- Title: Sony PlayStation (aka PlayStation One, PSOne)
- Manufacture: Sony Computer Entertainment
- Type: Disc-Based Video Game Console (5th Generation)
- Release Date: 1994 (Japan), 1995 (North America and Europe)
History of the PlayStation:
During the first and second generations of video game consoles many electronic companies jumped on the console bandwagon. After all, they already built products using the same parts, so why not enter into the hot new gaming fad. Magnavox released the first video game console with the Magnavox Odyssey, which inspired Pong, then RCA released the RCA Studio II (a Pong clone), and even the Fairchild Semiconductor company made the Fairchild Channel F. Surprisingly Sony, which was founded in 1946, didn’t release their own video game system until the mid-90s, but it wasn’t for lack of trying.
The Nintendo/Sony Marriage:
Finally in 1994, Sony released the PlayStation (aka PSOne) in Japan and 11 months later launched the console in North America and Europe (S1995). The system was an instant hit, quickly eclipsing the Super Nintendo as well as Sega’s own disc system, the Sega Saturn.
A year after the PlayStation’s release Nintendo tried to take down the newcomer turned-gaming industry giant by releasing their own 3D gaming console, the Nintendo 64, but Nintendo stuck with the cartridge format, which inevitably led to its downfall for the very reasons developers were drawn to the PlayStation. Without third party support, the N64 had a smaller library, and while some of those titles are considered the best games of the time, including Goldeneye 007, there simply wasn't enough of them to keep up with the PlayStation.
The Computer Entertainment System
When the NES released in 1985 the term “Video Game” had a bad connotation after the market flood of poor quality games that lead to the industry crash, so Nintendo decided to refer to it as an “Entertainment System” and design it as a home entertainment system component, instead of touting it as a video game system. Sony took a page from the same book and referred to the PlayStation as a “computer entertainment system” instead of a console. Even today they require all references of their systems by third party publishers and developers as the PlayStation Computer Entertainment system, and technically they are right.
The PlayStation could not only play the system’s official game discs, but also Music CDs and later with an adapter, VCS (aka Video CDs) which were the predecessors to DVDs. This made it not only the most powerful, but also the most vestal system of its time.
Even after Sony released their second system, the PlayStation 2 in 2000, Sony continued to support the original PlayStation, encouraging third parties to continue publishing and developing for the system, and continued to do so 6 years into the PS2’s lifespan.
Finally, in 2006 Sony ceased manufacturing the original PlayStation, giving the system a 12 year lifetime and ending it as the first console to sell a hundred million units.
Today the term PSOne (or PlayStation One) has expanded and is now used not only for the revamped model, but the original PlayStation console as well. While games have visually advanced and controls better defined, the PSOne introduced gamers to the 3D world of games and kick started the CD-ROM revolution in the world of gaming.