PlayStation 2

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"PS2" redirects here. For the lineup of IBM computers, see IBM Personal System/2. For the port itself, see PS/2 port. For other uses, see PS2 (disambiguation).
PlayStation 2
PlayStation 2 logo.svg
Left: Original PlayStation 2, with vertical stand
Right: Slimline PlayStation 2, with vertical stand, 8 MB memory card and DualShock 2 controller
Also known as PS2
Developer Sony Computer Entertainment
Manufacturer Sony
Product family PlayStation
Type Video game console
Generation Sixth generation
Release date PlayStation 2 PlayStation 2 Slimline
Retail availability 2000–2013
  • JP: December 28, 2012[1]
  • WW: January 4, 2013[2]
Units sold Approximately 155 million (as of March 31, 2012)[3]
Media DVD, CD
CPU "Emotion Engine"[4][5] @ 300 MHz[4]
Memory 32 MB of RDRAM (system RAM)[6]
4 MB of eDRAM (video RAM)[7][8]
Storage 40 GB hard drive (add-on)
Removable storage
  • 8 MB PlayStation 2 memory card
  • 128 KB PlayStation memory card
Graphics 150 MHz "Graphics Synthesizer"[4]
Sound Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS 5.1
Controller input DualShock 2, DualShock, EyeToy, PlayStation 2 DVD Remote Control
Connectivity 100 Mbit Ethernet/modem (requires adapter on SCPH-10000-500xx models), 2 × USB 1.1, 1 × IEEE 1394 interface
Online services PS2 Online
Best-selling game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas: 17.33 million sold (as of February 2009)[9]
Predecessor PlayStation
Successor PlayStation 3

The PlayStation 2 (PS2) is a video game console that was developed by Sony Computer Entertainment as the successor to the PlayStation, and is the second installment in the PlayStation series of consoles. Its development was announced in March 1999, and it was released worldwide in 2000 and competed with Sega's Dreamcast, Microsoft's Xbox, and Nintendo's GameCube in the sixth generation of video game consoles.

The PlayStation 2 was the first PlayStation console to offer backwards compatibility for its predecessor's DualShock controller, as well as for its games. The PlayStation 2 is the best-selling video game console of all time, selling over 155 million units, with 150 million confirmed by Sony in 2011.[10] More than 3,874 game titles have been released for the PS2 since launch, and more than 1.5 billion copies have been sold.[11] Sony later manufactured several smaller, lighter revisions of the console known as Slimline models in 2004. In 2006, Sony announced and launched its successor, the PlayStation 3.

Even with the release of its successor, the PlayStation 2 remained popular well into the seventh generation and continued to be produced until January 4, 2013, when Sony finally announced that the PlayStation 2 had been discontinued after 12 years of production – one of the longest runs for a video game console. The following month, Sony announced the PlayStation 4 on February 20, 2013. Despite the announcement, new games for the console continued to be produced until the end of 2013, including Final Fantasy XI: Seekers of Adoulin for Japan, Pro Evolution Soccer 2014 for North America and Europe, and FIFA 14 for Brazil. Repair services for the system ended on September 7, 2018.


Though Sony has kept details of the PlayStation 2's development secret, work on the console began around the time that the original PlayStation was released (in late 1994).[12] Insiders stated that it was developed in the U.S. West Coast by former members of Argonaut Software.[13] By 1997 word had leaked to the press that the console would have backwards compatibility with the original PlayStation, a built-in DVD player, and Internet connectivity.[13][14] Sony announced the PlayStation 2 (PS2) on March 1, 1999. The video game console was positioned as a competitor to Sega's Dreamcast, the first sixth-generation console to be released, although ultimately the main rivals of the PS2 were Nintendo's GameCube and Microsoft's Xbox.[15][16] The Dreamcast itself launched very successfully in North America later that year, selling over 500,000 units within two weeks.[17]

Soon after the Dreamcast's North American launch, Sony unveiled the PlayStation 2 at the Tokyo Game Show on September 20, 1999.[18] Sony showed fully playable demos of upcoming PlayStation 2 games including Gran Turismo 2000 (later released as Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec) and Tekken Tag Tournament – which showed the console's graphic abilities and power.[19]

The PS2 was launched in March 2000 in Japan, October in North America, and November in Europe. Sales of the console, games and accessories pulled in $250 million on the first day, beating the $97 million made on the first day of the Dreamcast.[20] Directly after its release, it was difficult to find PS2 units on retailer shelves[21] due to manufacturing delays.[22] Another option was purchasing the console online through auction websites such as eBay, where people paid over a thousand dollars for the console.[23] The PS2 initially sold well partly on the basis of the strength of the PlayStation brand and the console's backward compatibility, selling over 980,000 units in Japan by March 5, 2000, one day after launch.[24] This allowed the PS2 to tap the large install base established by the PlayStation – another major selling point over the competition. Later, Sony added new development kits for game developers and more PS2 units for consumers. The PS2's built-in functionality also expanded its audience beyond the gamer,[2] as its debut pricing was the same or less than a standalone DVD player. This made the console a low cost entry into the home theater market.[25]

