PS2s startup screen Easter egg is surprising players all over again

Gaming fans who were in the hobby in the early 2000s are having their mind blown now that an Easter egg from the PS2 startup screen is making the rounds on social media.

If you remember the PS2 boot screen from back in the day (or you’re an old-school type who still keeps old consoles at the ready), you might recall that a number of towers appear under the “Sony Computer Entertainment” text when you start the console. The number of those towers is determined by how many games you’ve played, and their height is determined by how much you’ve played of them.

That fact just went viral thanks to a tweet from KirbyCheatFurby (opens in new tab) (via GameSpot (opens in new tab)), but there’s been some confusion over exactly how the size and number of towers ties to the games you’ve played. A popular Did You Know Gaming? video from 2014 (opens in new tab) said the towers were generated “according to the number of save files and the size of each file” on your memory card, but that’s not entirely accurate.

According to community researchers at The Cutting Room Floor, a wiki “dedicated to unearthing and researching unused and cut content from video games,” the towers actually appear based on each game you’ve booted, and increase in size based on the number of times you’ve started a given title. Only a certain number of towers can be displayed, however, and the towers representing the games you’ve gone the longest without playing will start disappearing once you hit the limit.

That data is stored in a file on your memory card, but it has nothing to do with the game saves on that card. You can delete all your saves without seeing a change in the number of towers, but putting a fresh memory card in the system will present you with a clean, tower-free boot.

If you’re looking for some classics to enjoy, check out our list of the best PS2 games.

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