Although it said as recently as last Friday that rumors of a redesigned PlayStation 2 were "pure speculation," today Sony unveiled a radically redesigned version of the device. It was, however, not named the "PStwo" as many had expected. "The new version will go by the same name as the old version," a Sony representative told GameSpot. "The current model in the market will be replaced by the new PlayStation 2, and at the same suggested retail price of $149.99."
The new PlayStation 2, model number SCPH-70000 CB, has a "completely new look" compared with its predecessor, the SCPH-50000. Actually, "radically" might be a bit of an overstatement, since, by the company's own admission, the new PS2 does have the "the basic functions and design philosophy of the current PlayStation 2."
However, the new console is smaller--much smaller that previous estimates, which speculated that it would be three-quarters the size of the original PlayStation 2. In fact, the SCPH-70000 CB is 75 percent smaller than the original, with its width now only 1.1 inches (2.8cm), down from 3.07 inches (7.8cm). The SCPH-70000 CB will also have less than half the heft of the original PS2, weighing in at a mere 1.98 pounds (900g). "Its size is almost as small as a hardcover book," SCE said in a statement.
Besides being smaller, the new PS2 will also have more functionality, with an Ethernet port built into the device. Previously, a now-bulky-looking Ethernet adapter had to be bought separately for $39.99. The new console will have the same two memory-card slots and two controller slots as the first PS2, and it will come with one Dual Shock 2 controller. A new, round base for vertical display will be sold separately.
Speaking of cost, SCE officials confirmed that the new PS2 will retail at the same price point as the current model--$149 in the US, 149 euros ($181) in Europe--when it goes on sale November 1, just over a week after its rumored October 26 release date. In Japan, the unit will go on sale on November 3 with no MSRP.
The complete specs for the new PlayStation 2 are as follows (electrical specs are for the US and Japanese models only):
Product Name: PlayStation 2
Color: Charcoal Black
Product Code: SCPH-70000 CB
Dimensions: 230mm (W) x 28mm (H) x 152mm (D)
Weight: Approximately 900g
Power Requirements: DC 8.5V
Electrical Current Consumption: Approximately 5.3A
Compatible Formats: PlayStation CD-ROM, PlayStation 2 CD-ROM, PlayStation 2 DVD-ROM, Audio CD, DVD-Video*, DVD-RW (VR Mode)
Interfaces: 2 Controller Ports, 2 Memory Card Slots, 2 USB Connectors, 1 Network Connector (100BASE-TX/10BASE-T), 1 DC In 8.5V Connector, 1 AV Multi Out Connector, Digital Out Connector (Optical), 1 Dual Shock 2 Analog Controller, 1 AV Cable (Integrated Audio/Video)
*The term "DVD-Video" is used to refer to DVD-R, DVD-RW (video mode), DVD+R, and DVD+RW discs.