Q-Games, Limited is a video game developer based in Nakagyō-ku, Japan which works with both Nintendo and Sony. Q-Games was founded by Dylan Cuthbert, who worked at Argonaut Software and helped create Starglider and Starglider 2 for Argonaut Software gave programming assistance to X and the first Star Fox for Nintendo, he developed Star Fox 2 to completion before heading off to work at Sony America to make Blasto on the PlayStation. After this, Dylan moved back to Japan to work at Sony Japan, where, in early 1999, he developed the Duck in a Bath technical demo that showcased the PS2's power to early developers and publishers. Following that, he developed Pipo Saru 2001 and left Sony to start Q-Games Ltd. in Kyoto in September 2001. The studio's first few years were spent accumulating staff and developing behind-doors technology projects for a number of clients including Sony and Microsoft. At E3 2004, they showed two graphic technology demos for the PlayStation Portable and internally began development on two games, one for the Game Boy Advance and one for the Nintendo DS.
These titles were announced as Star Fox Command respectively. Both were released. Following these projects, Q-Games began to collaborate with Sony Computer Entertainment, becoming a second-party studio partner, by developing the PixelJunk series of downloadable games for the PlayStation 3, they are available for purchase on the PlayStation Network Store worldwide. PixelJunk games are presented in 1080p full HD. PixelJunk made its worldwide debut on 11 July 2007 at E3 2007, held in Santa Monica, CA. At TGS 2009, Q-Games confirmed that it is unlikely these games will appear on the Xbox 360. Q-Games have worked with Nintendo again, releasing several games for the Nintendo DSi's DSiWare digital distribution service; as well as games development, Q-Games still develops technology directly with Sony Japan for the PlayStation 3. The PS3's XMB interface and music visualisers were developed by Q-Games and they are credited with 3D Graphics Technology in the About PS3 section of the PS3's OS. On September 24, 2009, Q-Games released their own developer space for their series, PixelJunk in the PlayStation 3's online community-based service, PlayStation Home to the Japanese version and on October 9, 2009 to the North American version.
The "PixelJunk Museum", or "PixelJunk Exhibition", features the games PixelJunk Eden, PixelJunk Monsters, PixelJunk Racers. For PixelJunk Eden there are glass wall art displays, for PixelJunk Monsters, there are displays of familiar characters from the game, for PixelJunk Racers, there are displays of two different race cars. There is a virtual shop in the space selling PixelJunk virtual items. In Japan's version from September 24, 2009 to October 9, 2009, near the shop, there was a panel that took users to a virtual version of Q-Games TGS 2009 Booth. Called the "Q-Games virtual public TGS Booth", it was a virtual recreation of the Q-Games TGS 2009 Booth that had a free T-shirt and a video screen. On December 17, 2009, they released another exhibition room to the "PixelJunk Exhibition" space; this room is to display PixelJunk Shooter and is called the "PixelJunk Shooter Mother Ship Hangar." On March 19, 2019, Q-Games announced an upcoming game for the Google Stadia. Chris Kohler's book Power-Up: How Japanese Video Games Gave the World an Extra Life - Chapter 6.
An Interview on Gamasutra.com with Q-Games Dylan Cuthbert's profile on N-Sider.com Dylan Cuthbert video interview on the 1-UP Show Q-Games Official website
God of War II
God of War II is a hack and slash action-adventure video game developed by Santa Monica Studio and published by Sony Computer Entertainment. First released for the PlayStation 2 console on March 13, 2007, it is the second installment in the God of War series, the sixth chronologically, the sequel to 2005's God of War; the game is loosely based on Greek mythology and set in ancient Greece, with vengeance as its central motif. The player character is the new God of War who killed the former, Ares. Kratos is betrayed by Zeus, the King of the Olympian Gods, who strips him of his godhood and kills him. Dragged to the Underworld, he is saved by the Titan Gaia, who instructs him to find the Sisters of Fate, as they can allow him to travel back in time, avert his betrayal, take revenge on Zeus; the gameplay is similar to the previous installment, focuses on combo-based combat, achieved through the player's main weapon—Athena's Blades—and secondary weapons acquired throughout the game. It features quick time events that require the player to complete various game controller actions in a timed sequence to defeat stronger enemies and bosses.
