Sony Playstation 2

Edit on Github | Updated: 3rd July 2022

Hardware

Similar to the original Playstation the PS2 used a MIPS processor but this time it was 64 bit and codenamed the Emotion Engine, along with 2 custom vector processors. Although the PS2 has a much more modern GPU design compared to the PS1, the actual transformation of the verticies were still being process by the CPU core rather than the GPU 1.

The main parts of the PS2 hardware were:

  • Emotion Engine (64 bit MIPS processor + 2 vector processors)
  • Graphics Synthesiser (GS) - 4MB with features such as Z-buffer, trilinear texturing and gourard shading 1
  • 48-Channel sound chip (SPU2)

Retail Hardware

For an in-depth look at the Playstation 2 Retail hardware architecture check out the excellent post by Copetti.org:

Playstation 2 Architecture - A Practical Analysis

Copetti.org has an excellent tear down of the Playstation 2 Hardware and how it works

Development Hardware

The hardware used to develop Playstation 2 games was similar but had an increase in memory along with a few debugging features. The details are covered in a seperate post:

Sony PlayStation 2 Development Kit (Hardware)

For information about Sony's Playstation Two development hardware check out this post.

Later in the PS2’s lifetime SN Systems released a specific development kit for developing online multiplayer PS2 games compatible with the PS2 Modem called the Network Development Kit (NDK).

SN Systems Network Development Kit for PS2

For information about Network Development Kit development hardware check out this post.


Games

What would the Sony Playstation 2 be without its excellent line-up of games? It was huge line up of third party the games that attracted many people away from the Nintendo Gamecube and Microsoft Xbox.

Playstation 2 Games with Debug Symbols

An excellent way to start reverse engineering is to find games where the developers accidentally left the Debug symbols in the retail release of the game. This was surprisingly common in early PS2 games as the SDK didn’t remove them when building the final executables. These gives you access to all the original function and variables names that were used in the retail source code so are very valuable for reversers!

PS2 Games with Debug Symbols (UnStripped Binaries)

For a full list of PS2 games that have debug symbols check out this post.

Playstation 2 Demos with Debug Symbols

PS2 Demos with Debug Symbols

For a full list of PS2 games that have debug symbols check out this post.


Software Development Kits

Official Software development kit

The Official Software development kit was developed by a partnership between SN Systems who are known for excellent 3rd party development kits and the Game Studio Psygnosis who are known for excellent quality games.

PS2 Official Software Development Kit (SDK)

For information about Sony's Playstation Two SDK check out this post.

Emotion Engine Static Libraries

The Playstation 2 Software Development kit included various statically compiled libraries that could be optionally included in your games, these ranged from vital (gcc runtime) to optional such as Multi-tap support.

Static Libraries (.A) for Playstation 2 Emotion Engine

For a list of all the static libraries inside the PS2 SDK check out this post

Dynamic Libraries (IRX files)

IRX Files for Playstation 2

For a list of all the dynamic libraries inside the PS2 SDK and from third parties check out this post

Consumer Development Kit

Similar to how the PS1 had Net Yaroze for consumers to develop small games for the Playstation, the PS2 had special software that ran a build of Linux. The software ran on consumer PS2 models and came with a PS2 hard-drive.


All Posts

Capcom Leaks

Read all about Capcom Leaks in this s...

Static Libraries (.A) for Playstation 2 Emotion Engine

Read all about Static Libraries (.A) for Playstation 2 Emotion Engine in this s...

Evolution of Sony Playstation Games (PS1-PS3)

Read all about Evolution of Sony Playstation Games (PS1-PS3) in this s...

PlayStation 2 Hardware Architecture

Read all about PlayStation 2 Hardware Architecture in this s...

PS2 Demos with Debug Symbols

Read all about PS2 Demos with Debug Symbols in this s...

PS2 Official Software Development Kit (SDK)

Read all about PS2 Official Software Development Kit (SDK) in this s...

Sony PlayStation 2 Development Kit (Hardware)

Read all about Sony PlayStation 2 Development Kit (Hardware) in this s...

Evolution Of PlayStation Hardware

Read all about Evolution Of PlayStation Hardware in this s...

PS2 Games with Debug Symbols (UnStripped Binaries)

Read all about PS2 Games with Debug Symbols (UnStripped Binaries) in this s...

SN Systems Network Development Kit for PS2

Read all about SN Systems Network Development Kit for PS2 in this s...

The Simpsons Hit & Run Source Code Leak

Read all about The Simpsons Hit & Run Source Code Leak in this s...

IRX Files for Playstation 2

Read all about IRX Files for Playstation 2 in this s...


References