Gamers Salute PlayStation 2


British game designer Anna Marsh said the end of production for the PlayStation 2 means the end of an era for digital gaming.

"The industry has become so fractured, I'm not sure we'll see another console that gets that sort of penetration into the public consciousness," said Marsh, who was the executive designer of the Tomb Raider franchise.

Sony's PlayStation 2 came out in 2000 and has sold 150 million units. More than 10,000 games were available for the PlayStation 2 by 2011. Games sold for the console reached 1.52 billion, The Guardian reported Saturday.

Industry analysts said Sony made some key decisions, such as including DVD player capacity, which meant the consoles ended up hooked into a family's primary home entertainment areas, which in turn expanded its audience of gamers. PlayStation 2 also supported popular football games, which helped it corner another slice of the gaming market.

As Sony ends production of the unit, however, the gaming market is besieged with options for games playing.

"Nowadays smartphones, tablets, PCs and smart TVs all have amazing industrial design, features and content, and it's much harder to stand out if everyone else looks cool as well," said Tom Bramwell, editor of the Eurogamer Web site.

Gone are the days when game consoles were "the only boxes you owned with any sizzle or personality," he said.

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