The player can use up to four magical attacks and a power-enhancing ability as alternative combat options. The game features puzzles and platforming elements. In addition to its vastly similar gameplay, God of War II features improved puzzles and four times as many bosses as the original. God of War II has been acclaimed as one of the best PlayStation 2 and action games, was 2007's "PlayStation Game of the Year" at the Golden Joystick Awards. In 2009, IGN listed it as the second-best PlayStation 2 game of all time, both IGN and GameSpot consider it the "swan song" of the PlayStation 2 era. In 2012, Complex magazine named God of War II the best PlayStation 2 game of all time, it was the best-selling game in the UK during the week of its release and went on to sell 4.24 million copies worldwide, making it the fourteenth best-selling PlayStation 2 game of all time. God of War II, along with God of War, was remastered and released on November 17, 2009 as part of the God of War Collection for the PlayStation 3.
The remastered version was re-released on August 28, 2012 as part of the God of War Saga for the PlayStation 3. A novelization of the game was published in February 2013. God of War II is an action-adventure game with slash elements. It's a third-person single-player video game viewed from a fixed camera perspective; the player controls the character Kratos in combo-based combat and puzzle game elements, battles foes who stem from Greek mythology, including harpies, Gorgons, cyclopes, Sirens and nymphs. Other monsters were created for the game, including undead legionnaires, undead barbarians, beast lords, rabid hounds, wild boars, the army of the Fates, including sentries, guardians and high priests. Many of the combination attacks used in God of War reappear, the game features more than double the amount of boss fights and more difficult puzzles than the original. Platforming elements require the player to climb walls and ladders, jump across chasms, swing on ropes, balance across beams to proceed through sections of the game.
Some puzzles are simple, such as moving a box so that the player can use it as a jumping-off point to access a pathway unreachable with normal jumping, while others are more complex, such as finding several items across different areas of the game to unlock one door. In addition to the regular health and experience chests that are found throughout the game world, there are three Uber Chests to be found. Two of these chests provide an additional increment to the Health and Magic Meters and the third chest contains an abundance of red and gold orbs. Several urns are hidden in the game which, upon completion of the game, unlocks special abilities for use during bonus play. Kratos' main weapon is a pair of blades attached to chains that are wrapped around the character's wrists and forearms. Called Athena's Blades in this game, they can be swung offensively in various maneuvers; as the game progresses, Kratos acquires new weapons—the Barbarian Hammer, the Spear of Destiny, periodically, the Blade of Olympus—offering alternative combat options.
Although Kratos begins the game with Athena's Blades and the magic ability Poseidon's Rage, the blades' power is reduced and the magic is relinquished after an encounter with Zeus. As with previous games, Kratos learns to use up to four magical abilities, such as Typhon's Bane that acts as a bow and arrow for distant targets, giving him a variety of ways to attack and kill enemies. Other new magical abilities include Cronos' Rage, Head of Euryale, Atlas Quake; the special ability Rage of the Gods, featured in the previous game is replaced by Rage of the Titans. Kratos retains the relic Poseidon's Trident from the original installment, gains new relics. For example, the Amulet of the Fates slows time, but this does not affect Kratos and allows puzzle-solving that can not be achieved in normal game time; the Amulet of the Fates has limited usage before needing to be recharged. The Golden Fleece deflects enemy projectiles back at the
The PlayStation Portable is a handheld game console, developed by Sony Computer Entertainment and competed with the Nintendo DS as part of the seventh generation of video-game consoles. Development of the handheld console was announced during E3 2003 and it was unveiled on May 11, 2004, at a Sony press conference before the next E3; the system was released in Japan on December 12, 2004. The PSP was the most powerful portable console, it was the first real competitor of Nintendo's handheld consoles after many challengers, such as SNK's Neo Geo Pocket and Nokia's N-Gage, had failed. Its advanced graphics made the PSP a popular mobile-entertainment device, which can connect to the PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 3 games consoles, computers running Microsoft Windows and Apple Macintosh software, other PSPs and the Internet; the PSP is the only handheld console to use an optical disc format – Universal Media Disc – as its primary storage medium. It was received positively by most video-game critics and sold 76 million units by 2012.
