PlayStation 2 online functionality
|Developer||Sony Computer Entertainment|
|Launch date||JP: 2001
Select games on Sony's PlayStation 2 video game console offer online gaming or other online capabilities. Games that enable the feature provide free online gaming through the use of a broadband internet connection and a PlayStation 2 Network Adaptor. The service has no official name, so it's sometimes referred as either PS2 Network Play, PS2 Network Gaming, or PS2 Online.
The service was launched in July 2001 in Japan, August 2002 in North America, and in June 2003 in Europe. On "slimline" models, a network adapter is integrated into the hardware. Some games also allow online gameplay using a dial-up connection (not available on all models), or LAN play by connecting two network adapters/slimline consoles together directly with an ethernet cable or through the same router network.
Instead of having a unified, subscription-based online service like Xbox Live, online multiplayer on the PS2 is the responsibility of the game publisher and is run on third-party servers. Most recent PS2 online games have been developed to exclusively support broadband internet access. Xbox Live similarly required/requires a broadband internet connection.
There are currently over 80 titles online.
For the older models (non-Slim) of the PlayStation 2 console, a network adapter was needed to play online and use a hard drive. All versions of the Network Adapter provide an Ethernet port, while some North American versions also featured a phone-line port for dial-up connection. The newer slimline versions, however, have an Ethernet port built into them, making the Network Adapter unnecessary and hard drive use nearly impossible, as well as ruling out any need to keep the network adapter in production.
Playing online games requires that users set up the system's network connection configuration, which is saved to a memory card. This can be done with the network Startup Disk that came with the network adapter or using one of the many games that had the utility built into them, such as Resident Evil Outbreak, to set up the network settings. The new slimline Playstation 2 came with a disk in the box by default. The last version of the disk was network startup disk 5.0, which was included with the newer SCPH 90004 model released in 2009. However, as of December 31st 2012, the Playstation 2 has been discontinued, and it is unknown if the servers for the games currently active will remain active.
PAL games that support online gaming carry a WITH NET PLAY banner on their cover, directly underneath the PlayStation 2 banner. North American games feature an "Online" icon in the lower right corner of the cover; on games what do not support dial-up connectivity, "broadband only" is also found on the logo
Popular games 
There are still many games that work online and are still being played by people. Shooters are the most popular online PS2 games. Currently (as of 2012), the most popular online games are Battlefield 2: Modern Combat and Star Wars: Battlefront II, as well as, Area 51 and Cold Winter.
LAN tunneling 
Over time, many game servers have been shut down; because of this many games can no longer be played online. However, a computer program called XLink Kai allows users to achieve online play for some PS2 games by using a network configuration that simulates a world-wide LAN; because of this only games with LAN functionality may be played in this way. With this method of online gaming, TimeSplitters 2 and TimeSplitters: Future Perfect are probably the most popular games.
Other online features 
In addition to online gaming, some unofficial modifications have been made on the PS2 software allowing it to be used as a fully functional web browser or messenger when connecting to a certain network. This can also be done through PS2 Linux.
Privacy terms 
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (May 2012)|
All online PS2 games released in and after 2003 are protected by the Dynamic Network Authentication System (DNAS). The purpose of this system is to prevent piracy and online cheating. DNAS prevents games from being played online if they are determined to be pirated copies or if they have been modified. However, methods have been developed to get around this protection by modifying key files in the modified game.
Many games since the service launched have been shutdown. Most notably Resident Evil Outbreak, and its sequel, Resident Evil Outbreak File 2. Both titles were popular online, but shut down. There currently is a campaign with over 9000 supporters called "Support outbreak" with goals to convince Capcom to bring back the service. Other popular shutdown games are Ratchet and Clank: Up Your Arsenal (also known as Ratchet and Clank 3), and Ratchet and Clank: Deadlocked. However, Up Your Arsenal shut down, but the HD port included in the Ratchet HD Collection on Sony Playstation 3, restores the online play for that system. Many shutdown games can still be played online via XLINKKAI, a community, fan made online service that emulates and copies server code. However, the games it supports must have LAN play on it, or at least have the server source code released or leaked to play. There are other methods That make it possible to play online as well.
See also