This year marks the 25th anniversary of Sony’s iconic PlayStation home video game consoles. 25 years of innovation, excellence and sheer joy to gaming lovers!
On this occasion, we thought of turning back the pages and tracking the evolution and development of this popular gaming console – right from the first ever PlayStation in 1994 to the latest version available in the market right now. Read on!
A Brief History and Timeline of the PlayStation Series of Gaming Consoles
Launched in December 1994 in Japan, PlayStation became the first ever video game console to ship over 100 million units. Rated highly amongst the 5th generation consoles (with contemporaries like Sega Saturn and Nintendo 64), PlayStation featured a dual-speed CD-ROM drive and a core CPU with 2MB RAM.
This device also had 1MB video RAM with the graphic capability of up to 360,000 polygons per second. What was so special about the PlayStation was the fact that it helped industry and gamers transition from 2D graphics to real-time 3D rendering.
In July 2000, Sony launched PSOne – a smaller, compact and better version of its original predecessor. The new console was sleek and rounder, while the UI was updated to the then-highest standards of user experience and technology.
PlayStation 2 was released with an all-new Emotion Engine CPU and featured 32MB of system RAM and 4MB of video RAM. It was one of the first consoles that supported DVDs for not only gaming, but also watching films.
It also allowed USB connectivity and an option for users to install a 40GB hard drive (over and above the 8MB memory card). PS2 was massively popular not only for its internal capacity, but also because it came in a sleek, black finish with tighter joysticks.
On 11th November 2006, PlayStation 3 was released with an aim to bring in fresh technology to its users across the globe; with HDMI support and a 1080-pixel output. They used Nvidia’s RSX Reality Synthesizer GPU (256MB VRAM at 550MHz) and a 20GB internal hard drive.
Competing against Xbox 360 and Nintendo Wii – PS3 was the first console that had a Blu-ray drive cell processor. It also allowed gamers to install their own HDD and connect the device to Wi-Fi networks. Users could also download video games and use applications like YouTube or Netflix, thanks to the launch of PlayStation Network.
PlayStation 4, which has been ever-so-popular since its launch in 2013, was a much more powerful gaming console compared to its peers. With an 8-core AMD x86-64 Jaguar CPU (1.6GHz with 8GB memory) and an integrated AMD Radeon GPU, PS4 paved its way for highly-evolved gaming consoles that were as powerful as high-end PCs. Headsets, mics, S/ PDIF optical port, the ability to upload/ share game clips – PS4 has it all.
Apart from the fact that the PlayStation consoles were armed with the latest technology and processors, what also made this device so esteemed within the gaming community was the DUALSHOCK controller and multi-player gaming capabilities.
The Slimline series of PlayStations or the PSP (pocket-sized portable versions) only contributed more towards establishing Sony’s gaming technology as an unabated leader in this niche.
With Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) coming into the mix over the last few years, it is no surprise that Sony has been amongst the first players to latch on to these new concepts and making them available to players.
Many of today’s games are powered by VR or AR, offering the players with a novel perspective towards gaming. It is fair to say that PS not only serves as a much-loved multiplayer or single-player gaming device, but also a handy technology for accessing music and movies.
Learning gaming technology, understanding various gaming consoles, and getting familiar with devices that are widely used for gaming across the world are extremely important for those who wish to begin a career in game development or programming.
At Seamedu School of Pro-Expressionism, our game development courses are designed by industry professionals to deliver holistic learning that focuses on the practical aspects of the subject. Our students are trained on mainstream gaming consoles and other devices – including the PlayStation, Nintendo, and Xbox.