The success of the PS2 at the end of 2000 caused Sega problems both financially and competitively, and Sega announced the discontinuation of the Dreamcast in March 2001, just 18 months after its successful launch. The PS2 remained as the only active sixth generation console for over 6 months, before it would face competition from newer rivals; Nintendo's GameCube and Microsoft's Xbox, which were then released. Many analysts predicted a close three-way matchup among the three consoles; the Xbox having the most powerful hardware, while the GameCube was the least expensive console, and Nintendo changed its policy to encourage third-party developers. While the PlayStation 2 theoretically had the weakest specification of the three, it had a head start due to its installed base plus strong developer commitment, as well as a built-in DVD player (the Xbox required an adapter, while the GameCube lacked support entirely).[26] While the PlayStation 2's initial games lineup was considered mediocre, this changed during the 2001 holiday season with the release of several blockbuster games that maintained the PS2's sales momentum and held off its newer rivals. Sony also countered the Xbox by temporarily securing PlayStation 2 exclusives for highly anticipated games such as the Grand Theft Auto series and Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty.[27]

Sony cut the price of the console in May 2002 from US$299 to $199 in North America,[28] making it the same price as the GameCube and $100 less than the Xbox. It also planned to cut the price in Japan around that time.[29] It cut the price twice in Japan in 2003.[30] In 2006, Sony cut the cost of the console in anticipation of the release of the PlayStation 3.[30]

Sony, unlike Sega with its Dreamcast, originally placed little emphasis on online gaming during its first few years, although that changed upon the launch of the online-capable Xbox. Coinciding with the release of Xbox Live, Sony released the PlayStation Network Adapter in late 2002, with several online first–party titles released alongside it, such as SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs to demonstrate its active support for Internet play.[citation needed] Sony also advertised heavily, and its online model had the support of Electronic Arts (EA); EA did not offer online Xbox titles until 2004. Although Sony and Nintendo both started out late, and although both followed a decentralized model of online gaming where the responsibility is up to the developer to provide the servers, Sony's moves made online gaming a major selling point of the PS2.

In September 2004, in time for the launch of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Sony revealed a newer, slimmer PS2. In preparation for the launch of the new models (SCPH-700xx-9000x), Sony stopped making the older models (SCPH-3000x-500xx) to let the distribution channel empty its stock of the units.[citation needed] After an apparent manufacturing issue – Sony reportedly underestimated demand – caused some initial slowdown in producing the new unit caused in part by shortages between the time the old units were cleared out and the new units were ready. The issue was compounded in Britain when a Russian oil tanker became stuck in the Suez Canal, blocking a ship from China carrying PS2s bound for the UK. During one week in November, British sales totalled 6,000 units – compared to 70,000 units a few weeks prior.[31] There were shortages in more than 1,700 stores in North America on the day before Christmas.[32]


The sixth-generation hardware of the PlayStation 2 video game console consists of various components. At the heart of the console's configuration is its central processing unit (CPU), a custom RISC processor known as the Emotion Engine which operates at 294 MHz (300 MHz in later consoles). The CPU heavily relies on its integration with two vector processing units, known as VPU0 and VPU1, the Graphics Synthesizer, and a floating-point unit (FPU) in order to render 3D graphics. Other components, such as the system's DVD-ROM optical drive and DualShock 2 controller, provide the software and user control input.

PlayStation 2 software is distributed on CD-ROM and DVD-ROM. In addition, the console can play audio CDs and DVD movies, and is backwards compatible with original PlayStation games. This is accomplished through the inclusion of the original PlayStation's CPU which also serves as the PS2's I/O processor.[33] The PS2 also supports limited functionality with the original PlayStation memory cards and controllers. The PS2's DualShock 2 controller is an upgraded version of the PlayStation's DualShock with analog face, shoulder and D-pad buttons replacing the digital buttons of the original.[34] Like its predecessor, the DualShock 2 controller features force feedback technology.

The standard PlayStation 2 memory card has an 8 MB capacity and uses Sony's MagicGate encryption. This requirement prevented the production of memory cards by third parties who did not purchase a MagicGate license. Memory cards without encryption can be used to store PlayStation game saves, but PlayStation games would be unable to read from or write to the card – such a card could only be used as a backup. There are a variety of non-Sony manufactured memory cards available for the PlayStation 2, allowing for a larger memory capacity than the standard 8 MB. However their use is unsupported and compatibility is not guaranteed. These memory cards can have up to 128 MB storage space.

