Sony wasn’t always known for its gaming consoles that have sold millions upon millions of units. In fact, before its Japan launch in December of 1994, Sony was having to tackle two tough tasks – one, competing with industry giants Nintendo (whose Super Nintendo is arguably the greatest gaming console in history) and Sega (whose Sega Genesis console was also doing extremely well), and two, the task of entering a market where they really had no experience. Of course, Sony had plenty of tricks up their sleeve. Spurned by Nintendo due to a number of factors, their planned collaboration ended up going awry – but Sony blazed their own trail with the PS1, providing a number of gaming innovations that changed the way we play video games now.
To say the console was a gaming revolution in more ways than one is absolutely correct. Released in North America on September 9th, 1995, t was the first major home console to use the compact disc format instead of cartridges, which were fast becoming outdated. Notably, they could hold more memory and were more…wait for it…compact.
Its controller was also notable for setting an industry standard. The dual joystick nature of the controller gave the console a sleek, futuristic kind of control that helped further the 3D nature of many of its games. Games like Wipeout, Metal Gear Solid, and underrated shooters like Syphon Filter were indebted to its superior sense of control, and pretty much every console that came after utilized a similar controller design and layout.
With launch titles like racing series Ridge Racer and interesting platformers like Rayman, the system became a fast seller in Japan in late 1994. Released a week after the Sega Saturn that same year, the PS1 eventually went on to sell just over 100 million consoles worldwide – putting it only behind the PS2, the Game Boy // Game Boy Color, the PS4, and the Nintendo DS as one of the best-selling video game systems in history.
For Sony, the PlayStation was always about the games, first and foremost. Even today, its library has games of all genres to enjoy, from the fixed camera angles of survival horror debut Resident Evil to platformers like Crash Bandicoot. Eclipsing sales of Nintendo’s 64-bit system by just over a three to one ratio, the manufacturer’s success never really waned. In fact, its momentum carried over to its successor, the PlayStation 2, which delivered its own rich gaming experiences.