Many of you will remember the hype surrounding the Playstation 2 prior to it's launch in October 2000. It was touted as being more than a game console. It would be the centerpiece in a home entertainment system. Looking back on it now, now that it is preparing to be replaced by the PS3, has the PS2 done anything to live up to that hype? Is the Playstation 2 anything but a game console?

The answer is a clear "no".

Make no mistake. I am no Microsoft fanboy. In fact, the XBox is the only current-gen system that I do not own. So this is not me attempting to Sony-bash. But I have gotten used to Sony making grandiose promises anout systems or their peripherals, only to be slowly dissapointed over time. I do not buy any Sony system with the expectation that it will do anything above and beyond playing games. And that was my mindset with the Playstation 2. It never did anything to warrant the "centerpiece of a home entertainment" title. It is a video game machine and nothing more.

But with it's extensive media-playing capabilities, the XBox 360 may end up being what the Playstation 2 was promised to be. And although I have been skeptical of predictions that Microsoft will overtake the top spot in the video gaming market, it certainly can not be denied that they have just set the bar, and it will be up to Sony to live up to it. This is going to be a no-nonsense generation of gaming, and if Sony continues to try and sell systems with hype and false promises, they are soon going to find themselves left in Microsoft's dust. It seems obvious to me that Microsoft has taken many of the things that gamers have been asking for and integrated them into the 360 console, while Sony has always taken the stand that they know what is best for us, no matter what we say.

Comments? PLEASE do not let this turn into a flame war. I am really trying to open the door for some intelligent dialog here.