This article from Kotaku Australia highlights the end of Sony’s production of the PlayStation 2, and proffers up a list of titles that the author considers to be definitive with respect to the artistic quality of the PS2’s library of games.
I’m not sure whether I was looking in the wrong places during the 2000s, but I only recognise one game out of this list. While it’s all well and good to praise the PS2, nowhere in this article are the platform’s two chief crippling problems mentioned: the predominance of big-title games in its library, and its almost endless amount of compatible shovelware. The fact that the author had to say that leaving out Metal Gear Solid, Gran Turismo, and GTA titles was a deliberate act is pretty much further proof that no-one I know (I realise ‘no-one I knows’ is something of a logical fallacy–I just don’t have the time to compile actual empirical evidence.) had access to any of these titles.
Now the Dreamcast: there’s a whole different picture. All things held equal (this means ignoring the fact that SEGA squandered their business goodwill), comparing and contrasting the PS2 and Dreamcast, it can be said that the success and failure of the respective consoles reveals that success in the sixth generation of consoles had nothing to do with gaming: the change of consumer’s preference from VHS to DVD in terms of audio-visual medium, and the birth of casual gaming.
This article flags the development of nostalgia and historical revisionism around the PS2 in a dangerous way. The author themselves perpetrates revisionism by compiling a list of games that were obscure and largely ignored. Let it be remembered that the PS2 might have possessed some brilliant pieces of art (Ico, Shadow of the Colossus, Okami, the Katamaris, so on–the games listed by the author might even be fantastic, but that is beside the point) but it was, for the most part, at least in Australia, a platform that ‘played it safe’. This means that money was the chief concern driving the platform’s industrial presence. It was home to a plethora of big-money multi-platform (Xbox-PS2-Gamecube) releases that dominated the limelight in system’s game library, and, correspondingly, used as a means to exploit the uninformed for money with terrible games.
The reader should look through the article’s comments to see for themselves.