Preservation effort unearths over 750 PlayStation 2 game prototypes

You can scour auction sites for PlayStation 2 games of your youth, but that doesn’t tell the full story of Sony’s console — it skips the unfinished titles you might have seen at trade shows or in magazines. Thankfully, those pre-release projects won’t be lost to oblivion. As VGC notes, the preservation group Hidden Palace has obtained 752 PS2 game prototypes and demos from collectors, shuttered developers and defunct media outlets as part of a Project Deluge initiative.

The mix includes prototypes of classics like God of War II, Katamari Damacy, Okami and the Ratchet & Clank series. There are also E3 demos, including big titles like Shadow of the Colossus, as well as very rough alpha previews for titles like Def Jam: Fight for New York and Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3. It’s not a complete look at the PS2’s history, but it could easily make you nostalgic.

Hidden Palace stressed it checked for differences from retail versions, and that most of these prototypes will run in emulators.

There’s no tentative release date. Another batch is coming “real soon,” though. If nothing else, this is already useful as a snapshot of gaming culture in the early 2000s. You can see breakthrough games before they were finished, or remember just how many extreme sports games were on store shelves.