In a curious coincidence (the Sega Dreamcast having been released 15 years ago today) another system is enjoying a birthday. The Sony PlayStation was released in the USA on September 9th, 1995, and would go on to break numerous records for game sales and quality.
Originally conceived as a collaborative effort between Nintendo, Philips and Sony, the deal to produce a CD add-on for the SNES broke down. This left Phillips and Sony with their parts of the project to do as they wished with. Phillips produced the execrable CD-i console (the one with the awful Zelda games) while Sony had a better idea.
With the Sega Saturn being difficult to develop for and the Nintendo 64 still over a year from launch, Sony seized the initiative and their new console – complete with groundbreaking 3D graphics – exploded in popularity. The machine pioneered such concepts as dual analogue sticks on a controller – in a configuration which survives barely changed today. The PlayStation is best remembered for its vast library of games, including the most popular versions of Tomb Raider, the Spyro and Crash series, Metal Gear Solid and the first of the 3D Final Fantasy games.
The latter were of particular importance to the console’s absolute dominance. While the previous instalments of Final Fantasy had been Nintendo affairs, the company’s insistence on using limited-capacity cartridges as opposed to the CDs employed by Sega and Sony made them and Square part ways. Indeed, only nine RPGs would be released on Nintendo 64 – over half in Japan only. Meanwhile, Final Fantasy VII smashed sales records for RPGs, became one of Sony’s most reliably successful series and remains a PlayStation stalwart with a huge fan base to this day.
The PlayStation sold over 100 million units – the first console ever to do so – and received new games all the way up until 2005. It received a revamped smaller version, the PSOne, midway through its life, which only pushed sales further still. While the Nintendo 64 was a brilliant system with some well-loved games, it must have caused Nintendo many nightmares to think what might have been had their deal with Philips and Sony not fallen through.
What are your fondest PlayStation memories? Let us know!