Several models of the console were released. The PSP line was succeeded by the PlayStation Vita, released in December 2011 in Japan and worldwide in February 2012; the Vita has backward compatibility with many PSP games that were released on the PlayStation Network through the PlayStation Store, which became the main method of purchasing PSP games after Sony shut down access to the PlayStation Store from PSPs on March 31, 2016. Hardware shipments ended worldwide in 2014. Production of UMDs ended when the last Japanese factory making them closed in late 2016. Sony Computer Entertainment first announced development of the PlayStation Portable at a press conference preceding E3 2003. Although samples were not presented, Sony released extensive technical details. CEO Jose Villeta called the device the "Walkman of the 21st century". Several gaming websites were impressed with the handheld's computing capabilities and looked forward to its potential as a gaming platform. In the 1990s, Nintendo had dominated the handheld market since launching its Game Boy in 1989, experiencing close competition only from Bandai's WonderSwan in Japan and Sega's Game Gear.
In January 1999, Sony had released the successful PocketStation in Japan as its first foray into the handheld gaming market. The SNK Neo Geo Pocket and Nokia's N-Gage failed to cut into Nintendo's share. According to an IDC analyst in 2004, the PSP was the "first legitimate competitor to Nintendo's dominance in the handheld market"; the first concept images of the PSP appeared in November 2003 at a Sony corporate strategy meeting and showed it having flat buttons and no analog joystick. Although some reviewers expressed concern about the lack of an analog stick, these fears were allayed when the PSP was unveiled at the Sony press conference during E3 2004. Sony released a list of 99 developer companies. Several game demos such as Konami's Metal Gear Acid and SCE Studio Liverpool's Wipeout Pure were shown at the conference. On October 17, 2004, Sony announced that the PSP base model would be launched in Japan on December 12 that year for ¥19,800 while the Value System would launch for ¥24,800.
The launch was a success. Color variations were sold in bundle packs that cost around $200. Sony announced on February 3, 2005, that the PSP would go on sale in North America on March 24 in one configuration for an MSRP of US$249/CA$299; some commentators expressed concern over the high price, US$20 higher than that of the Japanese model and more than $100 higher than the Nintendo DS. Despite these concerns, the PSP's North American launch was a success. Sony said 500,000 units were sold in the first two days, though it was reported that this figure was below expectations; the PSP was intended to have a simultaneous PAL region and North American launch, but on March 15, 2005, Sony announced that the PAL region launch would be delayed because of high demand for the console in Japan and North America. The next month it announced that the PSP would be launched in the PAL region on September 1, 2005, for €249/£179. Sony defended the high price by saying North American consumers had to pay local sales taxes and that the Value Added Tax was higher in the UK than the US.
Despite the high price, the console's PAL region launch was a success, selling more than 185,000 units in the UK. All stock of the PSP in the UK sold out within three hours of launch, more than doubling the previous first-day sales record of 87,000 units set by the Nintendo DS; the system enjoyed great success in other areas of the PAL region. The PlayStation Portable uses the common "bar" form factor; the original model measures 6.7 by 2.9 by 0.9 inches and weighs 9.9 ounces. The front of the console is dominated by the system's 4.3-inch LCD screen, capable of 480 × 272 pixel video playback with 24-bit color, outperforming the Nintendo DS. On the unit's front are four PlayStation face buttons; the system has two shoulder buttons, a USB 2.0 mini-B port on the top of the console, a WLAN switch and power cable input on the bottom. The back of the PSP features a read-only Universal Media Disc drive for access to movies a
A game engine is a software-development environment designed for people to build video games. Developers use game engines to construct games for consoles, mobile devices, personal computers; the core functionality provided by a game engine includes a rendering engine for 2D or 3D graphics, a physics engine or collision detection, scripting, artificial intelligence, streaming, memory management, localization support, scene graph, may include video support for cinematics. Implementers economize on the process of game development by reusing/adapting, in large part, the same game engine to produce different games or to aid in porting games to multiple platforms. In many cases game engines provide a suite of visual development tools in addition to reusable software components; these tools are provided in an integrated development environment to enable simplified, rapid development of games in a data-driven manner. Game engine developers attempt to "pre-invent the wheel" by developing robust software suites which include many elements a game developer may need to build a game.
