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15 Years of PlayStation: A Look Back

September 9, 2010 Written by Anthony Severino

Ever since the original PlayStation launched back in 1995, video games have never been the same. Since then, PlayStation has become a household name, an industry icon, and to many, a best friend. PlayStation as a brand has always been on the cutting edge of technology, ushering in new ways to be entertained for a total of 15 grand years.

Although the original PlayStation debuted in 1995, its origins began nearly a decade prior where the Father of PlayStation himself, Ken Kutaragi, was working with Nintendo to create a CD-ROM for the SNES using “Super Disc Technology”. Nintendo eventually broke off the partnership, going with Phillips CD-i technology. Kutaragi humiliated, he pushed his efforts forward to create his own video game console to rival that of Nintendo’s. His effort eventually became the original PlayStation, which went on to be the first video game console to sell over 100 million units and forever changed the landscape of the video game industry.

As much of a success story the PlayStation was, it wasn’t until the PlayStation 2 until the brand became the household name it is today. Launching in late 2000, the PlayStation 2 helped the budding DVD format take off. At the time, the PlayStation 2 was one of the cheapest DVD players on the market, and it was a PlayStation game console to boot making it the best value available. The PlayStation 2 has went on to sell over 150 million units worldwide and is still going strong with new games continuing to be released on the decade old console. The PlayStation 2 is the perfect example of PlayStation’s 10-year life-cycle. When you buy PlayStation, you know you get your money’s worth.

In 2004, the PSP launched as the multimedia handheld device. Not only did it play high-quality games, much higher than the competition, but it also had an internet browser, played MP3s, videos and more. It was the all in one that many were looking for. Since its release, it’s seen many revisions as the slimmer and lighters PSP-2000 and PSP-3000, and a completely different, clamshell form-factor on the downloadable only PSP go.

November of 2006, we were all looking to Play B3yond, as that is when the PlayStation 3 officially launched. The PS3 brought a new HD-era to video games and another new disc format to the forefront with Blu-Ray disc. Along with the PS3 launched the PlayStation Network. In its infancy, it offered downloadable games and trailers. Today, it’s become a thriving platform for games and DLC; even a complete movie service featuring both rentals and movies to purchase is available. It doesn’t stop there: PSN is also the host to a social experience connecting you to your friends in many different ways. Play multiplayer games online, video chat, or even meet up and interact virtually in PlayStation Home.

Sony Computer Entertainment has much reason to celebrate. The PlayStation brand collectively has went on to sell over 377 million units worldwide. Some of the greatest games ever release have graced the PlayStation consoles. New genres have been created again and again. Many of us have grown up along-side PlayStation and will continue to do so. As we look back at the past 15 years of PlayStation, we can’t help but look ahead to the future. When a company has proven to innovate and excite so many times in the past, we know they will not falter in the future, wherever it may bring us.

Stick with PlayStation LifeStyle as we continue our PlayStation 15-year Annivesary coverage.