PlayStation is 20 years old this week in the EU region, and that means that we should celebrate the anniversary with a look back at the history of PlayStation. What made us fall in love with it, and why is it so important to us?
PlayStation – 1995
The PlayStation launched on 29 September 1995, and went on to sell 102.49 million units before its manufacturing cycle ended in 2006.
My first memories of the PlayStation One was renting the console from my video store, back then you could rent it for like R20 a day and it came with a few games. The only issue was it had no memory card, so you would have to make sure you had your own, or just play the game until the end.
Crash Bandicoot, Street Skater, Final Fantasy VII, it was a great time to be a gamer. Then came the DualShock and I remember quite clearly playing Ape Escape for the first time and loving the feeling of the dual analogues. Being 5 years old it was hard to get into grips with it but slowly I managed.
I remember picking up the PSOne slim console and popping in Marvel Vs Capcom for the first time. Being young and clueless I believed that somehow the visuals from the slim PSOne were inferior to the larger one, and that I had basically a PlayStation 2. Little did I know that it was the same thing, but smaller.
I remember those dark hallways of that creepy school in Silent Hill, and how I could never get the courage to venture deeper into it. I remember playing Crash Team Racing with my brother and falling in love with split screen. It was something so new and revolutionary, two players on the screen at the same time. This was something I thought was the best thing since sliced bread.
Did you know: Over 7918 titles were developed for the PlayStation One, and over 962 million software units were sold?
PlayStation 2 – 2000
After the PlayStation’s huge success, the PlayStation 2 (PS2) released into the world. The PlayStation 2 went on to becom the best selling console of all time with over 155 million units sold as of March 2012. It shipped with the DualShock 2 and was the first PlayStation to feature an online mode. With the PlayStation Network Adapter gamers could play select games over the internet.
I loved my PS2, I got it late in its life cycle around the time Final Fantasy X-2 just released, but trust me that I made sure to catch up on the games that I missed. I remember driving 50km to a shop that had the only stock of Kingdom Hearts in Johannesburg. My mom hated me that day but I really needed that game.
God of War, Crash Twinsanity, Grand Theft Auto San Andreas, Dragon Quest VIII, Devil May Cry 3, Need for Speed Underground. The Ps2 had it all, it was the birth of so many franchises that we still play today.
Did you know: The PlayStation 2 was only discontinued in 2012, just a year before the release of the PlayStation 4?
When the slimline PS2 came along it was a huge cut in size from the original, plus my original model had a lens issue that plagued my entire childhood. I ran out and got the slimline as soon as I could. I will never forget piling books on the top of it to try and make it work better. I swear it helped, really it did.
PlayStation 3 – 2006
2006 and the PS3 released at a ridiculously high price world wide. In SA the 60Gb backwards compatible model would set you back R6 299.00. The first model still had the classic “Spiderman” font on the front of it, and it was a huge machine. Beautiful, don’t get me wrong.
16 years old and quite clued up on games, I lived in magazines as internet was terrible in SA, and you just never knew when a game was releasing. It was a case of just walking into a shop and finding a game that just happened to be out at that time. My dad got me my first PS3, it was the epic Resistance: Fall of Man bundle that came with two SixAxis controllers. I remember still owning a tube TV and hating the fact that I could not make use of the brand new HDMI port on the console. So yes, I played on the tube for a long time before moving onto a HD TV.
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion was the first game I went out and bought. To me it was the ability to finally play a PC game on a console that just made it so amazing. I had a PC, but it was crap, I tried to play Oblivion, but it did not work out. I spent hundreds of hours playing it on PS3. I remember playing Folklore, Heavenly Sword, Full Auto, and some other old games.
My PS3 then got the Yellow Light of Death one day while I was playing Metal Gear Solid IV: Guns of the patriots. It was terrible, it wasn’t even a year old and I felt robbed. I then got a re-furbished one as mine was still under warranty, but it was never the same. I constantly struggled to have a PS3 that was stable and worked well until I gave in and got the PS3 slim.
The PS3 had some amazing games, some that pushed me even further into becoming a video game journalist. LittleBigPlanet, Final Fantasy XIII, Heavy Rain, Killzone 3, Resident Evil 5. So many to mention.
PlayStation 4 – 2013
Well, the PlayStation 4. What can I say about, it’s only been out got just under 2 years and it’s been a great console to own. I love it, so much that I even invested in the 20th Anniversary Edition for myself, given that I have been around for every second of the 20 years, I think I needed it right?
I spend most of my time playing games on my PS4. Destiny ruins my social life, and the exclusives are pretty decent too. I cannot wait to see what the future holds, with PlayStation VR becoming a reality, and the games just getting better and better.
As the PlayStation 4 grows so does the brand, and we’re so grateful to be part of the industry in one way or another. Here is to another 20 years!