The console also features USB and IEEE 1394 expansion ports. Compatibility with USB and IEEE 1394 devices is dependent on the software supporting the device. For example, the PS2 BIOS will not boot an ISO image from a USB flash drive or operate a USB printer, as the machine's operating system does not include this functionality. By contrast, Gran Turismo 4 and Tourist Trophy are programmed to save screenshots to a USB mass storage device and print images on certain USB printers. A PlayStation 2 HDD can be installed via the expansion bay in the back of the console, and was required to play certain games, notably the popular Final Fantasy XI.[35]


The PlayStation 2 may natively output video resolutions on SDTV and HDTV from 480i to 480p while other games, such as Gran Turismo 4 and Tourist Trophy are known to support up-scaled 1080i resolution[36] using any of the following standards: composite video (480i), S-Video (480i), RGB (480i/p), VGA (for progressive scan games and PS2 Linux only), YPBPR component video (which display most original PlayStation games in their native 240p mode which most HDTV sets do not support), and D-Terminal. Cables are available for all of these signal types; these cables also output analog stereo audio. Additionally, an RF modulator is available for the system to connect to older TVs.

Digital (S/PDIF) audio may also be output by the console via its TOSLINK connector which outputs 5.1 channel sound.

Retail configurations

The PS2's controller, the DualShock 2, had the same form factor as the PlayStation DualShock.

The PS2 has undergone many revisions, some only of internal construction and others involving substantial external changes.

The PS2 is primarily differentiated between models featuring the original "fat" case design and "slimline" models, which were introduced at the end of 2004. In 2010, the Sony Bravia KDL-22PX300 was made available to consumers. It was a 22" HD-Ready television which incorporated a built-in PlayStation 2.

Original case design

An SCPH-30000 model with DualShock 2

Three of the original PS2 launch models (SCPH-10000, SCPH-15000, and SCPH-18000) were only sold in Japan, and lacked the expansion bay of later PS2 models. These models instead included a PCMCIA slot. SCPH-10000 and SCPH-15000 did not have built-in DVD movie playback and instead relied on encrypted playback software that was copied to a memory card from an included CD-ROM (normally, the PS2 will only execute encrypted software from its memory card; see PS2 Independence Exploit). V3 had a substantially different internal structure from the subsequent revisions, featuring several interconnected printed circuit boards. In V4 everything except the power supply was unified onto one board. V5 introduced minor internal changes, and the only difference between V6 (sometimes called V5.1) and V5 is the orientation of the Power/Reset switch board connector, which was reversed to prevent the use of no-solder modchips. V5 also introduced a more reliable laser than the ones used in previous models. V7 and V8 included only minor revisions to V6.

Beginning with model SCPH-500xx, the i.LINK port was removed. An infrared receiver was added for use with a remote to control DVD playback, leaving both controller ports free from the external receiver.

The PS2 standard color is matte black. Several different variations in color were produced in different quantities and regions, including ceramic white, light yellow, metallic blue (aqua), metallic silver, navy (star blue), opaque blue (astral blue), opaque black (midnight black), pearl white, Sakura purple, satin gold, satin silver, snow white, super red, transparent blue (ocean blue), and also Limited Edition color Pink, which was distributed in regions including Oceania and parts of Asia.[37][38][39]

The small PlayStation logo on the front of the disc tray could be rotated 90 degrees, in order for the logo to be the right way up in both vertical and horizontal console orientations. This feature is also used on slimline consoles and the PlayStation 3.

Slimline case designs

PlayStation 2 slimline
PlayStation 2 Slimline console with DualShock 2 controller
Original style PS2 slimline with a DualShock 2 controller.
This was superseded by another slimline design in 2007.
Manufacturer Sony Computer Entertainment
Product family PlayStation
Type Video game console
Generation Sixth generation era
Retail availability October 29, 2004 – January 4, 2013
CPU 300 MHz
Controller input DualShock 2
Connectivity 2 × USB 1.1, Ethernet, IrDA, 2 × controller ports.

In September 2004, Sony unveiled its third major hardware revision (V12, model number SCPH-700xx). Available in late October 2004, it is smaller, thinner, and quieter than the older versions and includes a built-in Ethernet port (in some markets it also has an integrated modem). Due to its thinner profile, it does not contain the 3.5" expansion bay and therefore does not support the internal hard disk drive. It also lacks an internal power supply, similar to the GameCube, and has a modified Multitap expansion. The removal of the expansion bay has been criticized as a limitation due to the existence of titles such as Final Fantasy XI, which require the use of the HDD.

The official PS2 Linux also requires an expansion bay to function. Currently[when?] only the modified Multitap is sold in stores; however, these are also compatible with the older versions, and also added support for multiple memory cards on some games. Third-party connectors can be soldered into the unit giving hard drive support; however, IDE connections were completely removed in the V14 revision, thereby eliminating this option. Certain mod chips enable the use of a USB hard drive or other mass storage device.

