Udayavni Special

History of Sony’s home console, PlayStation


Team Udayavani, May 16, 2021, 3:11 PM IST

The history of PlayStation goes back to 1988 when Sony and Nintendo were working together to develop Super Disc.

Back then Nintendo dominated computer gaming and Sony had not yet entered the home video game market but was eager to make a move.

Sony believed that they had a good chance for success by teaming up with the market leader.

After a failed venture with Nintendo with the release of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System–CD in the early 1990s, Sony made the decision to market its own console.

Accordingly, in 1990, Research and development for the PlayStation started and was headed by Ken Kutaragi, a Sony engineer.

Kutaragi was tasked with developing the PlayStation to beat Nintendo and he developed games in a 3D polygon graphics format.

In 1991, Sony introduced a modified version of the Super Disk, the Sony PlayStation.

As not everyone at Sony approved of the PlayStation project, it was shifted to Sony Music in 1992, which was a separate entity.

In 1993, they further spun off to form Sony Computer Entertainment, Inc.

Sony made agreements with several third-party developers, such as Namco and Konami, in order to have a strong line-up of games to go along with the launch of their new console.

At the first-ever Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in 1995, Sony revealed what would be their original home console, the PlayStation.

In Japan the PlayStation was launched in December 1994 and was launched in the US in September 1995.

The PlayStation was no longer compatible with Nintendo game cartridges and only played CD-ROM-based games. This was a smart move that soon made PlayStation the bestselling game console.

Sales exceeded expectation with queues of players lining up outside stores and retailers running out of stock ever day.

Within the first year of launch, Sony outsold its main competitor, the Sega Saturn.

Main reasons behind PlayStation’s commercial success were its great marketing campaign and a price point less than its competitor.

Its strong library of launch titles, with games such as Ridge Racer, Wipeout and Tekken were other factors.

Soon more and more third-party developers turned their backs on Nintendo and Sega and moved to PlayStation as it was popular and had greater CD-ROM storage capacity giving them more options for the creation of their games.

With the increasing fan base for their brand name and great gaming experiences, Sony launched the PS2 in 2000.

The sales for this console crossed millions within days of launch as the new console was cheap compared to its competitors – the Microsoft Xbox, the Nintendo GameCube, and the Sega Dreamcast.

The success of the PS2 was so great that it forced Sega to discontinue their console and remove themselves from the market entirely.

Microsoft followed up their successful first console with the stronger and faster Xbox 360, while Nintendo remained a powerful competitor in the market with the highly innovative Wii and hence Sony’s seventh-generation console, which entered into development in 2001, had a great legacy to follow.

PlayStation 3 was met with skepticism due to its large price compared to its predecessor ($599), but also the fact that it was launched in two editions: one with a 20 GB storage capacity and other with 60 GB.

The first PS3 models were able to read all of the PS2 and PS1 discs and play the games, just as PS2 had done. However, Sony released a ‘Slim’ version of the console three years later, which removed that capability and made it the first of Sony’s consoles to not offer backward compatibility.

This decision received strong criticism at the time, and foreshadowed Sony’s move away from any kind of prior-generation compatibility with the PS4.

Even though the PS3 didn’t go on to sell anywhere near to its predecessor, it did offer players some incredible experiences and became home for some of Sony’s greatest franchises.

In 2013 Sony released the PlayStation 4 (PS4), designed specifically to compete with the Xbox One.

Critics and players embraced the new platform, which boasted outstanding graphics and a smooth online multiplayer experience.

By the end of the year, the PS4 had crushed its main competitor, Microsoft’s Xbox One, outselling it almost three to one.

Sony recently released the PlayStation 5.

The new console is tall tower-shaped with curvy edges and futuristic blue glow accents and includes a white-and-black design. It can be placed vertically or horizontally underneath a TV.

It is available in two versions: one with a 4K Blu-ray drive and a pure Digital Edition.

The console is powered by an eight-core AMD Zen 2 CPU and a custom AMD RDNA 2-based GPU.

The PS5 will ship with a new DualSense controller.

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