Have you had problems with new games such as Guitar Hero World Tour, Rock Band or Rock Band 2 not loading on your PlayStation 2 (PS2) game system? Did you think the disc was bad only to find multiple copies of the same game still did not load on your PlayStation 2. This is a known issue with the older versions of the PlayStation 2 systems and it includes the PlayStation 2 slim gaming systems. Sony, Electronic Arts, and Activision are aware of this issue.
Here is the problem. Newer games from Electronic Arts (Rock Band and Rock Band 2), Activision (Guitar Hero World Tour), and other games will not load. When you attempt to run the game, you get a “cannot read disc” error. This is different from the issues caused by faulty hardware back in 2005, which resulted in a class action lawsuit against Sony. The reason you are getting this error is that some older versions of the PlayStation 2 are unable to read newer multi-layered disc formats.
I found out about this situation when I purchased Guitar Hero World Tour for our PlayStation 2 serial number 750001. The game would not load. I tried a second Guitar Hero World Tour disc and this too did not load. A search of the internet for PS2 problems led to me a number of forums where others are having identical issues. The following titles are games for the PlayStation 2 that will not work on PlayStation 2 systems with the serial number SCPH-75001: ATV Offroad Fury 3 by SCEA, Big Mutha Truckers and Big Mutha Truckers 2 by THQ, ESPN NBA 2K5 by Sega, Everquest Online Adventures Frontiers by Sony Online Entertainment, F1 2001 and 2002 by Electronic Arts, Flight Night Round 2 by Electronic Arts, Tom Clancey’s Ghost Recon Jungle Storm by UBI Soft, Jak X Combat Racing by SCEA, ESPN Major League Baseball 2K5 by Take Two, SRS Street Racing Syndicate by Nameco, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2005 by Electronic Arts, 007 Tomorrow Never Dies by Electronic Arts, and Ty the Tasmanian Tiger 3: Night of the Quinkan by Activision. The aforementioned titles have been confirmed by Sony. In addition, Rock Band and Rock Band 2 by Electronic Arts, Guitar Hero World Tour by Activision, and various Madden versions by Electronic Arts will not work on some PlayStation 2 systems.
How can you tell if your PlayStation 2 will have problems? It goes by the serial number. This number is found on the underside of the system. There will be a label that has the serial number and the model number. The serial number starts with the letters SCPH and then there is a 5-digit number that follows. According to Sony, only the SCPH-75001 series has problems reading software. Either there are a lot of units in the 75001 series or the problem is larger than Sony is letting on.
Sony’s response to this situation has been very disappointing. Contacting customer support by telephone is useless. Automatic voicemail will walk you through steps to shut off your system, turn it back on, and place in the disc. Then it will suggest you clean the disc and try again. Voicemail will also tell you how to run the system with the Auto Diagnostic option enabled. None of these options will help you if your system is not capable of reading the disc. Sony’s website is of little help although if you check the forums you will find that others are having similar issues. Although the website states in a customer alert that certain software titles will not work on the SCPH-75001 series PlayStation 2 systems, Guitar Hero World Tour, Rock Band, Rock Band 2, and Madden are not listed. This leads me to believe that the problem is larger than Sony is willing to admit. If your system’s serial number starts with a 3, 5, or 7 it is possible that your unit will not play the newer games.
I finally emailed Sony’s customer support. They responded in 4 days (perhaps Christmas had something to do with the delay). My questions was very specific. I asked them if a PlayStation 2 system with the serial number SCPH-75001 will work with Guitar Hero World Tour, Rock Band or Rock Band 2. Brian L. of Sony’s customer support replied with 3 links to answer my question and then closed the incident. First, he directed me to the Troubleshooting PlayStation format games on the PlayStation 2 article located on Sony’s website. The second link was to the Types of Media Supported by the PlayStation 2 System. Finally, the third link Disc Troubleshooting on the PlayStation 2 assumed the disc was dirty or my system needed repair. None of these articles answered my question. These articles do not mention Madden, Guitar Hero or Rock Band titles.
Some retailers not accepting returns on Guitar Hero World Tour software or peripherals. Game Stop in Chicago is one of these retailers. Walmart in Bentonville will accept returns if you explain about the compatibility issue. Other retailers will not allow for returns of opened games. The best course of action is to tell the retailer that there are known issues with these games not running on certain models of PS2 systems and hopefully they will refund your money.
For those who cannot get their money refunded, if you paid by credit card, contact your credit card company and file a claim. For those who paid by debit card, you have recourse through your bank. Anyone who cannot return the game should contact their State Attorney General’s Office and file a complaint. If enough complaints are filed, Sony and the software manufacturers will have to alert consumers to the fact that some games will not run on all PlayStation 2 systems.
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