There are two sub-versions of the SCPH-700xx,[citation needed] one with the old EE and GS chips, and the other with the newer unified EE+GS chip, but otherwise are identical. The sub-versions are variously referred to as V12 for both models, V11.5 for the older and V12 for the newer model, and V12 for the older and V13 for the newer model.[citation needed] The V12 model was first released in black, but a silver edition was available in the United Kingdom, Germany, Australia, United Arab Emirates and other GCC countries, France, Italy, South Africa, and North America. A limited edition pink console also became available after March 2007.

V12 (or V13) was succeeded by V14 (SCPH-7500x), which contains different ASICs than previous revisions, with some chips having a copyright date of 2005, compared to 2000 or 2001 for earlier models. It also has a different lens and some compatibility issues with a different number of PlayStation games and even some PS2 games.[40]

In the beginning of 2005 it was found that some black slimline console power transformers manufactured between August and December 2004 were defective and could overheat. The units were recalled by Sony and replaced by a 2005 model.[41]

Later hardware revisions had better compatibility with PlayStation games (Metal Gear Solid: VR Missions operates on most silver models); however, the new Japanese slim models have more issues with playing PlayStation games than the first PS2 revisions.[citation needed]

In 2006 Sony released new hardware revisions (V15, model numbers SCPH-7700xa and SCPH-7700xb). V15 was first released in Japan on September 15, 2006, including the Silver edition. After its release in Japan, it was then released in North America, Europe and other parts of the world. The new revision uses an integrated, unified EE+GS chip, a redesigned ASIC, a different laser lens, an updated BIOS, and updated drivers.[citation needed]

In July 2007 Sony started shipping a revision of the slimline PlayStation 2 (SCPH-7900x) featuring a reduced weight of 600 grams compared to 900 g of the SCPH-7700x, achieved through a reduction in parts. The unit also uses a smaller motherboard as well as a custom ASIC which houses the Emotion Engine, Graphics Synthesizer, and the RDRAM. The AC adaptor's weight was reduced to 250 g from the previous 350 g.[42]

Another refinement of the slimline PlayStation 2 (SCPH-9000x) was released in Japan on November 22, 2007.[43] As well some cosmetic changes, the design of the hardware was overhauled, incorporating the power supply into the console itself like the original PlayStation 2 revisions; this also reduces the total weight to 720 grams (25 oz). SCPH-9000x series consoles manufactured after the third quarter of 2008 as the last revision of the PlayStation 2, some changes were (indicated by date code 8C) incorporate a revised BIOS, which disables an exploit present in all older models that allowed homebrew applications to be launched from a memory card.[citation needed]


Main article: PSX (DVR)

Sony also manufactured a consumer device called the PSX that can be used as a digital video recorder and DVD burner in addition to playing PS2 games. The device was released in Japan on December 13, 2003, and was the first Sony product to include the XrossMediaBar interface. It did not sell well in Japan, and was not released anywhere else.

The PSX featured one USB port, a Memory Stick card reader and two PlayStation 2 Memory Card slots.[44]


Released in 2010, the Sony BRAVIA KDL22PX300 is a 22 inch (56 cm) 720p television that incorporates a PlayStation 2 console and four HDMI ports. The 720p TV also includes BRAVIA Internet Video Access, allowing users access to streaming services such as YouTube and on-demand television, but only released in Europe. Although the maximum resolution is 720p/1366×768, 1080p input sources can be used and displayed.[45]

Sony also manufactured a consumer device called the PSX that can be used as a digital video recorder and DVD burner in addition to playing PS2 games. The device was released in Japan on December 13, 2003, and was the first Sony product to include the XrossMediaBar interface. It did not sell well in the Japanese market and was not released anywhere else.

Disc Read Error (DRE) lawsuit

A class action lawsuit was filed against Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. on July 16, 2002, in the Superior Court of California, County of San Mateo. The lawsuit addresses consumer reports of inappropriate "no disc error" (disc read error) messages and other problems associated with playing DVDs and CDs on the PlayStation 2.

Sony settled its "disc read error" lawsuit by compensating the affected customers with USD $25, a free game from a specified list, and the reduced cost repair or replacement (at SCEA's discretion) of the damaged system. This settlement was subject to the courts' approval, and hearings began in the US and Canada on April 28, 2006, and May 11, 2006, respectively.[46]


PlayStation 2 software is distributed on CD-ROM and DVD-ROM; the two formats are differentiated by the color of their discs' bottoms, with CD-ROMs being blue and DVD-ROMs being silver. The PlayStation 2 offered some particularly high-profile exclusive games. Most main entries in the Grand Theft Auto, Final Fantasy, and Metal Gear Solid series were released exclusively for the console. Several prolific series got their start on the PlayStation 2, including God of War, Ratchet & Clank, Jak and Daxter, Devil May Cry, and Kingdom Hearts. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas was the best-selling game on the console.

