Sony PlayStation 2 (slim form factor)
The Sony PlayStation 2 remains the best-selling video game console of all time, with more than 70 million units sold worldwide since its autumn 2000 debut. But with the PlayStation 3 not expected to hit store shelves until sometime in 2006, Sony has given its venerable cash cow a makeover. The new PlayStation 2 is smaller and lighter than a hardcover book and bundles a few extra features that on the original PS2 required bulky hardware upgrades.
With dimensions of 1.1 inches tall by 23 inches wide by 6 inches deep, the revamped PlayStation 2 is downright tiny. In fact, it's less than a quarter of the size of the original console. Sure, Sony cheated by off-loading some of the system's bulk to an external power transformer (a laptop-style power-brick AC adapter), but the superslim miniconsole still represents an impressive feat of miniaturization. Another design compromise: the new PS2 is a top-loader. The disc bay pops open like a Discman, and you snap the disc onto a spindle. (Like the, the new one can be set up horizontally or vertically, though the latter configuration needs a special stand.) It looks a bit cheesy and requires extra headroom, but the spring-loaded disc door won't fail as easily as the motorized tray found in your DVD player.
The unit's front panel is barely wide enough to include all the necessities: two Memory Card slots, two controller ports, two USB ports, and power and disc-eject buttons. Unlike theand the , even after the redesign the PS2 requires an add-on adapter if you want to use four controllers at the same time. (And since the older PS2 Multitap is one of the only accessories that won't work with the redesigned console, multiplayer fans will have to spring for a new one.) The front panel also includes a dedicated infrared receiver. This allows you to control the PS2's CD/DVD functionality using any one of several available remotes without losing one of the controller ports to an IR-receiver dongle, as was necessary with the first-gen PlayStation 2.