The PlayStation 2 is the second video game console developed by Sony Computer Entertainment after the worldwide triumph of the PlayStation. When it was released in 2000, the PlayStation 2 was supposed to be a little revolution in the home entertainment, thanks to its multimedia capabilities. The console can be obviously used to play games, but it can also read DVD movies, normal CDs and games designed for its older sister, the PsOne. This last feature has been fundamental for the marketing strategy of Sony Computer Entertainment. Having a backward compatible system with the PsOne was like building a bridge between the new system and an existing audience of dozens of millions of players already playing on a PsOne, a connection that gave the PlayStation 2 an enormous advantage over its competitors.
A look at the PS2
The power of the PS2 lies into its peculiar 128 bit CPU, the so-called "Emotion Engine"; its frequency clock is about 300 MHz (while the Dreamcast's CPU, the Hitachi SH-4, runs at "only" 200 MHz). All its components work at 128 bit (while the Dreamcast's SH-4 works only in part at 128 bit).
The name of the processor, mostly a smart idea of the marketing gurus at Sony, should suggest that the EE could theoretically handle models able to recreate human expressions in a 3D real time environment. The main CPU is supported by a Graphic Synthesizer which runs at 150 MHz, with 4MB of embedded VRAM and a bus bandwidth of 48GB per second. The main system memory consists of 32MB Direct Rambus DRAM.