Game releases peaked in 2004, but declined with the release of the PlayStation 3 in 2006. The last new game for the console in Asia is Final Fantasy XI: Seekers of Adoulin, in North America and Europe is Pro Evolution Soccer 2014, and in South America is FIFA 14. As of 30 June 2007, a total of 10,035 software titles have been released worldwide (counting games released in multiple regions as separate titles).[47]

Online functionality

PlayStation 2 users had the option to play select games over the Internet, using a broadband Internet connection and a PlayStation 2 Network Adaptor. Instead of having a unified, subscription-based online service like Xbox Live as competitor Microsoft later chose for its Xbox console, online multiplayer functionality on the PlayStation 2 was the responsibility of the game publisher and ran on third-party servers. Most recent[when?] PlayStation 2 online games have been developed to exclusively support broadband Internet access. Xbox Live similarly requires a broadband Internet connection.



Region Units sold First available
Japan 21 million (as of October 1, 2008)[48] March 4, 2000
Asia (excluding Japan) 25.42 million (as of March 2007)[49] March 4, 2000
North America 50 million (as of December 2008)[50] October 26, 2000
PAL region 51 million (as of June 2009)[51] November 24, 2000
Worldwide 155 million (as of March 31, 2012)[51][52] N/A

On November 29, 2005, the PlayStation 2 became the fastest game console to reach 100 million units shipped, accomplishing the feat within 5 years and 9 months from its launch. This achievement occurred faster than its predecessor, the PlayStation, which took 9 years and 6 months to reach the same benchmark.[53]

The PlayStation 2 has sold over 150 million units worldwide as of March 31, 2012.[51][52] In Europe, it has sold 48 million units as of May 6, 2008, according to Sony Computer Entertainment Europe,[54] while in North America, it has sold 50 million units as of December 2008.[50] In Japan, the PS2 has sold 21,454,325 units as of October 1, 2008, according to Famitsu/Enterbrain.[48]

In Europe, the PS2 sold 6 million units in 2006 and 3.8 million in 2007, according to estimates by EA.[55][56] In 2007, the PS2 sold 3.97 million units in the US according to the NPD Group[57][58] and 816,419 units in Japan according to Enterbrain.[59] In 2008, the PS2 sold 480,664 units in Japan, according to Enterbrain.[59][60]

Over 150 million units of PS2 hardware had been sold worldwide as of the end of 2010,[61] although GameInformed noted that this was only for units sold to retail companies.[62]

PlayStation 2 shipments in Japan ended on December 28, 2012.[1] A week later, on January 4, 2013, Sony formally discontinued the console.[2]

In its last week of availability in Japan (December 24 to December 30, 2012), the PlayStation 2 sold 2,078 units in the country - up from 928 units the week before. Remarkably, the PlayStation 2 managed to sell better in Japan that week than the Xbox 360 (1,986 units), as well as the Nintendo DS (704 units).[63]


The EyeToy – a motion detecting camera

The PlayStation 2's DualShock 2 controller is largely identical to the PlayStation's DualShock, with the same basic functionality. However, it includes analog pressure sensitivity on the face, shoulder and D-pad buttons, replacing the digital buttons of the original.[64] (These buttons would later become digital again with the release of the DualShock 4.[65]) Like its predecessor, the DualShock 2 controller has force feedback, or "vibration" functionality. It is lighter and includes two more levels of vibration.

The PlayStation 2 DVD remote control


The PlayStation 2 memory card

Optional hardware includes additional DualShock or DualShock 2 controllers, a PS2 DVD remote control, an internal or external hard disk drive (HDD), a network adapter, horizontal and vertical stands, PlayStation or PS2 memory cards, the multitap for PlayStation or PS2, a USB motion camera (EyeToy), a USB keyboard and mouse, and a headset.

The original PS2 multitap (SCPH-10090) cannot be plugged into the newer slim models, as the multitap connects to the memory card slot as well as the controller slot and the memory card slot on the slimline is shallower. New slim-design multitaps (SCPH-70120) were manufactured for these models, however third-party adapters also exist to permit original multitaps to be used.

Early versions of the PS2 could be networked via an i.LINK port, though this had little game support and was dropped. Some third party manufacturers have created devices that allow disabled people to access the PS2 through ordinary switches, etc.

Some third-party companies, such as JoyTech, have produced LCD monitor and speaker attachments for the PS2, which attach to the back of the console. These allow users to play games without access to a television as long as there is access to mains electricity or a similar power source. These screens can fold down onto the PS2 in a similar fashion to laptop screens.


SingStar microphones

There are many accessories for musical games, such as dance pads for Dance Dance Revolution, In the Groove, and Pump It Up titles and High School Musical 3: Senior Year Dance. Konami microphones for use with the Karaoke Revolution games, dual microphones (sold with and used exclusively for SingStar games), various "guitar" controllers (for the Guitar Freaks series and Guitar Hero series), the drum set controller (sold in a box set (or by itself) with a "guitar" controller and a USB microphone (for use with Rock Band and Guitar Hero series, World Tour and newer), and a taiko drum controller for Taiko: Drum Master.


