The Sony Playstation 2 and the Microsoft X-Box are two of the most popular and commonly purchased video game consoles of our time. They are similar in many ways however, they differ in other aspects. Although opinions differ, from my own personal experience, I feel that the Sony Playstation 2 is more mainstream and has a much more vast game selection than the Microsoft X-Box.
The Sony Playstation 2 was originally released in the United States on October 26, 2000, almost one year prior to the release of the X-Box. The price of the PS2 upon its release was $299.99. It dropped to $199.99 in May of 2002, and continued to decrease in price dropping to $179.99 in August of 2003 and again to $149.99 in May of 2004. As of April 20, 2006 the price lowered to $129.99 and is still that price today. By 2006, over 115 million PS2 consoles had been sold, making it more frequently purchased than the X-Box.
The X-Box is comparable to the Playstation in terms of price. It was released for the first time in the United States on November 15, 2001. Like the PS2, it was $299.99 when first released. In 2002, merely one day after the price of the PS2 decreased, the price of the X-Box also dropped to $199.99. The price continued to decrease annually at the same rate as that of the PS2. As of recently, the X-Box has been discontinued so that Microsoft can focus its attention on its new creation, the X-Box 360. The Playstation 2 however, is still in production.
Both the PS2 and the X-Box were video game console pioneers in that they each featured a special function for the first time ever. The PS2 was the first game console to exhibit DVD support. The X-Box, on the other hand, was the first to offer online gaming as a main source of gameplay. To carry this out, the X-Box even has its own internet service know as X-Box Live. This is acheived exclusively through a Broadband connection. The PS2 does not place as much emphasis on online gaming and therefore does not require a Broadband connection. This can cause the gaming experience to be much slower. The X-Box also featured another “first.” It was the first system to have internal memory and not require the use of a seperate memory card.
Another aspect in which the two systems differ is in terms of multi-player gaming. The PS2 console has two controller slots, whereas the X-Box has four. Although with both extra players can be added via use of a multi-player adapter, the X-Box has a higher maximum player count. Both originally come with a wired controller however, wireless alternatives are available for both systems.
The X-Box was only released in one form and was never improved upon since its release. Contrariwise, the Playstation 2 was released in three different formats: the original, the slim and the slim silver finish models. Both the original and slim versions of the Playstation 2 are much smaller and more space efficient than the X-Box, which is quite bulky and weighs approximately fifteen pounds.
In the end, the Playstation 2 wins my vote because of its wide variety of games. The X-Box has a game selection that is strictly limited to those created by Microsoft and their affiliates. The Playstation 2 has a very diverse selection and incorporates games created by third party companies such as Konami, Natsume, Square Enix and Capcom. Both the X-Box and the Playstation 2 are very popular game systems however, I personally favor the Playstation 2. It is more space efficient and has a much less vague selection of games than the X-Box.