Sony Playstation 2 (Mania.com)
Date: Thursday, April 04, 2002
What They Say
Playstation 2 (Japanese version)
I bought my PS2 while I was on vacation in Japan. I had two reasons for laying down 38000 yen ($380 US). The first was being able to watch the Region 2 DVD's that I had purchased. The second was the Final Fantasy series.
Since the PS2 has a DVD-ROM drive, it's quite capable of playing video DVD's. The first PS2s released could be made to play DVD's from any region. Sony quickly released version 1.01 of the DVD player software which is installed in latter PS2s and closes this loophole. Since I have a latter model, I can only play region 2 disks.
The video output quality itself is nice and crisp--everything that you that you have come to expect from DVD's. By default, the player only comes with a composite video and stereo audio (RCA type) connector. However, I've been told that a component connecter can be purchased separately. The DVD player also has a Toslink output--which I haven't used since I lack the necessary equipment.
You control the player by using the playstation's dual-shock controller. The top four buttons allow you to chapter skip and rewind/fast forward. The start button is pause/play. The select button brings up a control menu that is overlaid on the screen, with little icons allow you to execute all the DVD functions. The "X" button is stop. The triangle and square button go to the DVD's menus, for which you use the arrow buttons to navigate.
Using the controller is not as inconvenient as it may sound. The cable is long--about eight feet--and the controls are easy to master. When I was in Japan, I also saw a DVD remote that could be purchased for the PS2 that costs about 3000 yen ($30 US). I didn't look to closely at it, so I'm not sure which of the PS2's input ports it connects to.
Overall, the PS2 is very expensive for a DVD player, especially when you look at its limited features. However, when you toss in the fact that its also a kick-ass console, things start looking considerably brighter. If your the type that imports a lot of region 2 DVD's and console games, then the PS2 is worth considering.
One final note: its technically illegal to export the PS2 from Japan. I stuffed mine in one of my carry-on bags and walked through customs without even the slightest problems, but your experiences may differ.
Age Rating: All
Region: All Region DVD
Released By: Other
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Hardware Reviews