WWe are approaching an anniversary as significant as any in the history of video games. Next month, September 29 to be precise, the original PlayStation turns 25. The first console to sell over 100 million units, a feat it achieved nine years after its launch, Sony’s baby influence on video games has been seismic since its birth in 1995.
Truth be told, the machine was originally launched in Japan on December 3, 1994. The upcoming anniversary relates to when the units were made available in Europe, although the name – spelled in two words – has since been launched. 1986. The ‘Play Station’ was the name given to a collaboration between Sony and Nintendo to create a CD player for the latter’s Famicom / SNES. When Nintendo canceled the project, Sony began to play around with the idea of its own console. After all, he already had a name …
The split between Sony and Nintendo was messy. The result of this collaboration was to be announced at the Consumer Electronics Show in 1991. Unbeknownst to Sony, pioneer Nintendo president Hiroshi Yamauchi had reviewed the contract the two companies had drawn up in 1988 and was appalled at the degree. control granted to Sony. In May 1991, CES turned around, after which Nintendo president Howard Lincoln took the stage and brazenly announced that his company was going to partner with Dutch company Phillips. Lincoln and Nintendo of America founder Minoru Arakawa had previously traveled to Holland to strike a deal.
Breathless, Sony sought to ally with another Japanese entertainment giant: SEGA. Then CEO Tom Kalinske even pitched a proposal to his company’s board, only to get a quick laugh out of the room. “[They said] that’s a stupid idea, ”Kalinske revealed decades later. “Sony doesn’t know how to make hardware. They also don’t know how to create software. Why would we want to do this? Nintendo later took legal action against Sony alleging breach of contract, claiming that the name “Play Station” was its own creation.
In 1992, the two companies called for a ceasefire, with Nintendo agreeing to Sony’s development of its own console, on condition that its machine included a port for consumers to play SNES cartridges. A year later, the port was gone, as was any involvement with Nintendo and the spacing between “Play” and “Station”. Sony later toyed with the name PSX for a while, after the “ PlayStation ” received derision when it was placed in front of a series of discussion groups. But in the end, the original name stuck, although the word “Sony” rarely appears in marketing. It was said that senior management was concerned that the machine would be seen as a toy and negatively impact the brand.
With no experience in game development, Sony purchased Liverpool-based studio Psygnosis, a name – and the resulting owl logo – instantly familiar to owners of a Commodore Amiga or Atari ST. the Lemmings creators were renamed Sony Interactive Entertainment and worked on the development of a series of launch titles, the best of which was Annihilate (stylized ‘wipEout’), a futuristic racer with a soundtrack that boldly declared that Sony’s machine was not a toy.
I was 15 when my parents bought me the machine for Christmas in 1995. I was to share it with my younger brother, but a few years later I took it and a copy of both. resident Evil and resident Evil 2 in college where I got very few qualifications, thanks to spending most of my time shooting zombies in the head.
But I was not alone, the PS One was a dazzling and revolutionary success. If I find myself at a party at 3 a.m., chances are there will be Tekken tournament taking place in front of the TV. It looked good there, it was a stylish kit. Ads for the PlayStation would run in magazines like Charge and FHM. It was a console for gamers who had gone beyond the idea of “computer games”.
The impact of Grave robber, released in 1996 and a game synonymous with Sony’s first machine, should not be underestimated. Lara Croft, the protagonist of the game was featured on the cover of The face and the above Charge, a feat that Mario and Sonic have never failed to achieve. An icon as a key to the strange period of the late 1990s known as “ Cool Britannia, ” Lara was key to ushering in a sea change in the way the game was viewed. As ubiquitous as video games are today, there was once a certain trepidation in telling the world that you loved playing games. It was something that kids or losers did. But not after PlayStation. And never again.
I still have my original PlayStation somewhere. I never start it, it’s right there under the TV next to my PS4, Xbox One, and Switch, a relic curled up in the shadow of technological might. But I keep it there because it makes me smile. Because we have shared so many good times together.