Most game engine suites provide facilities that ease development, such as graphics, physics and AI functions. These game engines are sometimes called "middleware" because, as with the business sense of the term, they provide a flexible and reusable software platform which provides all the core functionality needed, right out of the box, to develop a game application while reducing costs and time-to-market — all critical factors in the competitive video game industry; as of 2001, Gamebryo, JMonkeyEngine and RenderWare were such used middleware programs. Like other types of middleware, game engines provide platform abstraction, allowing the same game to be run on various platforms including game consoles and personal computers with few, if any, changes made to the game source code. Game engines are designed with a component-based architecture that allows specific systems in the engine to be replaced or extended with more specialized game middleware components; some game engines are designed as a series of loosely connected game middleware components that can be selectively combined to create a custom engine, instead of the more common approach of extending or customizing a flexible integrated product.
However extensibility is achieved, it remains a high priority for game engines due to the wide variety of uses for which they are applied. Despite the specificity of the name, game engines are used for other kinds of interactive applications with real-time graphical needs such as marketing demos, architectural visualizations, training simulations, modeling environments; some game engines only provide real-time 3D rendering capabilities instead of the wide range of functionality needed by games. These engines rely upon the game developer to implement the rest of this functionality or assemble it from other game middleware components; these types of engines are referred to as a "graphics engine", "rendering engine", or "3D engine" instead of the more encompassing term "game engine". This terminology is inconsistently used as many full-featured 3D game engines are referred to as "3D engines". A few examples of graphics engines are: Crystal Space, Genesis3D, Irrlicht, OGRE, RealmForge, Truevision3D, Vision Engine.
Modern game or graphics engines provide a scene graph, an object-oriented representation of the 3D game world which simplifies game design and can be used for more efficient rendering of vast virtual worlds. As technology ages, the components of an engine may become outdated or insufficient for the requirements of a given project. Since the complexity of programming an new engine may result in unwanted delays, a development team may elect to update their existing engine with newer functionality or components; such a framework is composed of a multitude of different components. The actual game logic has to be implemented by some algorithms, it is distinct from sound or input work. The rendering engine generates animated 3D graphics by any of a number of methods. Instead of being programmed and compiled to be executed on the CPU or GPU directly, most rendering engines are built upon one or multiple rendering application programming interfaces, such as Direct3D, OpenGL, or Vulkan which provide a software abstraction of the graphics processing unit.
Low-level libraries such as DirectX, Simple DirectMedia Layer, OpenGL are commonly used in games as they provide hardware-independent access to other computer hardware such as input devices, network cards, sound cards. Before hardware-accelerated 3D graphics, software renderers had been used. Software rendering is still used in some modeling tools or for still-rendered images when visual accuracy is valued over real-time performance or when the computer hardware does not meet needs such as shader support. With the advent of hardware accelerated physics processing, various physics APIs such as PAL and the physics extensions of COLLADA became available to provide a software abstraction of the physics processing unit of different middleware providers and console platforms. Game engines can be written in any programming language like C++, C or Java, though each language is structurally different and may provide different levels of access to specific functions; the audio engine is the component which consists of algorithms related to the loading and output of sound through the client's speaker system.
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Flow (video game)
Flow is an indie video game created by Jenova Chen and Nicholas Clark. Released as a free Flash game in 2006 to accompany Chen's master's thesis, it was reworked into a 2007 PlayStation 3 game by his development studio, Thatgamecompany. SuperVillain Studios developed a PlayStation Portable version of the game in 2008, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita versions in 2013. In Flow, the player navigates a series of two-dimensional planes with an aquatic microorganism that evolves by consuming other microorganisms; the game's design is based on Chen's research into dynamic difficulty adjustment at the University of Southern California's Interactive Media Division, on psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's theoretical concept of mental immersion or flow. The Flash version of Flow received 100,000 downloads within its first two weeks of release, had been played over 3.5 million times by 2008. Its PlayStation 3 re-release was the most downloaded game on the PlayStation Network in 2007, won the Best Downloadable Game award at the 2008 Game Developers Choice Awards.
