. Gamestop’s removal of the software racks will surely be doled out on a region-by-region basis. Electronic Art’s FIFA 13 and Konami’s PES 2013 are still on track for a September release date. New systems are even still available. Fan made emulators for the PC have ensured that the library of you favorites will live on. That massive library of used games being pulled off of Gamspot’s shelves? There is no doubt that you’ll able to order them online for years to come. Obviously, we’re far into the twilight of the PS2, but it will be a few years yet before the light finally goes out.