Specialized controllers include light guns (GunCon), fishing rod and reel controllers, a Dragon Quest VIII "slime" controller, a Final Fantasy X-2 "Tiny Bee" dual pistol controller, an Onimusha 3 katana controller, and a Resident Evil 4 chainsaw controller.

Mouse and Keyboard

Unlike the PlayStation, which requires the use of an official Sony PlayStation Mouse to play mouse-compatible games, the few PS2 games with mouse support work with a standard USB mouse as well as a USB trackball.[66] In addition, some of these games also support the usage of a USB keyboard for text input, game control (in lieu of a DualShock or DualShock 2 gamepad, in tandem with a USB mouse), or both.

Homebrew development

Using homebrew programs, it is possible to play various audio and video file formats on a PS2. Homebrew programs can also be used to play patched backups of original PS2 DVD games on unmodified consoles, and to install retail discs to an installed hard drive on older models. Homebrew emulators of older computer and gaming systems have been developed for the PS2.[67]

Sony released a Linux-based operating system, Linux for PlayStation 2, for the PS2 in a package that also includes a keyboard, mouse, Ethernet adapter and HDD. In Europe and Australia, the PS2 comes with a free Yabasic interpreter on the bundled demo disc. This allows users to create simple programs for the PS2. A port of the NetBSD project and BlackRhino GNU/Linux, an alternative Debian-based distribution, are also available for the PS2.

Technical specifications

The specifications of the PlayStation 2 console are as follows, with hardware revisions:

Central processing unit

File:CXD9708GB 01.jpg
Emotion Engine CPU as found in the SCPH-7000x
File:Scph79001 eegeram.jpg
The combined EE+GS+RDRAM+DRAM found in the SCPH-7900x and SCPH-9000x series
File:Scph 90001 asic uncovered.jpg
The ASIC from the SCPH-90001 (CXD2976GB) shaven down to show the EE+GS+RDRAM+DRAM silicon
  • CPU: MIPS III R5900-based "Emotion Engine", clocked at 294.912 MHz (299 MHz on newer versions), with 128-bit SIMD capabilities[68][4]
  • 250 nm CMOS manufacturing (ending with 65 nm CMOS), 13.5 million transistors, 225 mm² die size,[69] 15 W dissipation (combined EE+GS in SCPH-7500x: 86 mm², 53.5 million transistors)[1] (combined EE+GS+RDRAM+DRAM in SCPH-7900x ended with 65nm CMOS design)[70]
    • CPU core: MIPS R5900 (COP0), 64-bit, little endian (mipsel). CPU is a superscalar, in-order 2-issue design with 6-stage long integer pipelines, four 32 bit GPR registers, 32 128-bit SIMD linear scalar registers, two 64-bit integer ALUs, 128-bit load-store unit (LSU) and a branch execution unit (BXU).
    • Instruction set: MIPS III, MIPS IV subset with Sony's proprietary 107 vector SIMD multimedia instructions (MMI). The custom instruction set was implemented by grouping the two 64-bit integer ALUs.
      • 32-bit FPU coprocessor (COP1) with 6 stage long pipeline (floating point multiply accumulator × 1, floating point divider × 1). FPU is not IEEE compliant.
    • 32-bit VLIW-SIMD vector units at 147.456 MHz: VPU0 and VPU1 (floating point multiply accumulator × 9, floating point divider × 1) each VPU contains a vector unit (VU), instruction cache, data cache and interface unit. Each vector unit also has upper execution unit containing 4xfMAC and lower execution unit containing fDIV, integer ALU, load-store unit, branch logic, 16 16-bit integer registers and 32 128-bit floating point registers. VPU1 has an additional EFU unit.
      • VPU0 (COP2) (FMAC x 4, FDIV x 1) is tightly coupled with the main CPU and is typically used for polygon and geometry transformations (under parallel or serial connection), physics and other gameplay related tasks
      • VPU1 (Elementary Functional Unit-EFU) (FMAC x 5, FDIV x 2) operates independently controlled by microcode, parallel to the CPU core, is typically used for polygon and geometry transformations, clipping, culling, lighting and other visual based calculations (texture matrix able for 2 coordinates (UV/ST)[71]
        • Parallel: results of VU0/FPU sent as another display list via MFIFO (E.G. complex characters/vehicles/etc.)
        • Serial: results of VU0/FPU sent to VU1 (via 3 methods) and can act as an optional geometry pre-processor that does all base work to update the scene every frame (E.G. camera, perspective, boning and laws of movement such as animations or physics)[72]
    • Image Processing Unit (IPU): MPEG-2 compressed image macroblock layer decoder allowing playback of DVDs and game FMV. It also allowed vector quantization for 2D graphics data.[73]
    • Memory management unit (MMU),[74] RDRAM controller and DMA controller: handle memory access within the system
    • Cache memory: 16 KB instruction cache, 8 KB + 16 KB scratchpad (ScrP) data cache
    • Scratchpad (SPR) is extended area of memory visible to the EE CPU. This extended memory provides 16 kilobytes of fast RAM available to be used by the application. Scratchpad memory can be used to store temporary data that is waiting to be sent via DMA or for any other temporary storage that the programmer can define.


