Thursday, December 3, 2009

PS1 @ 15...


Fifteen years ago today Sony put on the market a little device called the Playstation...

It didn't enter America for another year, but it changed the face of gaming and still casts a mighty shadow across the video game world everywhere. No other device/name in gaming is more known or has such a lineage of history, save Atari perhaps. So here's to the little game system that could, did and still does. Happy Birthday PS1!

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go finish playing this latest frustrating level of Arkham Ayslum...

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

"No other device/name in gaming is more known or has such a lineage of history, save Atari perhaps."

Something against Nintendo?

Cory Gross said...

That's what I was thinking, Anonymous. Wii and DS outsell PS3 by the thousands each, the original NES revolutionized video gaming in a way that made all later systems possible, and its not for nothing that Shigeru Miyamoto is frequently compared to Uncle Walt himself. Nintendo never was about just creating a gaming platform, but creating a real form of home entertainment and a body of franchise characters... Mario, Luigi, Donkey Kong, Link, Zelda, Kirby, and all those Pokemon are household names. Heck, the Nintendo brand was strong enough to drive TV shows and feature films whose plots are built around the simple existence of the system. And I admit, I was there: I was that kid who grabbed a bowl of Mario cereal in the morning and watched the Super Mario Bros. Super Show before school, where he read Nintendo Power magazines and collected stickers for his Panini album. Even then, more objective sources, like IGN.com, put the NES as the greatest console of all time (and they rated Playstation at #7).

Someone who wants to suggest that Playstation is somehow more storied than Nintendo has a long, difficult argument ahead of them.

Anonymous said...

the Gameboy is bigger, better, more well known.

Nicholas Tucker said...

I'm a Playstation fanboy!

Anonymous said...

I just came here to say what the other two already did... I wouldn't say Sony has exactly dominated. I'm betting they're glad they picked Blu-ray now though.

Katy said...

I have to say, I agree with both of the comments above. Sony and its Play Stations have capture the imagination of generations of people the way that Nintendo has. Maybe I'm bias because I still play my orginal NES from time to time.

PS the first to make the switch to disks. Big whoop.

R said...

This Apple boy likes to ignore the leaders in the industry - like NINTENDO!!!

Spokker said...

Cory, Sony was definitely the company that knocked Nintendo off its place at the top. In worldwide system sales the Playstation sold 101 million units and the Nintendo 64 sold 33 million.

During the next generation the PlayStation 2 killed the Gamecube with system sales of 140 million to GC's 21 million. Even the newcomer, the Xbox, sold 24 million units. New PlayStation 2 games continue to sell today (partly because the PlayStation 3 was less successful than its ancestors, but that's another story entirely).

Today, Nintendo definitely has a wider appeal than Sony. There is no doubt about that. Nintendo went for a more casual market than either Sony or Microsoft and it paid off. Their lead is not as great, though, with 56 million units shipped worldwide compared to Xbox 360's 31 million and PlayStation 3's 27 million.

When it comes to traditional video game demographics, however, the Wii is a huge disappointment. The first-party games have been the usual Nintendo quality (though the remote control gameplay quality widely varies from game to game), but the console has not been supported well by third-party developers. Most of the titles on Wii are bargain bin trash.

I would say that Sony's influence overall is at least as powerful as Nintendo's.

Dave said...

That's a pretty big statement. Apparently you never played video games during the formative 80s decade.

To borrow a phrase, you had to be there. You didn't 'play video games' You played Nintendo. Nintendo was everywhere. They sold Mario sleeping bags, kids tents... there was a freaking movie made just to be a big long commercial for SMB3 (The Wizard).

I'm no fanboy by any means, and haven't owned a nintendo since the SNES, but this is a pretty seriously silly statement.

Anonymous said...

Yes.

NES->SNES->Playstation->Wii.

Gameboy->Gameboy->Gameboy->DS.

Pattern.

Anonymous said...

I was there, too. I remember the eighties, probably better than you do. (I was working in computer development, going through my first divorce when the SNES came out. You were, what, still in grammar school?)

What you remember about Nintendo being top dog is confined to 8-bit and 16-bit. Playstation was one of the first 32-bit consoles, and basically ate N64's lunch, big time.

FWIW, I never really liked Nintendo; I preferred Atari, Amiga, and Apple, and not necessarily in that order. (Amiga's composite video kicked Nintendo's butt, btw. Coupled with the Video Toaster, it was a sweet little machine.)

Spokker said...

"That's a pretty big statement. Apparently you never played video games during the formative 80s decade."

Yes, I played the NES. But I'm talking about today. Nintendo isn't the only game in town anymore. There's also Sony and Microsoft, both of whom have beat Nintendo in previous generations of video game consoles.

The Wii is selling well because they somehow broke through to the casual gaming crowd, but the quality is seriously questionable. Nintendo is still big, but they've hit some speed bumps over the years.

Anonymous said...

PS1/2 were also popular mainly for their shovel-ware as well.
Its not like those thousands of games were all great.
I seem to remember a lot of trash that sold the playstation brand to kids and girls and those who don't know any better.
Its just now those people are spread out between platforms more.

Still, the Gameboy is still the ever champion.

Anonymous said...

Without Atari, you would not have received...

Apple Computers (Atari was too busy to make computers at the time)

Nintendo (Depending on your fanboi-leanings, this was botched by both Atari & Nintendo)

Activision (Former Atari programmers who felt shafted that they couldn't receive on-screen credits)

Amiga (Computer was originally intended for Atari but Tramiel thought that he could do better)

I'm leaving out some other stuff (CD-ROMs - Yes, Atari was first to demonstrate the tech; Workstations; Networking; Multi-Player; Other stuff) because I don't feel like typing anymore.

If only Bushnell had the balls to continue & not cash out for a measly $28 mil...

Cory Gross said...

Oh certainly, Nintendo's feud with Sega was blown open by Playstation and X-Box, and Playstation has plenty of good games and is popular with hardcore gamers. Also, Dreamworks does feature film animation and has had a few films that made more money than some Disney films.

That doesn't mean that Mario and Mickey Mouse aren't household names.

Dave said...

"But I'm talking about today."

No you aren't. You specifically said "No other device/name in gaming is more known OR HAS SUCH A LINEAGE OF HISTORY"

how can you be talking about today and history at the same time?

Spokker said...

Dave, I never said, "No other device/name in gaming is more known OR HAS SUCH A LINEAGE OF HISTORY" That was Honor Hunter.

However, the PlayStation brand does have a rich history dating back to the mid-90s and I probably should have used "recent history" instead of "today."