PlayStation – gaming console which changed the world

In 1993, the developers at Sony started to create a gaming console which was presented as PlayStation a year later.  Before the program labelled PSX (an internal name for the TV gaming system program), Sony was never involved in development or production of any computer gadget. While it was experimenting with the MSX chip in the 80’s, it was a failure.


The founders

Ken Kutaragi, the crucial man at the origin of PSOne and the symbol of a tough, self-opinionated and quick-tempered technologist (later manager) who provoked both, admiration and fear. His talent was used in the digital technology laboratories as soon as he started at Sony in the 70’s. He turned every single project of his into a success. He was there when LCD and first digital cameras were developed. It was Kutaragi who came with the idea of Sony entering the video game industry when Sony’s revenues went down due to the economic recession in the 80’s. He realised that his daughter gets up earlier in the morning just so that she can play Famicon by Nintendo before she leaves for school. So Kutaragi snitched his daughter’s gaming console and took it to pieces (and put it together again) so that he could see how it works. He found out that Nintendo hardware is quite easy and that he could help Sony to not only duplicate the system, but also make significant improvements to it. Yet Sony didn’t share his enthusiasm. When Kutaragi heard about the new Nintendo opening for someone to develop a modern sound chip for a 16bit console, he applied immediately and Nintendo was more than happy to accept him. Yet he was still employed by Sony so he solved the situation in his very own way. He didn’t leave Sony, but was developing the sound chip for Nintendo in his free time. Finally Sony found out about this “Nintendo cooperation” and Kutaragi got nearly sacked. Luckily, Sony’s most influential man, a managing director, Norio Ohga, stood up for Kutaragi. He saw a prospective benefit for Sony’s devices using the SPC700 chip so he made sure Kutaragi could finish his project. Kutaragi kept suggesting Sony entering the video game industry to the managing director until he agreed. The original concept included cooperation with Nintendo. That was the beginning of the SNES-CD console, named Play Station by Sony. Eventually, Nintendo backed out of the cooperation. However, it didn’t discourage Kutaragi from completing his vision he belived would be a success and asked Sony’s managing director for his support. Then Ohga uttered a quote that changed the gaming world once and for all: “Just do it!” And Kutaragi did.

PlayStation is here…

When the console was presented to the public, the world was amazed by its features, mainly from the graphic point of view. It was first launched in Japan on 3rd December, 1994, then in Europe and in the US at the end of 1995. The initial price in the US was $299. It’s been already 26 years since the launch but Sony didn’t rest on its laurels. The fifth generation of PlayStation should be released between October and December 2020 and there is a lot to look forward to. PlayStation isn’t just a piece of electronics. It is a living legend and a life style.

Games that conquered PSOne

Ridge Racer (Namco – 1994) was one of the first games that became an immediate hit. It combined both, a 3D animation and a fun drifting. It showed the players that PlayStation console offers quality comparable to gaming machines.

Crash Bandicoot (Naughty Dog – 1996) with its popular marsupial became very popular and was a synonym for a gaming console thanks to its colour graphics and 3D environment.

Tomb Rider (Core Design – 1996) and Lara Croft were a combination of amazing environment, action and riddles.

Metal Gear Solid (Konami – 1998) by Hideo Kojima featured so called “fourth wall.”

Followed by more legendary games…

Vagrant Story (Square – 2000) was unique for its easy gameplay, innovative combat system and emphasised by a wonderful soundtrack on top of that. Dialogues weren’t dubbed but they appeared in bubbles like in comic books.

Jade Cocoon (Genki – 1998) incorporated elements of Pokémon and Tamagochi.

Ghost in the Shell (Exact Production I. G – 1997) is one of the top games with Japanese anime graphics.

Die Hard Trilogy (Probe Entertainment – 1996) – trilogie her, která sledovala děj Smrtonosné pasti, jednoho z nejlepších počinů (Probe Entertainment – 1996) was a game trilogy following the story of individual episodes of Die Hard with excellent Bruce Willis.

Others: Resident Evil (Capcom – 1996), Metal Gear Solid (Konami – 1998), Silent Hill (Konami – 1999), Ratchet & Clank (Insomniac Games – 2002), God of War (Sony Santa Monica – 2005/2018), LittleBigPlanet series (Media Molecule – 2008), The Last of Us (Naughty Dog – 2013), Grand Theft Auto V (Rockstar Games – 2013), Uncharted 4: A Thief´s End (Naughty Dog – 2016), Horizon Zero Dawn (Guerrilla – 2017), Death Stranding (Kojima Productions – 2019)

 Things to note

1/ Save Towers from PS2 starting screen mirror saved game data on your memory card.


2/ A PS fan Dan Holmes officially changed his name to PlayStation 2.


3/ The PS3 system offered such a huge output that it was often used for scientific purposes or medical research, including Alzheimer’s disease.


4/ SHARE button on the DUALSHOCK 4 cordless control allowed saving and sharing of video game recordings, screen shots and streaming.


5/ In 2005, exactly 5 years and 5 months after PS2 release, it became the fastest selling gaming console. Sales reached up to 100 mil. units. There were nearly 4,000 PS2 titles by 2013.