Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Sony PlayStation 20th Anniversary

Earlier this month, Sony celebrated 20 years of the PlayStation. Can you believe it's been that long already? So to celebrate, we'll be taking a short look at 20 years of the PlayStation:

The origins begin in 1986, when Nintendo was trying to make a CD based add on for the Famicom (NES). They had a joint deal with Sony. They created a prototype,  which was known back then as the CD-ROM/XA. Nintendo realised that the Disk System was good, but as the magnetic disks could be erased and re-written, thus leading to piracy. Nintendo wanted something that couldn't be erased easily and could be copy protected. The technology was still in it's infancy, so Nintendo waited until the release of the Super Famicom (SNES) to approach Sony again to make the new SNES-CD attachment to compete with the Sega-CD. Though there was some internal arguments as to what was going to be made. Nintendo wanted an add-on, Sony had plans to make a fully integrated system much like later Genesis models, where it would have full SNES support AND play the new CD games. Some games, like the Genesis would require both the 32x AND Sega CD to operate.

After the deal with Nintendo fell through in 92, Sony forged a partnership with Sega. Sega was developing it's all new systems at the time. However, the deal fell through. Nintendo once again claimed copyright thanks to the original deal and then by 93, they were stating that the Play Station would feature CD versions of Nintendo games that Nintendo would own all the rights to and own the bulk of any royalties and profits, however, Sony determined that this would be unfair. They won a court battle, removed all of Nintendo's involvement and removed the space between the names, forming the PlayStation. 

The console was intended to be 2D driven, however, after the success of Sega's Virtua Fighter arcade machine and subsequent ports, Sony realised the future lie in 3D polygons. Sony released the PlayStation first in Japan on December 3rd 1994, then the US and Europe in September of 95 respectively. It launched with an array of games that covered a broad spectrum from Battle Arena Toshinden, Air Combat, Warhawk, Ridge Racer, Rayman and Philosoma. Each of these games were well received and later spawned numerous sequels and spin offs.

The PS1 enjoyed a long and lasting life, beating out many of it's competitors and even taking on the original Xbox. The PS1 finally ended it's life in 2007, with FIFA 2005 being the last game officially released for the console. However, in 2007, the Metal Gear Solid Essential Collection was released, containing Metal Gear Solid, Metal Gear Solid 2 and Metal Gear Solid 3, it contains the PS1 port of the first game. In 2011, Capcom released the Resident Evil Anniversary Collection, in which there are Playstation versions of the game. Finally, Square Enix released the 25th Anniversary Final Fantasy collection in 2012, which contained every single game up until that point, of course, many of which are in the Playstation format as well.

Now, the one thing that's interesting about the PlayStation, is that you could make your very own games on the system. You required a special version called Net Yaroze, Net Yaroze came with everything you needed to make your own game. You connected the machine to your PC and it came with a book, allowing you to program games and progams. In the UK, the Official PlayStation Magazine came with a demo disc every month and it had a compilation of Net Yaroze games. Eventually, the final issue, 108 came with a disc that was practically full of every single Net Yaroze game ever made. 

The console may not have been as powerful as it's competitors on the market, but it stood tall and proud on there, It took on the Saturn and N64 and walked away the console that defined a generation to many critics and fans alike. It forged a legacy that still resonates with us fans even to this very day. 20 years later, Sony still dominates the video games market and still has one of the most well loved machines. 

Take a moment, Think fondly on those memories of Tomb Raider, Puzzle Bobble, Ridge Racer, Twisted Metal, WWF, WCW, Rayman, Tombi, MediEvil, Medal of Honor, Resident Evil, Die Hard, Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, Marvel vs, Capcom, Alien Trilogy, Final Fantasy and the thousands more besides.

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