I Picked The Wrong Time To Buy A Used PlayStation 2

I Picked The Wrong Time To Buy A Used PlayStation 2

During January’s sojourn to Kotaku headquarters in NYC, I stopped by the fabled Video Games New York, where I picked up a scratched but serviceable PlayStation 2 for $US80. Today GameStop announced it is once again accepting trade-ins of the best-selling game system of all time. My timing sucks.

A haven for fans of old and rare video games and a wellspring of game sales knowledge (the rep there told me demand for Tony Hawk’s Ride was up), Video Games New York was one of the only planned stops on my New York trip, along with Vanessa’s Dumpling House and the ridiculously expensive Times Square Toys’R’Us. I actually went to the game store twice. During the first visit I found these:

That’s right, one of the best old-school role-playing games on the PlayStation 2 and its two sequels, new and sealed. I spent about $US130 on the whole Atelier Iris PS2 set, which isn’t bad for sealed classics unless you plan on, I don’t know, ripping them open and playing them.

The only problem with my plan to rip them open and play them was the lack of a PlayStation 2. I swore I had one around here somewhere, but apparently I was wrong. As my original 60GB PlayStation 3 died a year ago, I had nothing to play my PS2 games on. After deciding against going the emulation route, I returned to Video Games New York and purchased my silver baby.

I did shop around a bit online, but waiting for shipping isn’t my style. Neither is thinking things through and realising I wouldn’t have any time to play it until I got home from the trip anyway. With the memory card (I remembered the memory card!) my total came to a little over $US90.

Starting yesterday, GameStop is now accepting used PlayStation 2 consoles for trade once more. A system with an AV connector, spare controller and power cable will score folks $US25 in trade-in credit, while the system alone is worth $US20 — I imagine GameStop is sitting on a pile of used cables, controllers and memory cards, so they will be fine.

What will they do with them? Most likely the systems will be refurbished and resold. Least likely they will build a fort out of them and hide away the day reading back issues of Game Informer. The current price for the unavailable refurbished PS2 at GameStop is $US49.99. Not bad. Well, bad in that had this happened sooner I would have saved $US30. That said, there’s a chance that price could rise given a fresh influx of consoles and perceived demand. From GameStop’s official announcement:

The video game console that had captured millions of hearts around the world continues to breathe life. The Sony PlayStation 2 is known for its vast library of games and being the top selling video game console of all-time. GameStop knows that a demand for this iconic piece of video game history is still high and will once again buy back PS2 consoles

How’s that old saying go? When GameStop knows there is demand, consumers pay through the nose. It might have been arse. No one reads Old English well enough these days for an accurate translation.

The point is, had I played my cards right I could have stood outside a GameStop and snagged one from an incoming trade-in for $US30. I probably would have had to shave the beard off and cover up the tattoos to avoid being maced, but a bargain is a bargain.


  • I picked up a used ps2 a couple years back, handy to have to play old ps one games with out having to use my ps one which is old. My ps2 is now running my virtua cop cabinet though for time crisis/virtua cop/point blank.

    • Same, just kept putting it off & then moved. Have a few games that I want to finish on the PS2.

      JB supposedly still sells the multi-unit component cables that plug into the PS2 but you can always find them online if you have good Google-fu.

    • Yup, basically a necessity if you have a ps2 on hdtv, makes a huuuuge difference.

  • I sold mine late last year, after having owned it for 12 years.
    I ended up using it for PS1 emulation, since some PS1 games didn’t work so well on the PS3.

  • picked up a brand new sealed ps2 phat , 3 games (sealed) and a memorycard (sealed genuine sony 8mb) for $3 from a garage sale across the road from my friends house about 2 months ago

  • my ps2 died years ago (both actually, I got through two of the suckers, both died of dead lasers)
    If i want to fire up any of the classic ps2 games now I just fire them up in PCSX2 with ps3 controller and improved graphics 🙂
    Still love ps2 games, so many greats (especially in my favourite console genre, strat rpg or turn based rpg).
    Personally, I consider there were many more ‘great’ ps2 games than ‘great’ ps3 games
    /gets off the lawn

    • I had laser problems too – Sydney cockroaches really liked to use that part of the console as a bathroom. 🙁

  • I picked one a few years ago but it’s kind of spotty at reading discs. Also, I am now positive that it is impossible to find a controller that will last you more than two months. All the third party ones are absolute rubbish and all the old, official ones have been battered to a mush.

    I gave up and now I’m just waiting for the PS3 to go under $100 to pick it and all the HD versions of the Ps2 games I wanted to play.

  • I don’t understand why they removed the PS3’s ability to play PS2 games… Anyone feel like informing me?

  • When it comes to PS2 – I now go emulation, Playing FF12 on my PC felt like a HD Remake of the game, crystal clear graphics it was absolutely fantastic.

    My 12 year+ old PS2’s DVD drive bummed out just after getting my ps3, and my ps3 died just prior to my ps4..

    • What software do you use for emulation, and for the games? All the ones I’ve found have been viruses.

      • I’m not at home so cannot confirm but i believe it’s just PCSX2
        I know I had to get the bios file but apart from that was a relitively straight forward process
        The package I had also had the latest graphics drivers added (I did this and played through the game well over a year or 2 ago as I was using it to benchmark my new PC I had built) which I remember when I fine tuned the settings of gave me an insane level of clarity – on par with PC Games at the Time which was like Crysis 2 – I was blown away and as such made me decide not to purchase a new PS2.

        • What kind of specs do you need to run this PS2 games this way? Keen to get some of the old games out and if my HTPC can do it, laughing!!

          i3, 4gb ram

          • I built it 2 years back for $850, its pretty simple but still runs cool with no extra fans
            – Quad i5-2500K 3.3GHz OC’d to 3.6GHz
            – Sapphire AMD Radeon HD 6700
            – 8gb ram

            I still felt like I could of gotten away with lower specs for the game but not too much or you’d be sacrificing on the framerate/textures.

  • Got given one recently which means I now have my original boxed one, this random one and a super-slim I picked up for Buzz parties…

  • I have 60-odd PS2 games and two broken PS2s. We seriously need a PS1/PS2 emulator app for PS4.

  • I’ve got one of these slim silver ps2’s, damn fine looking console in my opinion.

  • I don’t think your timing was the issue.. it was your impatience! =P

    I also bought a PS2 around early Feb, close to the same time as you. Yet, I paid $30 and it came with a copy of Kingdom Hearts 1 and 2. (That i’ve still never played. Shh, don’t tell anyone)

  • The NTSC version of FIFA 14 for the Playstation 2 gotta be by far the rarest game nowadays. The last time I saw it half a year ago it was $30 and I haven’t seen a copy ever since on Amazon nor Ebay. It only came out in South America and unless massive amounts of copies are available there, I am betting that this game will only increase in price with the years, just like Madden 09 for the original Xbox and NCAA College Basketball 2K3 on GameCube

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