Ah, the first PlayStation. When a lot of people think about childhood, the PlayStation was at the center of it. Since that time, the PlayStation has transformed into something that uses technology gamers never dreamed would exist in a video game console. Let’s take a trip down the long, winding road that is Sony’s PlayStation.
The original PlayStation video game console was released in 1994 in Japan and one year later in North America, Europe, and Australia for $299. It transformed the way we play video games today. It featured real-time 3D graphic technology and the fastest processor in gaming, and it popularized CD technology. The top-selling games on the PlayStation 1 were Gran Turismo, Final Fantasy VII, Gran Turismo 2, Tomb Raider 2, and Metal Gear Solid — all franchises which still exist today.
A few years later, the PlayStation 2 was released, again for $299. Its technology was revolutionary at the time. Sony and Toshiba collaborated to create brand new technology for the PS2, including the Emotion Engine CPU. The PS2 did more than just play games — it was also a music and DVD player. Two years after its release, a Network Adapter was released, which allowed gamers to play certain games online. The EyeToy, released in 2003, enabled hands-free gaming for certain games (kind of a precursor to today’s Kinect and PlayStation Camera). The DualShock 2, the PS2’s controller, kept the same look as the PS1, but featured subtle improvements that gamers appreciated. The PS2’s game library included around 10,000 games, more than any of its competitors. The top-selling games on the PS2 were Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, GTA: Vice City, Gran Turismo 3, GTA 3, and Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty.
In 2006, the PlayStation 3 was introduced to the world. The 20GB ran for $499, and the 60GB model was a whopping $599. This was the first console to include a Blu-ray drive. Along with the release of the PS3 came the launch of the PlayStation Network. This allowed gamers to connect to the internet, download games, watch Netflix, and much more. The Sixaxis controller released with the PS3, and it was the first wireless PlayStation controller. It did not have a vibration feature, but the DualShock 3, released a year after the PS3’s launch, brought back the beloved vibration feature. The PlayStation 3 had, and continues to have, an amazing game library, including top-selling games like Grand Theft Auto V, Call of Duty: Black Ops, and Grand Turismo. The system is known for its incredible exclusives, including franchises like Uncharted, God of War, Ratchet and Clank, Killzone, LittleBigPlanet, and more.
And that brings us to the PlayStation 4, Sony’s latest console which released on Nov. 15 with a price tag of $399. It features a Blu-ray drive that is three times faster than the PS3’s, 8GB of GDDR5 memory, in-game chat, and more. The console is much more social than the PS3. It allows players to connect their Facebook and Twitter profiles to their game and play under their real names and compete with their Facebook friends. The DualShock 4 is said by many gamers to be the “greatest controller ever made.” It doesn’t have the expected Start or Select buttons, but instead has Share and Option buttons. With the Share button, gamers can instantly stream their gameplay live through Twitch.tv, upload screenshots to Facebook or Twitter, or upload gameplay footage. At the time of writing, the console has sold 2.1 million units worldwide. Currently, the top-selling games are Call of Duty: Ghosts, Battlefield 4, Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, and Killzone: Shadow Fall.
The PlayStation brand has provided many gamers with fond memories over the years, and continues to do so. What are your favorite PlayStation memories? Let me know in the comments below.
GamesBeat 2014 — VentureBeat’s sixth annual event on disruption in the video game market — is coming up on Sept 15-16 in San Francisco. Purchase one of the first 50 tickets and save $400!