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It wouldn't have changed much, other than maybe help Dreamcast gain enough footing to stay in the market. But I was there. PS2 was like some sort of unconquerable machine, even before it launched. The hype was unlike anything I'd ever seen, and likely will ever see again. So if it had launched in 2001 (speaking about the US here), it would have done much the same to the Xbox and Gamecube that it did launching in 2000.

As for the PS3, that is a completely different thing imo. Xbox 360 was a serious threat, and Wii was the console to own. Had PS3 held out and let the 360 get a two year head start... man. With the price tag, and lackluster interest that it had at the time of its launch? Who knows. Maybe Playstation as a brand dies completely out. I know one thing, it would have been a really bad idea.