|Discontinued||23 March 2006|
|Units sold||102.49 million|
|Memory||2 MB |
|Sound||16-bit, 24 channel |
The PlayStation[note 1] (officially abbreviated to PS, and commonly known as the PS1 or its codename, PSX) is a
The PlayStation is the first "computer entertainment platform" to ship 100 million units, which it had reached 9 years and 6 months after its initial launch. In July 2000, a redesigned, slim version called the PS one was released, replacing the original grey console and named appropriately to avoid confusion with its successor, the
The PlayStation 2, which is
On 19 September 2018, Sony unveiled the
The inception of what would become the released PlayStation dates back to 1986 with a joint venture between
Kutaragi was nearly fired by Sony because he was originally working with Nintendo on the side without Sony's knowledge (while still employed by Sony). It was then-CEO, Norio Ohga, who recognised the potential in Kutaragi's chip, and in working with Nintendo on the project. Ohga kept Kutaragi on at Sony, and it was not until Nintendo cancelled the project that Sony decided to develop its own console.
Sony also planned to develop a Super NES-compatible, Sony-branded console, but one which would be more of a home entertainment system playing both Super NES cartridges and a new CD format which Sony would design. This was also to be the format used in SNES-CDs, giving a large degree of control to Sony despite Nintendo's leading position in the video gaming market.
The product, dubbed the "
After the collapse of the joint-Nintendo project, Sony briefly considered allying itself with
By the end of 1992, Sony and Nintendo reached a deal whereby the "Play Station" would still have a port for SNES games, but Nintendo would own the rights and receive the bulk of the profits from the games, and the SNES would continue to use the Sony-designed audio chip. However, Sony decided in early 1993 to begin reworking the "Play Station" concept to target a new generation of hardware and software. As part of this process the SNES cartridge port was dropped and the space between the names "Play Station" was removed becoming "PlayStation", thereby ending Nintendo's involvement with the project. According to a Sony engineer, all work on the console from the time of the partnership with Nintendo was eventually scrapped, and the PlayStation design was restarted from scratch. Sony's North American division, known as Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA), originally planned to market the new console under the alternative branding "PSX" following the negative feedback regarding "PlayStation" in focus group studies. Early advertising prior to the console's launch in North America referenced PSX, but the term was scrapped before launch.
According to SCE's producer Ryoji Akagawa and chairman
Since Sony had no experience in game development and the managers knew about it, the company turned to third-party game developers. With support from Namco, Konami, and Williams, as well as 250 other development teams in Japan alone, the company secured the launch of new games such as
The purchase of Psygnosis also brought other benefits to the company, including a dedicated game development kit for the console. With the help of Psygnosis,
Industry hype for the console spread quickly, and in early 1994
PlayStation went on sale in Japan on December 3, 1994, a week after the release of its rival Sega Saturn, at a price of
Before the release in North America, Sega and Sony presented their game consoles at the first Electronic Entertainment Expo conference, held in May 1995. First, Sega announced its Saturn console, and announced that it will be released at a price of
In North America, PlayStation went on sale on September 9, 1995 at the previously announced price of $299. There were over 100,000 pre-orders placed and 17 games available on the market by the time of launch. The launch was a success, and the stores reportedly were running out of consoles and accessories. In Europe, PlayStation was released on September 29, 1995, and finally in November 1995 in Oceania. During the first four months - from September to the end of 1995 - sales of the console in the U.S. amounted to 800,000 units, giving the PlayStation a commanding lead over the other fifth generation consoles,[note 2] though the Super NES and Sega Genesis from the fourth still outsold it. At the same time, according to the president of SCEA, the
Critics generally welcomed the new console. The staff of
The PlayStation's success was partially due to Sony's approach to third party developers. While Sega and Nintendo took an isolationist approach, focusing primarily on first party development while generally ignoring the concerns of third party developers, Sony streamlined game production by providing a range of online programming libraries that were constantly updated. They also organised third party technical support teams, and in some cases gave direct development support to third parties. At the close of 1996, approximately 400 games were being developed for the PlayStation, compared to approximately 200 and 60 games being developed for the Saturn and the Nintendo 64 respectively.
While the Sega Saturn was marketed towards 18 to 34 year-olds, the PlayStation was marketed roughly, but not exclusively, towards 12 to 24 year-olds. Both Sony and Sega reasoned that because younger players typically look up to older, more experienced players, advertising targeted at teens and adults would draw them in too. Additionally, Sony found that adults react best to advertising geared towards teenagers; according to Lee Clow, "One of the first things we resolved early on was that everyone is 17 when they play video games. The young people look up to the best gamer who is usually a little older and more practiced and talented. Then there are people who start working and grow up, but when they go into their room and sit down with their video games, they're regressing and becoming 17 again." Initially, PlayStation demographics were skewed towards adults, but the audience broadened after the first price drop.
In 1996, Sony expanded their CD production facilities in
However, the PlayStation took longer to achieve dominance in Japan. Tokunaka stated that, even after the PlayStation and Saturn had been on the market for nearly two years, the competition between them was still "very close", and that neither console had led in sales for any meaningful length of time.