New hard drive for PlayStation2 isn't easy to like


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May 06, 2004|By Rasheim T. Freeman

The promise of a new hard drive for the Sony PlayStation 2, released this year, sent hearts aflutter.

Not only were PS2 players hoping to get a faster, stronger console, but also they hoped to download upgrades for their favorite games with the hard drive becoming a stolid repository for episodic titles such as Final Fantasy XI.

With 40 gigabytes of hard drive space, the PS2 would have five times as much storage space as Microsoft's Xbox, which has been promoted for its superior graphics, its ability to connect to broadband Internet and an internal hard drive.

The PS2 hard drive comes with Square Enix's Final Fantasy XI for $100. You can't get the hard drive separate on the retail market.

So you can imagine my disappointment when I took the new Sony add-on hard disk drive on a crash course at home and could not find any new, exciting downloads on Sony's PlayStation Web site.

The downloads that were "coming soon" in March for some of Sony's biggest titles, such as the military shooter Socom II, hadn't arrived by late last month. Not a good sign, when you consider that most of the people on Sony's PlayStation Web site say they bought the Sony hard drive specifically for Socom II - one of the company's most popular games.

Sony's add-on disk drive not only doesn't have new gaming experiences, but it also won't work with many of the existing games out there that you might want to save to the disk.

This is because the current generation of games isn't able to recognize the hard drive.

Not many uses present themselves once you cross off the hard disk's usage as a great big memory card or a place to download content for games, such as new music, characters and stadiums. About the only thing you can use the hard drive for is Final Fantasy XI.

While many people around the world like Final Fantasy, it's tough to justify paying $100 for this hard drive and Final Fantasy XI. The hard drive doesn't do nearly enough, and I'm not a Final Fantasy player.

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