Happy Birthday Playstation

15 years of gaming excellence.
December 07, 2009
It's my first article, so bare with me.

As you all may know, it's Playstation's 15th Birthday. It's still in its teens so that means it still has time to mature (and I mean that in a sense that we'll always see a bigger console every 6-10 years).

On this day 15 years ago, December 3rd, the Playstation or PSOne was released in Japan. Beforehand at a tech demo before its release, people were stunned at the graphics it could achieve with its 32-bit graphics processor. It blew all the other consoles out of the water.

It's creator? Ken Kutaragi. The godfather of the Playstation brand and legacy.

Over the years, the console has expanded and included a CD drive that could play your music, and many other peripherals such as a controller adapter that could let you have up to 4 controller ports. When the first Daulshock controller was released, it was praised for its rumble feature that N64 had, with a much better and realistic rumbling feedback. The Daulshock had an analog mode which made use of its two analog sticks. This was very useful for many gamers as they had much better control over the camera and the character movement then with just the regular d-pad that felt like a SNES controller.

Playstation One was unofficially named the PSX, which stands for PlayStationX, X being from Generation X, the 90's were dubbed that name as well. I still prefer it that way as well, sounds more futuristic, and for its time, it really was.

It was truly a powerful console that could achieve great graphics and many hours of gameplay from some games that became best sellers. Console exclusives included, Tekken, Gran Turismo, Tomb Raider, Final Fantasy 7, Metal Gear Solid, and its famed mascot, Crash Bandicoot to name a few.

But Metal Gear Solid set a standard for videogames forever. When it was first showed at an E3 tech demo in 1997, it was hyped and was awaiting a release date. This game became a cult classic and inspired many of the games we play today. Particularly the stealth games. The Tactical Action Espionage genre was new to Playstation and fans loved it. Hideo Kojima is a genius!

But it's best selling game was Gran Turismo. It sold 10.85 million units as of April 2008. It is the BEST driving simulator in the world. Gotta' give thanks to Polyphany Digital for their brilliance in graphics, physics, and car and track knowledge. They literally went in grave detail to model each car for Gran Turismo 5 to its most accurate look EVER. You can't tell whether it's a game or real life.

With Playstation on the market, it also had a magazine for it called The Official Playstation Magazine that still continues to be produced today. It came with a demo disc or a "Jampack" as it was called that back when PS1 was out. It had editions for the UK and US.

Now, moving onto Playstation 2. Its releases were all the same year. It was launched on March 4, 2000 in Japan.
October 26, 2000 in North America.
November 24, 2000 in Europe and
November 30, 2000 in Australia.
The console sold 139 million units as of September 2009 and it still continues to make games even today. See, that's the great thing about the Playstation brand, it continuously lasts for 6-10+ years. So you know that what you paid for was very well worth it. The PS2 came with a new 64-bit graphics processor and with a graphics engine called the "Emotion Engine" which could perform 8 specific tasks to make your game more enjoyable. It was something else. Overtime, the PS2 came up with accessories like the EyeToy which you attached to the top of your TV and you would be recorded live while having a game that you would interact with your hands and body movements to progress. The memory card this time was 8MB and expanded to 28MB. The console launched with the DaulShock 2 offering even more rumble feedback in even more realistic ways. It's said that many people still prefer the Daulshock 2 over the Dualshock 3. The PS2 was packed with a DVD drive that reported some problems for some people overtime, but worked well with a lot of DVD's and even pirated DVD's and music CD's. With the PS2 out, it came out with online play. You would get an Ethernet cable or phone jack and play online with the world.

Its best selling game was Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas which sold a whopping 17.33 million units as of February 2009. It also became a cult classic and won game of the year at the VGA's 2005. I still love this game over any other GTA since I can always come back to it and play it from the start to finish. It never gets old. Grand Theft Auto 3 showed a massive change in open world gaming when it came out, but when San Andreas came out, it changed open-world gaming forever. It had an unlimited source of things you could do that you'd normally do in your everyday life. You had to take care of your character not to get too fat and suffer a heart stroke, or improve his muscle span to have a longer health-bar. For the first time ever, you could fly a jetpack in the game and an actual private jet, military jet, and huge airliner. Unfortunately, GTA4 was a major flop to me as to a few others. It was hyped and got amazing scores, but overtime, it never felt or came anywhere near as close as San Andreas. Dan Houser should of made it exactly like San Andreas.

PS2's main mascot was Kratos from God Of War. That became a well-known and liked series to this day. They recently re-released the first two games in HD on PS3 with trophy support and an exclusive E3 God Of War 3 demo. Other exclusives included Ratchet & Clank, Jak & Dexter, Grand Theft Auto series, and some comeback exclusives such as Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, and Gran Turismo 3, and 4 to name a few. And of course let's not forget the magazine. It evolved with demo-discs for every month called "Jampacks" which were also sold separately at electronic retailers for 5 dollars.

In 2005, the Playstation 3 was introduced at E3 by Kaz Hirai and Ken Kutaragi. The baby is literally a HUGE multi-media device that plays games, movies, music, photo, and many other file types. It includes new Blu-Ray technology which can hold up to 50GB of information. It can go up to 60 frames per second at 1080p Hi-Def visuals only seen on a HDTV. The PS3 was launched in November 2006 in Japan and North America. Europe, Mexico, Australia, the Middle East and India in Spring 2007. The PS3 sold 27 million units as of September 2009. Ok, not as good as its predecessors, but give it time.

The PS3 has ever expanded its services from the PSN store to Playstation Home, to PlayTV. With each purchase of the ps3, you get the Ethernet cable which you had to buy before, but it comes with every ps3 which is such a great deal now that it's 299. When it was launched, the PS3 came with a new experimental controller called the Six-Axis because you could steer your character in the game with it. It wasn't received so well because it was too sensitive in turning, so in 2007, they came back with the DaulShock 3. Wireless too. What's amazing about the PS3 is that it supports my blue-tooth devices and I can rip movies and music onto its 60GB hard-drive which you have the option of upgrading. I'd like to call this PS3 "Evolution" because it's always evolving through firmware updates and services that make it the best console out there. Call me a fanboy (I prefer loyalist) but I love this goddamn console. I've had no YLOD with it and I got it off Ebay of all places.

With the console release, it came with new, old, and upcoming exclusives such as Metal Gear Solid 4, Gran Turismo:Prologue, Uncharted 1, Uncharted 2, Resistance 1, Resistance 2, Infamous, Socom: Confrontation, Warhawk, Killzone 2, and some of the upcoming 2010 games Heavy Rain and DC Universe Online. There has been no best selling game yet, but that result will be revealed once the PS4 comes out. Still, each exclusive sold very well and received great reviews from all over. Especially MGS4. The PS3 mascot to me would have to be the Helghan from Killzone 2. It was pretty hyped when the first game came out, but now it's well respect. The official mascot that people like now is Sackboy which I find really embarassing considering this console is for more mature gamers. The original PS3 mascot was a Chimera alien from Resistance. Anything is fine as long as I don't see Sackboy as the representative for PS3.

The PS3'S official magazine has also evolved into a review and preview type magazine with helpful tips, cheats, and voucher codes for Qore episodes. The US magazine doesn't feature a demo disc because all your downloads are digital. But the UK version includes a blu-ray demo disc.

All these products and services could not be achieved if it wasn't for SONY. So, thank you Sony for making gaming a great experience and for continuing to confide in the Playstation brand.

So to conclude my article.

Where were you 15 years ago?
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