I'm still using a PlayStation 2. I'm aware that nothing lasts forever, but I would like to make the PlayStation 2 last as long as it can. I bought it roughly when PlayStation 2 was released but chipped from the start (was legal then and I think it still is in my country). I use it around 0-2 times a month. Let say 1 on average. When I play it's usually 2 or more players and we play long sessions of 12+ hours.

What can I do to improve the lifetime of the console?

  • 7
    The PS2 emulator is very much functional nowadays (95% of the games are playable). No need for the real console. Commented Nov 11, 2016 at 10:58
  • 6
    Note that Speed Demos Archive (SDA) still mandates consoles for accepting speedruns (though exceptions do occur). So there is a need for the real console.
    – Kyle Kanos
    Commented Nov 11, 2016 at 14:03
  • In addition to @JonathanReez answer, probably the biggest solution to keeping your ps2 experience lasting is handling your disks well. Light reflection (more specifically uv or sunlight reflection) can degrade the disks, so keep them in dark cases. Additionally, and obviously, try not to scratch them.
    – Sidney
    Commented Nov 11, 2016 at 15:16
  • Related gaming.stackexchange.com/q/163795/58982, and you will find this useful blog.codinghorror.com/power-surge-protection-pcs-and-you
    – Braiam
    Commented Nov 12, 2016 at 23:17

2 Answers 2


Firstly, I think it's important that you noted that nothing lasts forever. The PS2 has components that will eventually wear out over time, even if preserved or used sparingly.

Most notably, it is likely that one or all of these components will eventually fail:

  • Controllers - Obviously wear & tear use but also the rubber domes that provide both the button 'depress' and spring-back can eventually wear out.
  • Memory Cards - Memory cards are built on a type of Flash memory that - like all flash memory - has limited reads and writes. Eventually they will also fail.
  • Power supply - Capacitors wear out over time, even when not used
  • Disk drive - Spin motor can burn out and/or rubber and plastic components can become brittle and break with age or rapid heat/cool cycles.
    • This includes the Clamshell lid or disk drive tray (depending on whether you have a slim or phat PS2), either way plastic clips or the parts that control ejecting DVDs will wear out.

This isn't an exhaustive list of what can break but they will be the most common complaints of broken hardware. Note that if any of these happen to you that all hope is not lost, most of these parts are replaceable, and there are third-party (i.e. not Sony) vendors that still offer replacement parts (and will for years to come).

Now, in terms of your actual question of how to look after your PS2 so that it will have a long lifetime, it's all the simple stuff really:

  1. Make sure it has a lot of ventilation in a dust-free environment
  2. Don't play it in areas of excessive heat or humidity (don't play during heat waves or humid days unless you have air conditioning keeping everything cool and dry),
  3. Keep it away from sources of heat (like fireplaces or heaters)
  4. Don't leave it on 'idling' or 'paused' for extended periods of time.
  5. Don't set it up somewhere where it's likely to be knocked off (or pulled off by someone tripping over a cable) - avoid 'hard shocks'
  6. Don't throw your controller across the room when you're losing.
  7. Put your disks back in their case when you're done playing.
  8. Pack everything away when you're done - don't leave controllers around where someone can step/trip on them.
  • 17
    It's worth noting that many of the potential failures can be repaired. Power supply capacitors can be replaced; mechanical parts in controllers and disk drives can be repaired. If you really look after it, I am pretty certain that your memory cards are going to be the final point of failure -- they aren't reparable, and once the market of replacements has dried up they're not the kind of thing a homebrew replacement can easily be made for. Commented Nov 11, 2016 at 9:49
  • 1
    Slim vs phat, love it. Commented Nov 11, 2016 at 14:28
  • 7
    #6 is the key to all gaming. Remember, you're playing to relax not stress yourself out.
    – Anoplexian
    Commented Nov 11, 2016 at 15:24
  • 2
    And one more thing to add: always unplug the power cable when not in use. Turning it "off" doesn't protect it from power spikes in your electrical system during the many hours you are not using it. Commented Nov 12, 2016 at 13:02
  • 2
    @MarkRipley: actually you can buy power strips with antisurge protection, and a power-down sleep mode. Quality varies, read reviews
    – smci
    Commented Nov 12, 2016 at 14:11

If you are serious about using your PS2 for a significant amount of time in the future, the key appears to be to have plenty of spare parts.

What I would expect to be the (by far) most economical way to achieve this, is to buy one or two PS2 devices that you can harvest at will.

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