Ah the PlayStation, a serious shot of nostalgia for so many people across the world including myself. There were so many titles that swallowed much of my childhood, and the option of 2-player was a saviour with some games needing the second slot to even complete the game, we all hate to love you Metal Gear Solid! Harsh I know, but it summarised what the PlayStation was to me, a mature console capable of spanning all age ranges from the likes of Spyro to Grand Theft Auto, and it captured their hearts without the need for super speed servers and online co-op. Anyway, you’re here to find out 5 amazing facts about the PS1, I’ll try to not disappoint!
The PlayStation wasn’t all Sony’s idea!
The original PlayStation wasn’t actually Sony’s sole brainchild. It was initially a partnership with Nintendo, the then leading gaming console frontrunner. The console named Play Station (emphasis on the space) or Super Disc would be a CD add-on to the Super Nintendo. The whole concept was shaken when Nintendo started to question Sony and setup a partnership with Philips, a very poor decision. Following this act of treachery, Sony went on to make the PlayStation and secured the top spot in the console war. The PlayStation, throughout its life, had many names; PS-X, PS1, PlayStation and PSone.
The PS1’s black disc had no purpose!
The discs had a black bottom and were by far the strangest color on the market; the color had no purpose or reason apart from looking very cool and for recognition. The PS1 was so popular that games were still being made throughout even the PS2’s lifespan until 2006, the last being the Japanese-exclusive Strider Hiryu, and in the US, Fifa 2005 released in 2004. The number of games released differs greatly on who you talk to but most say it was around 3000 titles worldwide and reached sales of almost 962 million. The discs were ground-breaking for the time, most other game storage were 12MB but the PS1’s were 650MB which allowed for the immense 3D graphics and music the PS1 brought to the table but did mean we had the downfall of seriously slow loading time.
Sony sold 102 million consoles!
Sony sold 102 million consoles and numerous versions of the PS1 before ceasing production in 2004. It had a variety of colors including; grey, black, white, green and blue, and limited editions including; the midnight blue with only 100 consoles being released and the Men In Black unit. There have been numerous versions released all with tweaks to the connectors and other such things but there are too many to even list here without boring myself and you! The PS1 came in 2 major sizes, the original rectangular box shaped unit and the smaller, compact and slightly curvier PSone, the latter released in 2000. There were other significant versions like the Net Yaroze which came with tools and instructions that let a normal person program PlayStation games without a full developer suite, and the Combo Pack; a PSone with a 5″ screen and an adapter which needed plugging into the mains or to a car as the device had no battery.
The PS1s top seller, Gran Turismo, took 5 years to develop!
Gran Turismo is the best-selling game for the PS1 with 10.85 million. It took 5 years to make with a team of 7 people, its inventor Kazunori Yamauchi said: “In those five years, we could not see the end. I would wake up at work, go to sleep at work. It was getting cold, so I knew it must be winter. I estimate I was home only four days a year.” It was a highly praised game however, winning many awards across the board and in 2000 gaining the title of the “21st best game of all time” due to its ‘complete package’ of graphics and realistic gameplay.
The PS1 controller is supposed to represent the console’s 3D graphics.
In the pre-PlayStation era, most consoles came with flat joypads. Teiyu Goto, the creator of the iconic PlayStation controller however, felt that the controller’s 3D design matched the 3D graphics of the games. Many of Sony’s higher ups hated the concept, but Goto had the Sony president Norio Ohga, on side who coincidently was a pilot and in turn liked the device because it reminded him of an aeroplane’s controls. Goto said of the iconic symbols; “The O, Δ, X & □ all have a meaning, the Δ refers to viewpoint, one’s head or direction and made it green. □ refers to a piece of paper representing menus or documents and made it pink. The O and X represent ‘yes’ or ‘no’ decision-making and I made them red and blue. People thought the colors were mixed up, and I had to reinforce to management that that’s what I wanted.”
So remember, if you have a PlayStation, it could be worth something, treasure it! I’d like to point out that this is not by any means all the amazing facts about the PS1 and the games in particular, there is so much more to read and learn about the platform such as Final Fantasy VII originally being designed as a detective game in which you played as ‘Hot Detective Joe’, or that the iconic Crash Bandicoot was initially called Willy the Wombat! Whether you’re still a PlayStation fan or not, you have to admire and appreciate the success, technology and vast array of games available on the platform. The PS1 dawned a new era of gaming; it brought so many new concepts to the table that we still use today. Now, down to the serious questions, where do I buy a second hand PS1? Can I afford a midnight blue edition? And for the love of all that’s holy, does anyone have a copy of Tomb Raider?