PS2 celebrates 10 years in North America

Anniversary of October 26, 2000, US and Canadian launch sees aging console's sales top 146 million.


Old-school gamers will feel a little older today. One week after the NES console celebrated its 25th anniversary in the US market, the PlayStation is marking 10 years since it launched in North America. The system went on sale domestically on October 26, 2000, over seven months after it debuted in Japan on March 4. The system went on sale in Europe on November 24 of that year.

Ten years ago today, the PS2 went on sale in North America.
Ten years ago today, the PS2 went on sale in North America.

Since its initial launch, the PlayStation 2 has gone on to sell over 146 million units worldwide. At the time of its launch, it was a cutting-edge machine, sporting DVD playback and then high-end graphics for $300. The high price point didn't deter customers in the slightest, though, with retailers selling out of the console in a matter of hours. Hardware manufacturing bottlenecks kept the unit in short supply for months after release, with Sony only selling 1.3 million units in the US by the end of 2000.

The PS2's long tenure saw it get several hardware peripherals, including an online gameplay add-on, the PlayStation Network Adapter, in 2002. The system was also augmented by the release of the EyeToy Camera in 2003. Software franchises that flourished on the system included Metal Gear Solid, Gran Turismo, and Grand Theft Auto, which debuted exclusively on Sony's console from Grand Theft Auto III to San Andreas.

Some 10 years on, the PS2 now costs just $100 and sells so few units each month the NPD Group ceased tracking hardware sales of the console earlier this year. (The NPD Group ceased releasing all hardware figures last month.) However, that's not stopping Sony from continuing to push the device. Last week, it announced it would include a copy of Toy Story 3 with the console starting on October 31.

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