Sony PlayStation
Type Console Developer Sony
Release Date 1994-Dec-03 Region(s) Japan, North America, Europe, Australasia
Initial Price $299 USD Games Released 2,423
     by Dark Watcher
Japanese electronics company Sony’s involvement in the video game industry began as a manufacturer of a custom sound chip used in Nintendo's SNES console.  Rival companies NEC and Sega had already taken the leap to CD based gaming, and Nintendo had no intentions of being left behind.  They immediately partnered up with Sony to develop their CD based system.

Sony went on to develop two units.  One was a 16-bit add-on for the Super Famicom / SNES that sat underneath the system and allowed CD based gaming (SNES CD) and another as a stand-alone unit.  Initially the agreement allowed Sony the ability to license CD based games for the system.  Nintendo later recanted this aspect of the agreement due to not wanting to relinquish control over software licensing. They dropped Sony from the project and approached Phillips to develop the add-on.

Ken Kutaragi, the Sony researcher who had worked on the SNES PlayStation prototype and the sound chip for the SNES (Sony SPC700), received the blessings of then Sony President Norio Ogha to continue development of the stand-alone console without Nintendo.

Early Sony PlayStation prototype
The original PlayStation concept would be able to play SNES games, as well as educational CD software.  Nintendo would try to re-negotiate with Sony in fear that they would drop support for the SNES sound chip, but the joint effort between the companies never saw the light of day.  Ken Kutaragi went back to develop the PlayStation from scratch making it a 32-bit console that was simple yet powerful, easy to program for, and cheap.  The new Sony Computer Entertainment division (SCE, SCEA, SCEE) began to use their company connections and financial influence to persuade 400 game developers to design games for their new platform.

The PlayStation was released shortly after the Sega Saturn on December 3, 1994.  The console was an immediate success selling over 100,000 units during the first weekend of retail availability.  Developers found the PlayStation easier to program for than its 32-bit rival Saturn.  Sony then took its console abroad.

Driven by a strong advertising campaign and more affordable than the Sega Saturn ($100 more), the Sony PlayStation was an immediate success shortly in North America (September 9, 1995) and Europe (September 29, 1995).   The PlayStation would eventually claim the top spot in video game console sales, maintaining this position even after the eventual release of Nintendo’s 64-bit console.

Various proposed logos for the Sony PlayStation
The Sony PlayStation is still one of the most successful consoles of all time, boasting a library of over 2,400 titles.  Sony entered the video game market with a formula for success, which paid off in spades.

FACT:  In mid 1997, Ken Kutaragi brought back an idea that had not been seen in almost 20 years.  A special version of the PlayStation called Net Yaroze (Yaroze meaning “Let’s do it together”) was released in limited quantities for around $750 USD.  This unit was a simplified development kit that would allow users to make their own PlayStation games using the C program language.  Such an idea was last introduced back in 1979 with the Bally Professional Arcade (Bally BASIC), the Magnavox Odyssey 2 (Computer Intro) and the Atari 2600 (BASIC Programming).  The console contained both S-video and A/V ports and cables and software to connect to any Windows / Mac PC.  The unique thing about the Yaroze is that it did not contain region lockouts so pretty much any game from any country could be played.  However it did come with a special memory card that was required to start the console.  The memory card contained protections that prevented copied games from running.  Sony even established a website to assist programmers in development. 

     Officially licensed releases
The Sony PlayStation went through many changes during its ten year lifespan.  Internal components were modified to improve performance in addition to lowering overall manufacturing costs of the system.  The following summarizes each of the base models along with the significant changes to the hardware.

      RCA and AV Mutli Out jacks; Parallel & Serial I/O ports
      RFU power connector; Ashahi Kasei Microsystems DAC

SCPH-500xRCA jack and RFU  power connector removed
     CD-ROM drive relocated to reduce heat and resulting read errors

SCPH-700x \ SCPH-750x
     Internal RAM (4 to 1)and CD controller (3 to 1) chips consolidated
     Sound  Scope now included in system BIOS

     Parallel I/O port removed

     Redesigned casing; Parallel port removed; external Power Supply

Sony would also release two debugging stations, which were basically region-free PlayStation consoles designed for game developers to test their software using standard CD-Rs.  In addition, the Net Yaroze was released which included a full SDK and special console to allow the home programmer the ability to write their own PlayStation games and applications.

