Now that I've had a month to play with the different online Sony titles, and see the true potential of the Sony network, I'm finally ready to offer my opinion on Sony's Network Adapter, as well as a look at the current online titles, and the service in general.
The first mainstream hardware add-on for the PS2, the Network Adapter, allows gamers with both a broadband, and narrowband (dial-up) connections to "Reach Out and Smoke Someone". You'll now be able to able to log onto the internet and almost always find someone else in the world who will be your opponent in a football game, a teammate to join your SEAL team, or a group of guys bent on destruction.
The Network Adapter comes in a simple plastic case, along with the network adapter start-up CD. The assembly is simple enough; by popping off the back expansion port of the PlayStation 2, you can plug in the network adapter and then screw
After installation is complete, you pop in the Network Adapter CD and fire up the PlayStation 2. You'll then be asked to set up your connection to the internet. I found this process to be fairly painless. However, I did have a group of guys helping me who knew the network I was connecting into like the back of their hands. I also remember the horror of attempting to get my Dreamcast connected to a dial-up network.
However, I don't believe these pose giant problems. The CD was user-friendly to me, a computer science Minor. I can't vouch for the typical non-network savvy person, though. Set-up should be easy if you use a major network that is supported (such as MSN, AOL, etc.), and should only get a little more difficult for those on local dial-up providers. Nevertheless, anyone with a tech support line should be able to set up their connection.
Logging into each game is handled by that respective title. Each game also has its own different login/password information. This does cause the minor pain of having to set up a new account each game you play.
Otherwise, the networks are running fairly well. The first couple of weeks on any game could be difficult, as mass beta testing will be nearly impossible for the PS2, with the
The one bonus with the Adapter is that buyers receive a mail-in coupon that entitles them to a free copy of TWISTED METAL BLACK: ONLINE. That game online is almost alone worth the price of admission.
The Network Adapter's biggest benefit is that it greatly extends the replay value of any game that supports it. That alone is worth the price of admission, and the small hassle in getting it configured.