Slim PlayStation 2

Review

posted 1/11/2005 by Charlie Sinhaseni
other articles by Charlie Sinhaseni
One Page Platforms: PS2
Here in America we tend to abide by this “bigger is better” mantra that permeates every single aspect of our lives. While we’re busy making huge trucks and SUVs that get 8 miles to the gallon, the Japanese are busy making powerful electronics that look like they belong in Verne Troyer’s house. For decades, Sony has led the way with its inventive line of Walkman products and the slimmed down PSOne. Now the company is ready for a full-on assault with its upcoming PlayStation Portable supplemented by the smaller and more compact PlayStation 2.

Although the box says “PSTwo” in the lower left corner, SCEA has asked us not to refer to the unit in that manner. For now the unit is still known as the PS2 until further notice, possibly because SCEA has plans to follow up with an even smaller unit in the future. The retail package comes with the revamped PS2, an external power brick, the usual component cables, a network startup disc, the instruction manuals and a Dual Shock 2 controller. The Dual Shock 2 is identical to the one that is currently available on the market while the cables are identical (although the video prong is orange instead of yellow).

The new PS2 is constructed of the same black plastic material that encases the old PS2. Upon first glace it’s apparent that the unit is a PS2, just that it’s much smaller than before. It’s tough to explain just how small the unit really is unless you have the object right in front of you. When lain flat across a table, it takes up a little more space than a standard paperback book while its profile is even smaller, coming in at a paltry 2.8 cm (the original was 7.8cm). It weighs much less too, coming in at about 1/4th of the weight of the original PS2. The device is really easy to tote around and I had no problems putting it into a messenger bag during my recent roadtrip to Reno.

In order the squeeze all of the components into the tight confines of the PS2, the designers had to remove the internal power supply and its dust-magnet fan. Now it has been relegated to a power brick, much like what you expect to find on a laptop. This makes the unit significantly lighter while offering up the same performance and functionality as before. As another addition, the unit no longer needs that power supply heating fan, giving the unit a much slimmer profile and quieter operating level. With the old PS2 we could often hear the fan and the DVD-drive functioning, especially during the quiet parts of our favorite movies. Now those sounds are an afterthought and only become noticeable during quiet load times.

The network adaptor was first released as an add-on that players had to buy at retail outlets. As holiday 2003 neared Sony decided to include the network adaptor with all future PS2 bundles, negating the need to pick up the unit at retail outlets. The new PS2 takes this a step further and integrates the network adaptor into the PS2, forgoing the need for the external network adaptor. Since the network components now sit flush with the unit, it makes the device easier to tote around and use. With the old PS2 and adaptor solution, packing the device was difficult because it didn’t fit into the standard PS2 box. Players had to manually remove the network adaptor and then package the two objects separately. It wasn’t too big of a deal but it was definitely a huge hassle.
Page 1 of 2