25 years ago, the now iconic PlayStation 1 startup sound entered into public consciousness. It’s a sweeping, thrilling tune, one perfectly indicative of the fun players were bound to have. Though fans look back on it as a nostalgic piece of PlayStation history, internally, it represented so much more than a cool sequence. Apparently, Sony used the startup sound as a way to inform users that the system itself and the disc drive were working properly.
The original startup sound’s composer, Takafumi Fujisawa, went into detail about this very topic in Game Informer’s extensive analysis of PlayStation’s 25-year history. According to Fujisawa,
The function of this sound is to tell the user that the hardware is running like it is supposed to, and that the disc has successfully been read. To add, the swooshing reverse sound [in the PlayStation 1 sequence] is designed so that it can go into loop if the disc couldn’t be read, and we can understand if something went wrong.
While the PlayStation 1 startup sound had its underlying technical purposes, Fujisawa also wanted to ensure players found it aesthetically pleasing. At the sound’s core, then, rested Fujisawa’s desire to make users feel as though “something exciting” awaited them. The composer continued,
I thought of the structure, selected the tones, and gathered the instruments in two weeks, and the studio work was done essentially in two days. I kept thinking from the start that I wanted the sound image to be something exciting, like that feeling when you walk into a cinema. I really wanted to communicate and reinforce that something fun is going to happen.
Evidently, Fujisawa’s attempt proved successful. Indeed, few sounds in gaming are as recognizable as the original PlayStation’s startup. And it still manages to induce instant excitement, most notably evident in fan reactions to the Crash Bandicoot sequence in Uncharted 4.
[Source: Game Informer]