It was nominated for awards by the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences and the British Academy of Film and Television Arts. Reviewers noted the simplicity of its gameplay. In Flow, the player guides a small, multi-segmented worm- or snake-like creature through an aquatic environment. There are no guidelines; the game world, viewed from a top-down perspective, consists of two-dimensional planes stacked vertically upon each other. A blurred version of the layer below appears in the background of each plane. Planes contain organisms of varying sizes; the majority of these creatures are non-confrontational, are composed of cells that increase the number of segments in the player's creature when eaten. All planes, except for the highest and lowest, contain two specially colored organisms that move the player's creature up or down one plane when touched. Certain planes feature aggressive, multi-segmented creatures that perish when all of their segments are eaten by the player's creature; these creatures release many cells upon death, which can restore the health of the player's creature, temporarily increase the size of its mouth, or cause it to sprout decorative protrusions.
Players are not required to eat any other organisms. Being defeated by aggressive creatures does not result in death, but causes the player's creature to float to a higher plane. In the Flash version, the player can replay the game with a jellyfish-like organism by defeating an aggressive creature on the bottom plane. If the player reaches the bottom again, the creature there is their original worm-like creature, defeating it starts the game over as that organism; the PlayStation 3 version of Flow features enhanced visuals and three additional playable organisms: one that can move with a short burst of speed, one that can paralyze other creatures, one that lunges toward its prey's weak point. The worm creature from the original game was given the ability to move faster, while the jellyfish may now create a vortex to attract small creatures; these special moves are activated by hitting any button on the controller. When the player reaches the bottom plane with each creature, the next creature type is unlocked and becomes selectable at the beginning of the game.
The PlayStation 3 version features a multiplayer mode for up to four players. The PlayStation Portable version contains all of the features introduced by PlayStation 3 version, but reduces the size of each plane. On November 20, 2007, the PlayStation 3 version received an add-on pack that allows players joining a multiplayer game to select their creatures; the pack includes new enemies, food types, a playable creature with a shield ability. Flow was developed as part of Jenova Chen's master's thesis for the Interactive Media Program at the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts, his thesis was on the concept of dynamic difficulty adjustment, wherein a game adjusts its reactions to a player based on the past and present actions of that player. He illustrated his ideas with Flow. Chen implemented DDA by causing the player to change the game's difficulty subconsciously. Players may decide to grow stronger before attacking powerful opponents. Chen described Flow as "a simple game.
It's the simplest test of active DDA." Another influence on the game was psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's work on flow, wherein a person immerses themselves in an activity and gains a feeling of energized focus. To achieve this state, the person or player must have control over the activity; the game was released in March 2006, after two months of development—during which Chen and Clark taught themselves Flash programming. The game's source code was released in 2009; the game's score was composed by Austin Wintory. A PlayStation 3 version was announced for the PlayStation Store in May of that year, was released in February 2007. Chen had graduated by that point, had founded Thatgamecompany, which handled the conversion to the PlayStation 3.
A mobile phone, cell phone, cellphone, or hand phone, sometimes shortened to mobile, cell or just phone, is a portable telephone that can make and receive calls over a radio frequency link while the user is moving within a telephone service area. The radio frequency link establishes a connection to the switching systems of a mobile phone operator, which provides access to the public switched telephone network. Modern mobile telephone services use a cellular network architecture, therefore, mobile telephones are called cellular telephones or cell phones, in North America. In addition to telephony, 2000s-era mobile phones support a variety of other services, such as text messaging, MMS, Internet access, short-range wireless communications, business applications, video games, digital photography. Mobile phones offering only those capabilities are known as feature phones; the first handheld mobile phone was demonstrated by John F. Mitchell and Martin Cooper of Motorola in 1973, using a handset weighing c. 2 kilograms.