  • I/O processor interconnection: remote procedure call over a serial link, DMA controller for bulk transfer
  • Main RDRAM memory bus. Bandwidth: 3.2 GB/s
  • Graphics interface (GIF), DMA channel that connects the EE CPU to the GS co-processor. To draw something to the screen, one must send render commands to the GS via the GIF channel: 64-bit, 150 MHz bus, maximum theoretical bandwidth of 1.2 GB/s.[69]
  • Display lists generated by CPU/VPU0 and VPU1 are sent to the GIF, which prioritizes them before dispatching them to the Graphics Synthesizer for rendering.
  • Vector Unit Interface (VIF), consists of two DMA channels VIF0 for VPU0 and VIF1 for VPU1. Vector units and the main CPU communicate via VIF DMA channels.
  • SIF - Serial Interface or Subsystem Interface which consists of 3 DMA channels:
  • Subsystem Interface 0 (SIF0) and Subsystem Interface 1 (SIF1), used for communication between the EE main CPU and IOP co-processor. These are serial DMA channels where both CPUs can send commands and establish communication through an RPC protocol.
  • Subsystem Interface 2 (SIF2), used for backwards compatibility with PS1 games and debugging.


  • Floating point performance: 6.2 GFLOPS (single precision 32-bit floating point)
    • FPU 0.64 GFLOPS
    • VU0 2.44 GFLOPS [75] [76]
    • VU1 3.08 GFLOPS (Including internal 0.64 GFLOPS EFU)
  • Tri-strip geometric transformation (VU0+VU1): 150 million vertices per second[77]
    • 3D CG geometric transformation with raw 3D perspective operations (VU0+VU1): 66-80+ million vertices per second[71]
    • 3D CG geometric transformations at peak bones/movements/effects (textures)/lights (VU0+VU1, parallel or series): 15–20 million vertices per second[77]
    • Lighting: 38 million polygons/sec
    • Fog: 36 million polygons/sec
    • Curved surface generation (Bezier): 16 million polygons/sec
    • Image processing performance: 150 million Pixels/sec
    • Actual real-world polygons (per frame): 500-650k at 30 FPS, 250-325k at 60 FPS
  • Instructions per second: 6,000 MIPS (million instructions per second)[78]

System memory

Graphics processing unit

  • Parallel rendering processor with embedded DRAM "Graphics Synthesizer" (GS) clocked at 147.456 MHz
  • 279 mm² die (combined EE+GS in SCPH-7500x: 86 mm², 53.5 million transistors)
  • PCRTC circuit for output
    • Pixel pipelines: 16 without any texture mapping units (TMU), however half of pixel pipelines can perform texturing so fillrate is either 16 pixels per clock with untextured 2400 mpixels or 8 pixels per clock with 1200 megapixels with bilinear texturing, and 1200 megatexels (bilinear).
    • Video output resolution: Variable from 256 x 224 to 1920 x 1080[79]
    • 4 MB of embedded DRAM as video memory (an additional 32 MB of main memory can be used as video memory for off-screen textures); 48 gigabytes per second peak bandwidth
      • Texture buffer bandwidth: 9.6 GB/s
      • Frame buffer bandwidth: 38.4 GB/s
    • eDRAM bus width: 2560-bit (composed of three independent buses: 1024-bit write, 1024-bit read, 512-bit read/write)
    • Pixel configuration: RGB: Alpha:Z Buffer (24:8, 15:1 for RGB, 16, 24, or 32-bit Z buffer)
    • Display color depth: 32 bit (RGBA: 8 bits each)
    • Dedicated connection to main CPU and VU1
    • Overall pixel fillrate: 16×147 = 2.352 gigapixel/s
      • 1.2 gigapixel/s(with Z buffer, Alpha and Texture)
      • Pixel fillrate: with no texture, flat shaded 2.4 (75,000,000 32-pixel raster triangles)
      • Pixel fillrate: with 1 full texture (diffuse map), Gouraud shaded 1.2 (37,750,000 32-bit pixel raster triangles)
      • Pixel fillrate: with 2 full textures (diffuse map + specular or alpha or other), Gouraud shaded 0.6 (18,750,000 32-bit pixel raster triangles)
      • Texture fillrate: 1.2 Gtexel/s
      • Sprite drawing rate: 18.75 million (8 x 8 pixels)
      • Particle drawing rate: 150 million/s
    • Polygon drawing rate: 75 million/s (small polygon)
      • 50 million/s (48-pixel quad with Z and A)
      • 30 million/s (50-pixel triangle with Z and A)
      • 25 million/s (48-pixel quad with Z, A and T)
      • 16 million/s (75-pixel triangle with Z, A, T and Fog)[80]
    • VESA (maximum 1280 x 1024 pixels)
      • 3 rendering paths (path 1, 2 and 3)
        Graphics Synthesizer as found in SCPH-390xx
        GS effects include: Read-Write textures, Emboss Bump Mapping, Dot3 Bump Mapping (Normal Mapping),[81] multiple-light sources, per-vertex lighting, Volumetric Fog, Mipmapping, LOD, Spherical Harmonic Lighting,[82] High Dynamic Range(HDR) Rendering, Motion Blur, Heat Haze, Bloom, Depth of Field, Shadow Volumes, Shadow Mapping, Lightmapping, Environment Mapping, Render to Texture, Alpha Blending, Alpha Test, Destination Alpha Test, Depth Test, Scissor Test, Transparency effects, framebuffer effects, post-processing effects, Perspective-Correct Texture Mapping, Edge-AAx2 (poly sorting required),[71] Bilinear, Trilinear texture filtering, Multi-pass, Palletizing (4-bit = 6:1 ratio, 8-bit = 3:1), NURBS, Bezier Curves, Bezier Surfaces, B-Splines, Offscreen Drawing, Framebuffer Mask, Flat Shading, Gouraud Shading, Cel Shading, Dithering, Texture Swizzling.
    • Multi-pass rendering ability
      • Four passes = 300 Mpixel/s (300 Mpixels/s divided by 32 pixels = 9,375,000 triangles/s lost every four passes)[83]


