Articles ~ Playstation: History in the Making
Pre 1988 Sony was what one might call ‘illiterate’ in the gaming industry, having never produced a console, or anything significant in the gaming industry. In 1991 the Super NES (Nintendo) was the first real step into the gaming industry by Sony, in which they aided Nintendo in making a CD rom drive for the existing Super NES. While developing this technology for Nintendo, Sony had their own ideas up their sleeve, to become dominant in the home video games market (console), with a gaming console, which could play both Super NES cartridges and Sony games in the form of CD roms. 1991 saw Sony announce their plans for the ‘Playstation 1’, which would play both Super NES cartridges and CD rom games (Playstation 1 games). 1992 was the year in which it was announced than Sony’s and Nintendo’s CD roms would be compatible with each other. An extremely limited 200 consoles were only ever produced which could play both CD roms (PS1 games) and Super NES cartridges. These days those first 200 units are a collector’s dream, but a nightmare to find.
Finally in 1994, three years after Sony first announced their gaming console the PSX (Playstation 1) was launched in Japan (RRP 39 800 Yen), the PSX could only play CD rom games, and no longer supported the Super NES cartridges as Sony had originally planned. Over one million PSX units were sold in the six months after its launch. In 1999 a smaller, and cheaper version of the console was released, the PS1. As of march, 1996 the PSX had sold over 3.5 million units worldwide, and was a huge success, with it being one of the most wanted (or needed) console. After eleven years of the Playstation one being manufactured, production of new consoles ceased on March 23, 2006.
The Playstation 2 had a big advantage over the PSX, being that Sony had already shown they could produce a decent console, and had a large fan base, which resulted in the PS2 being more successful than many anticipated. Sony announced that the Playstation 2 was in development in early 1999. At last, the PS2 was released in Japan on March 4th, 2000, more than five years after the Playstation one was first released. The PS2 sold over 900,00 units in it’s first week on sale in Japan alone, and PS2 units were soon in extreme demand, with some willing to pay double, or triple the retail price of the PS2, just to obtain one. One year after the initial launch of the PS2, ten million units had been sold worldwide, which some economic analysts thought was great while others thought it was ‘meh’, and nothing to get excited about. Sony released several popular games in the lead up of Christmas, 2001, which helped retain its lead in the console war with the Microsoft Xbox and Nintendo Gamecube.
In the fourth quarter of 2002, Sony releases the PS2 network adapter, a result of Microsoft Xbox launching a successful online service. The network adapter allowed for online play between other users in selected games, Socom US Navy Seals was one of the first and most successful online compatible PS2 games. In the 4th quarter of 2004, Sony unveiled the new Slim PS2, which was an improved slimmer and sleeker design of the PS2. Now with the PS3 to be released later this year, one can only wonder, ‘Will it live up to the Playstation series?'
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