In 1979, Nippon Telegraph and Telephone launched the world's first cellular network in Japan. In 1983, the DynaTAC 8000x was the first commercially available handheld mobile phone. From 1983 to 2014, worldwide mobile phone subscriptions grew to over seven billion—enough to provide one for every person on Earth. In first quarter of 2016, the top smartphone developers worldwide were Samsung and Huawei, smartphone sales represented 78 percent of total mobile phone sales. For feature phones as of 2016, the largest were Samsung and Alcatel. A handheld mobile radio telephone service was envisioned in the early stages of radio engineering. In 1917, Finnish inventor Eric Tigerstedt filed a patent for a "pocket-size folding telephone with a thin carbon microphone". Early predecessors of cellular phones included analog radio communications from trains; the race to create portable telephone devices began after World War II, with developments taking place in many countries. The advances in mobile telephony have been traced in successive "generations", starting with the early zeroth-generation services, such as Bell System's Mobile Telephone Service and its successor, the Improved Mobile Telephone Service.
These 0G systems were not cellular, supported few simultaneous calls, were expensive. The first handheld cellular mobile phone was demonstrated by John F. Mitchell and Martin Cooper of Motorola in 1973, using a handset weighing 2 kilograms; the first commercial automated cellular network analog was launched in Japan by Nippon Telegraph and Telephone in 1979. This was followed in 1981 by the simultaneous launch of the Nordic Mobile Telephone system in Denmark, Finland and Sweden. Several other countries followed in the early to mid-1980s; these first-generation systems could support far more simultaneous calls but still used analog cellular technology. In 1983, the DynaTAC 8000x was the first commercially available handheld mobile phone. In 1991, the second-generation digital cellular technology was launched in Finland by Radiolinja on the GSM standard; this sparked competition in the sector as the new operators challenged the incumbent 1G network operators. Ten years in 2001, the third generation was launched in Japan by NTT DoCoMo on the WCDMA standard.
This was followed by 3.5G, 3G+ or turbo 3G enhancements based on the high-speed packet access family, allowing UMTS networks to have higher data transfer speeds and capacity. By 2009, it had become clear that, at some point, 3G networks would be overwhelmed by the growth of bandwidth-intensive applications, such as streaming media; the industry began looking to data-optimized fourth-generation technologies, with the promise of speed improvements up to ten-fold over existing 3G technologies. The first two commercially available technologies billed as 4G were the WiMAX standard, offered in North America by Sprint, the LTE standard, first offered in Scandinavia by TeliaSonera. 5G is a technology and term used in research papers and projects to denote the next major phase in mobile telecommunication standards beyond the 4G/IMT-Advanced standards. The term 5G is not used in any specification or official document yet made public by telecommunication companies or standardization bodies such as 3GPP, WiMAX Forum or ITU-R.
New standards beyond 4G are being developed by standardization bodies, but they are at this time seen as under the 4G umbrella, not for a new mobile generation. Smartphones have a number of distinguishing features; the International Telecommunication Union measures those with Internet connection, which it calls Active Mobile-Broadband subscriptions. In the developed world, smartphones have now overtaken the usage of earlier mobile systems. However, in the developing world, they account for around 50% of mobile telephony. Feature phone is a term used as a retronym to describe mobile phones which are limited in capabilities in contrast to a modern smartphone. Feature phones provide voice calling and text messaging functionality, in addition to basic multimedia and Internet capabilities, other services offered by the user's wireless service provider. A feature phone has additional functions over and above a basic mobile phone, only capable of voice calling and text messaging. Feature phones and basic mobile phones tend to use a proprietary, custom-designed software and user interface.
