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A quick look back at the first Sony PlayStation, launched 28 years ago today in the US

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The video game console business in the United States underwent a major shakeup on September 9, 1995. 28 years ago today, the first Sony PlayStation console was launched in North America, several months after the console was launched in Sony’s home country of Japan in December 1994. Sony says the console, also known as PS1, Officially sold over 102.4 million units before production ceased in 2006.

The launch of the first PlayStation might not have happened if the original plans for Sony’s entry into the console game business had gone ahead. Related to this Pelegon story, Sony engineer Ken Kotaragi made a deal with the leader in game consoles, Nintendo. The deal will allow Sony to create a sound chip for the SNES console. Kotaragi originally made the deal without telling higher-ups at Sony in advance. In the end, Sony’s CEO at the time, Norio Oga, allowed the deal to go through.

Nintendo and Sony then made another deal. Sony would create a CD-ROM add-on for the SNES, which Sony called “PlayStation”. According to this Kotaku story, Sony’s contract with Nintendo also allowed it to retain the rights to the CD game software as well. This means that all royalties from all sales of CD-ROM games from the “Play Station” add-on will go to Sony. Nintendo will simply get the money from the CD hardware add-on.

The plan was to officially announce the SNES “Play Station” CD add-on at the 1991 Consumer Electronics Show. However, Nintendo realized that they had given too many rights to Sony. Behind Sony’s back, Nintendo decided to make a deal with competitor Philips to create a CD-ROM add-on for the SNES. Sony reportedly found out about this deal two days before the reveal.

Eventually, Sony announced the Play Station, which would play SNES games and CD-ROM-based titles, at CES on June 1, 1991. On June 2, Nintendo and Philips announced its competing CD-ROM add-on at CES.

In the end, neither device was actually launched. A prototype of the “PlayStation” was discovered years later, with Engadget reported It still worked. It’s an interesting side note in the history of console gaming.

While Sony decided not to sell its original SNES “Play Station”, the company decided to lead the world of video game consoles with its own independent console, the PlayStation, which had no ties to Nintendo and with Kutaragi in charge of its production.

according to a copy of Electronics Games Moon. The first PS console had a custom 32-bit R3000 processor with a clock speed of 33.8688 MHz. It had 16 megabytes of RAM, along with 8 megabytes of VRAM and 4 megabytes of audio RAM.

The maximum resolution for games on the console was 640 × 480. The Geometry Engine chip allowed the console to handle graphical effects such as texture mapping and ground shading. You can delve even deeper into the hardware aspects of the original PlayStation In this article written by Rodrigo Copetti.

Ridge Racer

As we mentioned, the first PlayStation console was launched in Japan on December 3, 1994, with over 300,000 units sold by the end of that year. The launch 28 years ago today in the US got a big boost when Sony announced that the launch price of the console would be just $299 at the first Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3).

The console launched with a handful of titles in the US, but the record was Ridge Racer. The 3D texture-mapped graphics may seem a bit dated today, but it looked amazing to many gamers back in 1995. As in Japan, the PS1 was a massive sales hit in the US.

Today Sony launched four more main consoles in the PlayStation family, along with two handheld game consoles, the PSP and PS Vita. Again, one wonders how the video game industry might have been different if Sony and Nintendo had decided to get along better all those years ago.



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