Got a lot of request from YouTube to explain those PS2 startup screen elements, since I uploaded a PS2 startup video yesterday. They PM'd me like crazy, and the worst thing is that their spelling and grammar is HORRIBLE, so they must be zombies.

Unfortunately, I can't make a video now, since my f**king mic broke off for some reason, so I'll explain it here for now. I'll just upload videos of Fallout 4 for now (with no commentary, of course), until I have a new mic. I actually use the one used for news broadcasting, since the audio quality of those mics are really nice.

OK, enough talk. Let's see the picture of the startup screen.


There are lots of things here. However, the only part of the startup screen that seem to have a meaning is the white squares and towers.

So let's see a video of it, to see some extra stuff that can't be explained with pictures.

Playstation 2 (PS2) Startup-000:19

Playstation 2 (PS2) Startup-0

You'll notice that there's a zoom effect, and obviously, sound effects. Both of these have meanings. So, let's go to the explanation straight away

The white squares and towers

These actually only appears when you insert a memory card into your PS2 and play some games while it is inserted. Basically, it sorta "logs" how long you play games. The more you play different games, the more squares appear and the longer you play them, it starts to turn into a tower and then grows and grows and grows until at a point where it stops growing. Sometimes, the squares and towers disappear, even when there is a memory card inserted. This is a known issue in PS2, and you need to start over.

On some PS2 models, the squares won't turn into towers, or even won't show up. Seems to occur on earlier PS2 models.

It's not documented at all in the manual, so it must be some unexplained feature they made. Probably to make the startup screen less boring.

You can manually remove all the squares and towers by deleting the "Your System Configuration" file in your memory card, if you wanna start over.

The zoom effect

The startup screen DOES zoom slowly when reading the disc, and the longer it takes to read it, the deeper you'll zoom in. After it finishes loading (or fails to load the disc), it will quickly zoom. Basically, how long it takes to the "quick zoom" depends on the speed of the PS2 reading the disc. 

I also noticed that on some models, it won't zoom until it finishes loading the disc.

The sound effect

Yes, the sound effect even has meanings.

When the disc is read very quickly, you'll still hear the sound from the startup, even when it already zooms in (and fades). The above video is an example of this variant.

When the disc is read quickly, but not too quick, the sound seems to disappear when it zooms in.

When the disc is read slowly, another sound will be played, and it continues to play even when it zooms in. Easier to notice on Phat PS2 models since they read discs more slowly than the Slim ones. See this video if you don't understand what I mean.
Playstation 2 startup screen00:20

Playstation 2 startup screen

When zooming in, a whoosh sound will be played. However, if you put a PSX disc, or a DVD/CD disc, the whoosh sound won't play. It only plays when you put a PS2 disc, or if you put an unsupported disc (e.g. PS4 or Xbox One disc), usually resulting in an RSOD, or the disc read error (when you go into the browser menu).

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