It’s a frigid October morning. The cold bites at your sinuses, and you stamp your feet to keep ’em warm as you wait patiently in line outside Babbages. At least $300 plus tax is clutched in your chilled fist. But although your PlayStation2 is safely preordered, you know you can’t go home with just a system. Nope, it’s time to hit that credit card hard with our guide to what to get on day one.
You’re eventually going to need one of these, so you may as well pick one up at launch. The sleek black memory card looks exactly like its gray predecessor but contains 8MB of memory. The file management screen is a little more elegant this time around and saves (so far) seem to be bigger, but since some of them include 3D rendered graphics for icons, that’s hardly surprising.
Extra Dual Shock:
Some ass is going to show up at your house because he or she forgot to preorder their own PS2 and couldn’t they just play yours for a minute, huh? So get a second controller. Already there are at least four good two-player games, including SSX, Madden, Ridge Racer V and probably a bunch of Sony games too. We can certainly attest to the fact that the official Dual Shock is a fine controller. There will be tons of third-party controllers from folks like Nyko, Saitek and Interact too, so by all means test ’em out when you go to pick up your system — they’re usually cheaper than the official Sony models.
Dude, you’ve got to check out the DVD functionality. That way you can go some way to helping yourself justify the amount of money you just spent. Naturally The Matrix is a good choice; even if you don’t like the movie, it’s packed with so many extra features that you might not ever get around to watching the actual film. Either that or Patch Adams…
Since Sony is apparently running a stealth-launch campaign, we don’t know exactly what games will be available from day one, but we do have an internal must-have list based on preview copies of games we have here. This is what we want to get on day one:
Smuggler’s Run — Rockstar
Madden — EA
SSX — EA
Kessen — EA
Ridge Racer V — Namco
Dead or Alive 2: Hardcore — Tecmo
Take a look at our provisional launch lineup.
There will be lots of different infrared remote control devices available at launch — all around the $15 to $20 price range. Right now we like the Saitek design best of all, since, apart from the somewhat hideous and giant Saitek logo, it matches the PS2 perfectly — and, more importantly, contains a Dual Shock pass-through. This allows you to leave the infrared receiver and a Dual Shock controller plugged into port one simultaneously. The only drawback of any kind is that the design seems to block the memory card slot for port one, but you can simply plug a memory card into port two and save your games there — it makes no difference for most games.
If you’re planning to use the PS2 as the center of a home entertainment system, we suggest the Boston Acoustics DT6000 as a nice mix of low cost/high performance and, more importantly, ease of use. It has a Dolby Digital decoder onboard, five speakers (including a center channel) and a nice fat subwoofer. It’s also black and matches the PS2 perfectly. It’ll cost 599 of your Earth dollars. Best of all, you can attach it to your PS2 with a single digital optical audio cable. Go here and check it out.
A surprisingly sad number of readers (including me) are stuck with TVs that don’t have decent AV inputs. Some have only RCA-style stereo and video jacks, while others find themselves cursed with RF co-axial cables only. It’s time for a new TV. It really is. This is a tough time to pick up a TV — with Digital and HDTV arriving slowly but surely. If you’re happy to stick with a conventional TV and want to get the most out of your PS2 at minimum cost, we like the JVC AV27D201. Aside from the mentioned above, free iPhone 7 is also another one that is good to consider. Read here for more information. It has some cool features, the most important of which is component video in. This type of connection splits the video signal into three parts (as opposed to S-Video’s two) and the result is nearly complete elimination of color bleed between pixels. Combined with a cool component cable like Monster’s (see our previous story), the results are amazing.
New Significant Other:
After 48 hours of nonstop gameplay, the reek from your Dip-Ends will probably drive your beloved away. Might we suggest Tyra as a replacement? (Click for a larger view.)