Gadget Flashback – PlayStation
We’ve all played on one, most of us have owned one, and few of us could argue that Sony had slouched its gaming duties. Here we take a look at the PlayStation’s baby book.
1994 – PlayStation
When Sony announced its entry into the gaming market with the PlayStation sub-brand, many assumed it wouldn’t be able to take on the might of established gaming brands like Nintendo and Sega. But despite the original PlayStation’s dull grey appearance, it soon amassed a stock of decent games and took the world by storm.
The PS one followed in a miniaturisation trend that continues to this day. As well as being smaller, it introduced a new UI.
Tekken (1994) – Namco's blocky arcade game conversion was one of the first games available on the original PlayStation, and one of the first 3D fighting games, coming soon after Virtua Fighter on the Sega Dreamcast. Did you have what it took to win the King of Iron Fist tournament?
2000 – PlayStation 2
The PS2’s vertical skyscraper form was like a rocket launchpad from the future and backwards compatability with original PlayStation titles made it an easy choice for upgraders. It shifted 100 million units in record time, knocking the incumbent record holder – PlayStation – off the top spot. It remains the biggest selling console of all time.
PlayStation 2 Slimline was thinner, dinkier and quieter than big brother, but no less capable of playing Metal Gear Solid for days on end.
Grand Theft Auto III (2001) – GTA III took all the violence and reckless driving of the previous two incarnations and brought the camera down to grimy street level with its brand new 3D perspective. The recent success of GTA IV is testament to the effectiveness of GTA's combination of third-person shooter and driving game.
2005 – PlayStation Portable
Ah, Sony, you and your proprietary formats. PSP introduced us to the Universal Media Disc (UMD), which was as universal as support for ATRAC music files. Even so, Sony’s littlest console was geniunely pocketable, powerful and had the comforting familiarity of the DualShock controller’s button layout. Sadly, Ninty’s DS proved much more fun.
Yep, even being pint-sized doesn’t excuse you from the customary Sony diet plan; PSP went Slim and Lite, then smooth (3000), then slidey (Go).
Patapon (2008) – By tapping out beat patterns on the PSP's buttons, Patapon let you control a troupe of cycloptic rhythm-fiends into a bongo-fuelled frenzy as they attacked various enemies in a bid to reclaim their turf.
2006 – PlayStation 3
Even at the time of launch, Sony’s hi-def, BD-spinning console was a bit of a fatty. Deep black and heavy, it hoped to find Microsoft’s Xbox 360 in a quiet corner of the playground, knock it about a bit and leave with its lunch money. That never happened. The Xbox was protected by an enormous and excellent catalogue of games, while Nintendo’s Wii stole the show with motion control. PlayStation (and Xbox) will be returning fire later this year.
PS3 Slim was inevitable, but many pined for the days when their consoles could run Linux and were backwards compatible with PS2 games. But why?
Little Big Planet (2009) – Sackboy arrived on the PS3 and brought with him his own customisable world. From dressing him up as the policeman from The Village People to plastering his virtual world with stickers and designing your own level, it's stacks of family fun.