If you have landed on this article, then you found yourself asking the age old question: “what’s the difference between the PS2 Fat Vs PS2 Slim?”
When talking about PS2 Fat and it’s streamline sibling, we gotta break down the main differences and changes made by Sony in the upgrade.
We did break down some of the differences in our article of All Playstation Consoles & Handhelds In Order.
It’s pretty obvious, if you look at some old photos of me… the Slim Anthony is better than the Fat Anthony. But it’s not so obvious which Playstation 2 model is better.
Is one console better than the other for playing the 10 Best Selling PS2 Games of All Time?
Let’s break that down!
The original Playstation 2 model was released in the year 2000.
To this day, it is still the number one selling game console of all time at over 155 million units worldwide.
Clearly it was a fan favorite, and this was partially thanks to the inclusion of a built-in DVD player and its internet connectivity.
The original Playstation 2, which is now sometimes referred to as the “fat” model, included a front-loading disc drive as well as HDD support.
This HDD feature (a PlayStation 2 Hard Disc Drive) was perhaps one of the biggest advantages of the original fat model.
Just over 120 games in total ever used this 40gb hard drive (34 outside of Japan), most notably was Final Fantasy XI which required it to play the game at all.
This HDD reduced load times by sharing memory responsibilities and also served as a backup game save location.
Because Final Fantasy XI requires the HDD to play, that means you cannot play that game title on the PS2 Slim at all! And with FFXI being such a popular game, that’s a pretty big reason to want the original fat model.
However… like many original iterations, the Playstation 2 Fat was not without its quirks.
The device was really pushing the limits in performance, and was known to have many disc read errors and also get quite hot.
Overheating would cause the fan go into overdrive. This could be quite annoying, especially if you’re trying to play at night when your partner was sleeping.
Needless to say, Sony knew that a new model that was more reliable, quieter, and cooler was due.
PlayStation 2 Slim
As the name suggests, the new Playstation 2 Slim console was a smaller, slimmer, and quieter unit released in 2004.
The redesigned model made massive improvements in overall hardware performance and efficiency, which in turn reduces heat and fan noise.
This time around, Sony opted for a top-loading disc tray, which allows for a slimmer drive, and also adds to the reliability of the drive.
And in the new Slim model, Sony shed the HDD port, previously used for both the 40gb hard drive addon and the internet capabilities for the console.
The new slim model did not need the internet addon, as it now included a built in ethernet port.
It is also important to note that there were several iterations even within the PS2 Slim models.
Sony made minor improvements in size, weight, cooling, BIOS, drivers, a unified Emotion Engine (EE) + Graphics Synthesizer (GS) chip, an upgraded laser lens, power adaptor size, etc.
All of these improvements landing on the final model in the Slim series, the SCPH-9000x, released in 2008. This was the smallest and most efficient unit in the PS2 Slim line.
They also attempted to redeem the HDD addon from the PS2 Fat by introducing the HDPro peripheral, but it did not prove to be something that many players missed.
It’s probably only a matter of tastes and nostalgia when it comes to PS2 Fat vs Ps2 Slim.
Both consoles are backwards compatible with original PS1 games, can play most of the same PS2 titles.
The main differences in the two consoles are primarily size and weight.
However, with reliability and cooling greatly improved in the newer model, the PS2 Slim is the superior console in almost every way.
Unless you’re a massive fan of the classic console or of Final Fantasy XI… your best bet is to try to get your hands on a PS2 Slim model. Ideally, the 2008 9000 model.
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Anthony has been a video game lover ever since he can remember. He became a fulltime nomad in 2018, living throughout most of Asia. He focused his passion in retro gaming and began creating a game for the Game Boy Color while living in Nara, Japan during the 2020 pandemic. He is now in Chiang Mai, Thailand, where he spends most of his time gaming, going on long walks and meeting as many stray dogs as possible.