July 1, 2022

25 Years of PlayStation

A legacy that has lasted 25 years, the original PlayStation still holds a special place in the hearts of many gamers the world over.

3rd December 1994.

The day the world, as we all knew it, would irreparably change. Exactly 25 years ago to the day, Sony released the original PlayStation. (I should clarify, this date marks the 25th Anniversary of the Japanese release of the console, before somebody makes a pedantic comment).

Yes, 25 years ago, Sony decided to enter the fray. Until that point, Nintendo had dominated the landscape (with SEGA sadly often playing catch-up). The biggest difference between Sony’s PlayStation and the other consoles of the time was one thing; 3D. That extra dimension helped change everything.

Beforehand, SEGA and Nintendo had been content with making 2D games. Sony spearheaded a massive change in the market. Both competitors had to up their game (pun unintended). The consequences were the brilliant Nintendo 64 and the SEGA Saturn. However, as good as both of these consoles may have been, history will forever tell that Sony won the console war between the three.

Revolutionary

It wasn’t even just the fact that Sony kickstarted the whole 3D revolution in the market either. Nintendo, who was officially the king of the industry at that point, were overtly complacent in their marketing. Children were often seen as Nintendo’s target demographic. Their catalogue comprised of more family-friendly, accessible games. The PlayStation wasn’t afraid to appeal to a more mature audience.

Sex appeal with Tomb Raider, complex storytelling with Metal Gear Solid, and extreme violence with Resident Evil. The PlayStation pushed the boat out on all these aspects and more. Whilst Sonic the Hedgehog was supposed to emulate the attitude of the 1990s, PlayStation was that attitude.

Another huge selling point for the PlayStation was the inclusion of CD-ROMs. CD-ROMs had already been utilised by the SEGA Saturn, which released a few months prior. However, I don’t think Saturn’s credibility would have lead to the shift from cartridge to disc. The shift was so gargantuan that only one other home console that has since used ROM cartridges was the N64. And that was 23 years ago.

Game-Changing

Whilst graphics are not the end-all-and-be-all of a game, it is hard to argue against the impact the PlayStation 1 had at the time. Yes, the 1990 polygons do leave a lot to be desired. Especially when held up against 4K HD graphics. But for the time, this was as close to the real world as we could get. It’s something that Sony has managed to out-perform nearly everybody else with time and time again since.

Nintendo will still be the king of the industry – and with every right to be – but it was thanks to Sony that we have as many great video game series and heroes as we do today. Cast your mind back to your favourite game series growing up. I bet at least one of them had their roots on the PlayStation.

Iconic

Since the PlayStation, Sony has gone on to do bigger and better things. They currently lead the market in terms of current-generation console sales. And their 1st-party IPs are amongst the best in the entire industry. The PlayStation 4 has already become the second-best-selling home console system of all time (behind only the PlayStation 2).

And the PS4 holds the distinction of being the fastest console to shift over 100 million units. With the (admittedly slow to take off) advent of VR in gaming, PlayStation is still the only home console to offer that technology 1st-party.

The industry holds a lot of respect to Sony for their accomplishments. But what about you? What is your favourite memory of the PlayStation 1? Or the PSX? Why not fire off your favourite games or earliest memory of this beloved icon of the industry in our comments section? It would be an apt way to celebrate 25 wonderful years of gaming history.


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