  • Audio: "SPU1+SPU2" (SPU1 is actually the CPU clocked at 8 MHz and SPU2 is PS1 SPU)
    • Sound Memory: 2 MB
    • Number of voices: 48 hardware channels of ADPCM on SPU2 plus software-mixed definable, programmable channels
    • Sampling Frequency: 44.1 kHz or 48 kHz (selectable)
    • PCM audio source
    • Digital effects include:
      • Pitch Modulation
      • Envelope
      • Looping
      • Digital Reverb
    • Load up to 512K of sampled waveforms
    • Supports MIDI Instruments
    • Output: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround sound, DTS (Full motion video only), later games achieved analog 5.1 surround during gameplay through Dolby Pro Logic II

I/O processor

  • Input Output Processor (IOP)
    • I/O Memory: 2 MB EDO DRAM
    • CPU Core: Original PlayStation CPU (MIPS R3000A clocked at 33.8688 MHz or 37.5 MHz+PS1 GTE and MDEC for backwards compatibility with PS1 games)
    • Automatically underclocked to 33.8688 MHz to achieve hardware backwards compatibility with original PlayStation format games.
    • Sub Bus: 32-bit
    • Connection to: SPU and CD/DVD controller.

Replaced with PowerPC-based "Deckard" IOP with 4 MB SDRAM starting with SCPH-7500x.


  • 2 proprietary PlayStation controller ports (250 kHz clock for PS1 and 500 kHz for PS2 controllers)
  • 2 proprietary Memory Card slots using MagicGate encryption (250 kHz for PS1 cards. Up to 2 MHz for PS2 cards with an average sequential read/write speed of 130KB/s)
  • 2 USB 1.1 ports with an OHCI-compatible controller
  • AV Multi Out (Composite video, S-Video, RGBS (SCART), RGsB (VGA connector), YPBPR(component), and D-Terminal)
  • RFU DC Out
  • S/PDIF Digital Out
  • Expansion Bay for 3.5" HDD and Network Adaptor (required for HDD, SCPH-300xx to 500xx only)[84]
  • PC Card slot for Network Adaptor (PC Card type) and External Hard Disk Drive (SCPH-10000, SCPH-15000, SCPH-18000 models)[85]
  • Emotion Engine (EE) includes an on-chip Serial I/O port(SIO) used internally by the EE's kernel to output debugging and messages and to start the kernel debugger.
  • Ethernet port (Slim only)
  • i.LINK (also known as FireWire) (SCPH-10000 to 3900x only)[86]
  • Infrared remote control port (SCPH-500xx and newer)[87]

^† VGA connector is only available for progressive-scan supporting games, homebrew-enabled systems, and Linux for PlayStation 2, and requires a monitor that supports RGsB, or "sync on green," signals.

Optical disc drive

  • Disc Drive type: proprietary interface through a custom micro-controller + DSP chip. 24x speed CD-ROM [3.6 MB/s], 4x speed DVD-ROM [5.28 MB/s] — region-locked with copy protection.
  • Supported Disc Media: PlayStation 2 format CD-ROM, PlayStation format CD-ROM, CD-DA, PlayStation 2 format DVD-ROM, DVD Video. DVD5 (Single-layer, 4.7 GB) and DVD9 (Dual-layer, 8.5 GB) supported. Later models starting with SCPH-500xx are DVD+RW and DVD-RW compatible.

See also


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