Some people collect coins, others stamps. I collect video games.
When something is undoubtedly a success, you can believe that it will be marketed for availability to everyone. Movies, music, and even video games; in this case consoles specifically. So you would think that something that is considered one of, if not “The”, most popular consoles ever in history wouldn’t be that hard to find. You’d think.
The PlayStation 2 was popular ever since it first launched back in 2000. Sony was coming off the success of the original PlayStation and besides the “Disc Read Error” problem and lawsuit that came at the beginning of its life cycle, 150 million-plus sold isn’t bad any way you look at it. Almost everyone loved the PS2 and its huge variety of games. And why wouldn’t you? So when I was going back through some of my past games for the console, I started to wonder if I had put all my eggs into one basket. I have an original somewhat functioning “Fat” launch system that needs a bit of work at times to run and was a victim of the original disc read error problem, and a slim model that still works and still uses regularly, but definitely has some mileage on it.
So, I thought afterward, “If this slim console stops working, I wouldn’t have another system to play these games on”. And I will be damned if I can’t play my original copy of Final Fantasy X with almost all the legendary weapons. And sure, used PS2’s are almost a dime a dozen at local pawn stores and other places, but would you really want to take the chance? So having a little extra cash, I decided to drive to the local stores around town to find one, maybe even get one on clearance if I could. To my surprise, none of my local game and department stores carried them anymore. I soon called the next town over and received the same results. Most of their electronic and department stores all rebuffed that they had none in stock and didn’t know if they would ever get any more. My amazement soon turned to curiosity. For being one of the most sold consoles of all time, how hard would it exactly be to find one of these brand new?
I returned home and immediately looked online at several big-name store websites that also had none or only sold through a third-party associate. In fact, the only national chain that had some in stock, online-only, was Target for $148 with tax and shipping. I even went to the official Sony PlayStation site for the PS2 and clicked their “Buy It Now” link to get the same results. So almost having no other choice, I soon turned to the prices that others would only sell for. MSRP (Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price) for the PlayStation 2 is $99.99. eBay and other third-party sellers began their prices at $180 and up attempting to sell it for almost twice as much or more. Others were even asking into the $300 plus range for special bundles; such as the white Singstar system. Supply and demand for sure.
I then looked to even buy one straight from the Sony online store, but before I purchased a notice came up that it would be at least three to four weeks before they would restock, if at all. I then searched for the closest Sony store. One of which I knew was a hundred miles away in hopes that they would have one in-store. How I would actually pick this up remained a mystery. But the first step was finding one. My surprise came when the store locator said that the Sony outlet store closest to me, the one I had completely forgotten about, might have some in stock. I called them and the sales associate there said they in fact have some there, brand new never opened, and still at a hundred dollar price tag. I decided to take a drive and within a couple of hours was the owner of another PlayStation 2 system. I was lucky enough to avoid having to pay the outrageous mark-up prices others were charging. I was even able to find the official PlayStation component cables for the PS2 to have the system go into progressive scan mode at a very cheap discounted clearance price.
I needed this because of the collection of PlayStation One RPG’s that I bought earlier in the year. Didn’t tell you about that? Come back next time.