By contrast, smartphones use a mobile operating system that shares common traits across devices. There are Orthodox Jewish religious re
The PlayStation 2 is a home video game console, developed by Sony Computer Entertainment. It is the successor to the original PlayStation console and is the second iteration in the PlayStation lineup of consoles, it was released in 2000 and competed with Sega's Dreamcast, Nintendo's GameCube and Microsoft's Xbox in the sixth generation of video game consoles. Announced in 1999, the PlayStation 2 offered backwards compatibility for its predecessor's DualShock controller, as well as for its games; the PlayStation 2 is the best-selling video game console of all time, selling over 155 million units, with 150 million confirmed by Sony in 2011. More than 3,874 game titles have been released for the PS2 since launch, more than 1.5 billion copies have been sold. Sony manufactured several smaller, lighter revisions of the console known as Slimline models in 2004. In 2006, Sony announced and launched its successor, the PlayStation 3. With the release of its successor, the PlayStation 2 remained popular well into the seventh generation and continued to be produced until January 4, 2013, when Sony announced that the PlayStation 2 had been discontinued after 12 years of production – one of the longest runs for a video game console.
Despite the announcement, new games for the console continued to be produced until the end of 2013, including Final Fantasy XI: Seekers of Adoulin for Japan, FIFA 13 for North America, Pro Evolution Soccer 2014 for Europe. Repair services for the system in Japan ended on September 7, 2018. Though Sony has kept details of the PlayStation 2's development secret, work on the console began around the time that the original PlayStation was released. Insiders stated that it was developed in the U. S. West Coast by former members of Argonaut Software. By 1997 word had leaked to the press that the console would have backwards compatibility with the original PlayStation, a built-in DVD player, Internet connectivity. Sony announced the PlayStation 2 on March 1, 1999; the video game console was positioned as a competitor to Sega's Dreamcast, the first sixth-generation console to be released, although the main rivals of the PS2 were Nintendo's GameCube and Microsoft's Xbox. The Dreamcast itself launched successfully in North America that year, selling over 500,000 units within two weeks.
Soon after the Dreamcast's North American launch, Sony unveiled the PlayStation 2 at the Tokyo Game Show on September 20, 1999. Sony showed playable demos of upcoming PlayStation 2 games including Gran Turismo 2000 and Tekken Tag Tournament – which showed the console's graphic abilities and power; the PS2 was launched in March 2000 in Japan, October in North America, November in Europe. Sales of the console and accessories pulled in $250 million on the first day, beating the $97 million made on the first day of the Dreamcast. Directly after its release, it was difficult to find PS2 units on retailer shelves due to manufacturing delays. Another option was purchasing the console online through auction websites such as eBay, where people paid over a thousand dollars for the console; the PS2 sold well on the basis of the strength of the PlayStation brand and the console's backward compatibility, selling over 980,000 units in Japan by March 5, 2000, one day after launch. This allowed the PS2 to tap the large install base established by the PlayStation – another major selling point over the competition.
Sony added new development kits for game developers and more PS2 units for consumers. The PS2's built-in functionality expanded its audience beyond the gamer, as its debut pricing was the same or less than a standalone DVD player; this made the console a low cost entry into the home theater market. The success of the PS2 at the end of 2000 caused Sega problems both financially and competitively, Sega announced the discontinuation of the Dreamcast in March 2001, just 18 months after its successful launch; the PS2 remained as the only active sixth generation console for over 6 months, before it would face competition from newer rivals. Many analysts predicted a close three-way matchup among the three consoles. While the PlayStation 2 theoretically had the weakest specification of the three, it had a head start due to its installed base plus strong developer commitment, as well as a built-in DVD player. While the PlayStation 2's initial games lineup was considered mediocre, this changed during the 2001 holiday season with the release of several blockbuster games that maintained the PS2's sales momentum and held off its newer rivals.
Sony countered the Xbox by temporarily securing PlayStation 2 exclusives for anticipated games such as the Grand Theft Auto series and Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty. Sony cut the price of the console in May 2002 from US$299 to $199 in North America, making it the same price as the GameCube and $100 less than the Xbox, it planned to cut the price in Japan around that time. It cut the price twice in Japan in 2003. In 2006, Sony cut the cost of the console in anticipation of the release of the PlayStation 3. Sony, unlike Sega with its Dreamcast placed little emphasis on online gaming during its first few years, although that changed upon the launch of the online-capable Xbox. Coinciding with the release of Xbox Live, Sony released the PlayStation Network Adapter in late 2002, with several online first–party titles released alongside it, such as SOCOM: U. S. Navy SEALs to demon