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PlayStation 2: not dead yet

PlayStation 2: not dead yet

Unlike its currently available console cousins, the six-year-old PlayStation 2 has quite a commanding presence on this year's show floor. As a point of comparison, the PS2 has nearly the same amount of real estate as the PlayStation 3 and the PSP, while Nintendo's GameCube and Microsoft's original Xbox are nowhere to be found within each manufacturer's booth. The most notable titles for the PS2, especially at this late stage in the console's life, come from Sony.

God of War II promises to deliver all of the fast-paced, visceral action that made the first incarnation a hit, with an all-new story and improved combat to sweeten the deal. The most enjoyable new combat mechanic is the ability to use your weapon to traverse the environment--using Kratos's blade 'n' chain weapon as a grappling hook to swing over chasms is thoroughly enjoyable as well as a lot more efficient than Lara or Link's method of using separate items for combat and travel--quite unwarriorlike. This game is looking like a seven-year anniversary gift for the PS2 as it's scheduled to release in 2007's second quarter.

SOCOM: Combined Assault is the fourth iteration of the series on the PS2. Improved online co-op for as many as four players (for all new missions and imported SOCOM 3 maps) is the main attraction. Enemy AI has been improved, as have your combat options. "Guns blazing" always works a charm, but the developers have added a whole mess of nonlethal armaments to allow you to Solid Snake your way through the missions. SOCOM: Combined Assault also touts cross-functionality with SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Fireteam Bravo 2 for the PSP, allowing your progress in one game to influence events in the other. Expect this one to hit in the fall.