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What is a PS2® Network Adapter?

H. Bliss
By H. Bliss
Updated May 16, 2024
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Used with the Playstation 2™ (PS2™) gaming system, a PS2™ network adapter is a piece of hardware that enables a Playstation 2™ gaming console to connect to a network. This type of adapter enables a PS2™ user to engage in multiplayer interactive gaming with a player on another PS2™ console, which lets the user play against another player online. The Playstation 2™ is the first version of the Playstation™ video game console to offer the option of network play.

A PS2™ network adapter connects a user to a network, either a local area network (LAN) or the Internet, to play interactive games with other users who are connected to the same network. Playstation™ games with network gaming capabilities often have servers online where gamers can meet and play using their PS2™ network adapter hardware. Any text entry inputs are filled using a virtual keyboard on the PS2™ which is navigated using the console controller. To make PS2™ network connectivity easier to navigate, some users connect a universal serial bus (USB) keyboard to the PS2™ for faster and easier text entry.

To prepare for use, the PS2™ network adapter needs to be configured using the included PS2™ network adapter configuration disk to run network-enabled games on the Playstation 2™. The configuration disk helps a user specify his connection information so the PS2™ can get on the network. Network configuration settings include information about the router, modem and Internet service provider (ISP).

Though certain Playstation 2™ consoles come with the PS2™ network adapter already installed, it is a standalone piece of hardware that can be bought separately and installed into the expansion bay on the Playstation 2™. An expansion bay is a place left in the console in which a piece up upgrade hardware like a network adapter or hard disk drive (HDD) can be installed. Unless it is for the slimline version of the Playstation 2™, a PS2™ network adapter can also be connected to a hard drive with integrated drive electronics (IDE) technology. An IDE hard drive can also be called a parallel advanced technology attachment (PATA) drive, and can be compared with the newer and more common serial advanced technology attachment (SATA) hard drive technology.

A Playstation 2™ is the second Playstation™ console released by Sony. It originally came out in the year 2000, after the first generation Playstation™ and before the Playstation 3® video game consoles. 1994 saw the release of the original Playstation™ console, also known as PS, which did not have a network adapter. Playstation 3® console came with network capabilities already included. In the computer world, a network adapter can also be called a network card. For Playstation 3® users, a network card is a prepaid card, much like a gift card, that is used to buy objects in the Playstation™ stores.

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Discussion Comments

By Soulfox — On May 19, 2014

@Logicfest -- yes, a PS2 network adapter is still useful. The PS2 was a wildly popular console and there are still some online games that can be played on it. How do you find a list of those games? Do some research. It is good to check regularly on what games are still active as their status is always subject to change.

And here is some good news for anyone interested in a PS2 online adapter. Those can be found for cheap at online auction sites and through other sources.

By Logicfest — On May 19, 2014

The PS2 is old. Like, way old at this point. Is there any point to having a network adapter with a PS2?

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