SCPH-500x \ SCPH-700x


The following pictures are the base packaging for many of the variants of the Sony PlayStation.

Sony PlayStation SCPH-100x
Sony PlayStation SCPH-300x
Sony PlayStation SCPH-350x
Sony PlayStation SCPH-500x
Sony PlayStation SCPH-550x
Sony PlayStation SCPH-700x
Sony PlayStation SCPH-750x
Sony PlayStation SCPH-900x
Sony PSone SCPH-10x
Sony PSone SCPH-10x
Sony PlayStation Debugging Station DTL-H110x
Sony PlayStation Debugging Station DTL-H120x
Sony PlayStation Development Station DTL-H2010
Sony Net Yaroze DTL-H300x

     Non-licensed hardware releases
No clones were released for this system.
     Interesting facts on software for this system
Software for the Sony PlayStation was distributed in the CD-ROM format.  Titles were initially released in tall, clamshell style packaging which would soon be changed to the more traditional CD jewel case.
applemctom's Games that Defined Compiliation

Sony PlayStation Launch Titles (North America)

     Captured in-game images
Ace Combat 2
Armored Core
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
Chrono Cross
Cool Boarders 3
Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped
Darkstalkers 3
Fear Effect 2
FIFA 2005
Final Fantasy IX
Gran Turismo
Hot Shots Golf 2
International Track & Field 2
Knockout Kings 2000
Legend of Mana
Madden NFL 2005
Marvel Super Heroes
Metal Gear Solid
Metal Slug X
Mobile Light Force
NBA Live 2003
Need for Speed: Porsche Unleashed
NHL 2001
Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee
Raiden DX
Resident Evil 2
Ridge Racer
Road Rash
Street Fighter Alpha
Strider 2
Suikoden II
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2000
Tomb Raider
Tomba 2: The Evil Swine Return
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4
Treasures of the Deep
Triple Play Baseball
Twisted Metal
Vandal Hearts
World Pro Tennis 98

     First and third party system emulators

This is an amazing emulator for Windows. Ensure to download the PlayStation BIOS and front-end GUI.
     For the hardware enthusiasts out there - all the detail you\we love.
Processor Type  Processor Speed  Other Processor Information RAM \ Video RAM
MIPS R3000A (32-bit) 33.8688 MHz 3D Geometry Engine, Data Decompression Engine 2 MB \ 1 MB
Screen Resolution Color Palette Polygons \ Sprites Audio
256 x 224 up to 640 x 480 16.7 M colors 360K \ sec \ 4K 24 channel ADPCM, 44.1 kHz sampling, 512 KB dedicated RAM
Media Format Media Capacity Games Released Other Supported Formats
CD-ROM (2x) 700 MB 2,423 Audio CD
Internal Storage External \ Removable Storage Game Controllers Other Game \ Peripheral Devices
512 KB ROM (OS) Memory Card (1 MB) D-Pad, Shoulder buttons (4), Action buttons (4), Start\Select buttons Mouse, Keyboard,
Controller Ports Network Ports Other Ports Audio \ Video
Two (2) Optional Serial I\O port, Parallel I\O port, Memory Card slot (2) RF (optional), Composite, S-Video (optional)
Power Supply - Internal Other Outputs  Other Details \ Notes
AC 100 V, 50 Hz (NTSC-J)
AC 110 V, 50\60 Hz (NTSC-U\C)
AC 220 V, 60 Hz (PAL)
None A number of variations exist for the Sony Playstation.  See the Models & Clones section for more details.
Sony PlayStation 5501 Owners Manual (PDF) - 1.23 MB
Sony PlayStation 7001 Owners Manual (PDF) - 1.47 MB
Sony PlayStation 7501 Owners Manual (PDF) - 1.48 MB
Sony PlayStation 9001 Owners Manual (PDF) - 1.57 MB
Sony PSone Owners Manual (PDF) - 1.32 MB
Sony PSone with LCD Owners Manual (PDF) - 1.06 MB

     Peripherals, Promotions, Commercials, Brochures, Etc.
Sony PlayStation Television Commercials

     Visitor insights and feedback
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