This write-up is a serious warning about Playstation 2.

There's a major PS2 defect absent from nuage's specs and fondue's marketing history:

Your Playstation 2 has a serious chance of dying in 6-12 months.

Mine did. So I went to several different electronics stores and spoke with several different employees, and the word was unanimous:

Playstation 2 is a highly degenerative piece of shit.

This is how it goes:

You want a Playstation 2. Maybe you owned an original Playstation and liked both its games and durability1. Maybe it’s the allure of PS2 games, like the online-playable Madden 2003, or the PS2-only Grand Theft Auto III (and Vice City). Maybe you like the idea of having a single machine that plays DVDs, CDs, and kick-ass video games. Or maybe it's because Xbox's controllers fit the human hand like a black iron chastity belt. Whatever your flavor, you want a Playstation 2.

So you buy one, and this is what happens:

You take it home, hook it up and play some Madden. Cool. It works. Then you get really ambitious. You dim the lights, pull down the shades, and grab the hand lotion and your favorite Tera Patrick DVD and get ready to take the term PLAYSTATION to a whole new level. But something happens.

Disk Read Error

Eh? So it doesn't read every single DVD. Whatever, nothing's perfect. So you pop in a Jenna Jameson favorite instead.

Disk Read Error

Ok. The porn industry isn't exactly known for its technical quality, so you pop in a high quality studio release. Let's say a remastered version of Cinderella.

Disk Read Error

What the fuck? After going through your entire DVD collection, you discover your PS2 only reads around 33% of your movies, and half of those freeze while playing.

Ok, so it's not the most reliable DVD player. Haha Sony! You pulled one on me. It still plays great games, and that's what you bought it for, right?

Three to six months pass, and more importantly SONY'S 90-DAY WARRANTY EXPIRES. During that time your beloved PS2 starts having troubles recognizing certain games, displaying the dreaded

Disk Read Error

several times before it finally recognizes a disk. But once it recognizes it, the game plays without error. And besides, it only happens with certain games. No big problem, right? It's probably dust. So you buy a dust-cleaning kit and that seems to help for a month or two. But then it still has problems reading games on the first or second try.

Then another month passes, and it only gets worse. Now,

  • No CDs run.

  • No DVDs run.

  • And 90% of your games don't run either.
You get the feeling you've been screwed, and you have. SONY's brief 90-Day warranty is long gone, and they'll charge you over $100 with shipping and handling to fix your PS2, which they'll adamantly claim is broken due to ill care on your part.

The REAL reason it breaks, according to the above mentioned electronics employees, is that the laser-reading devices inside the machine (there's several of them, one for each color/type of disk it reads) are pieces of filth swaddled pigeon shit. They only work for six to twelve months, then slowly degenerate into uselessness.

Now I'm not saying SONY knew this. Who knows, but as fondue mentions above, the PS2 was rushed through development, and I wouldn't be surprised if they overlooked this problem knowing full well that that thing would work perfectly for 90 days. And after that, what do they care?

My advice:


And if you already own one, go to your local electronics depot and find out if they offer some type of in-store warranty. My local store actually lets you trade in your defective PS2 and $120 for a new one with a 1-year in-store warranty. So when the new machine inevitably breaks down, you can bring it in for a brand new one ad infinitum and thereby always have a working PS2 for your already extensive video game library. Look for a deal like this. If you can't find one, buy an Xbox and play Grand Theft Auto on your PC.

1Someone once kicked my Playstation across the room into a wall. The top casing flew off and the disk popped out and shattered into several pieces. But, amazingly, I hooked the Playstation back up and the system continued working without flaw. Those things were tough as nails.

UPDATE 1-8-2003:: From a few scattered msgs and the WU by Monkey Butler, it seems several people think I've taken one isolated, personal account of a faulty PS2 and passed it off as a general problem. That's not the case. There are numerous accounts of this same problem - A steady flow of PS2s get returned to stores and sent to SONY every day. Are all PS2s defective? Obviously not. But I'd be willing to wagar that something like 50% of them break down within a year. So please heed my advice, and buy one with an extended in-store warranty.