Memory Lane #3: The PlayStation turns 23 years old, today

Discussion in 'GBAtemp & Scene News' started by Chary, Sep 9, 2018.



    Hello again, readers! This is the third issue of GBAtemp’s new “Memory Lane” article series, where I write about influential and nostalgic games and hardware that have reached an anniversary milestone. This time, we’ll be taking a look at something that shaped the entire gaming industry, changing it forever. How a failed partnership between two companies eventually created a titan. 23 years ago to this day, our subject, the Sony PlayStation released in North America. It look nine months for the historic console to make its way out of Japan, and a further 20 days after the American release for it to hit shores in Europe. When it released, it would become a direct competitor to the floundering Sega Saturn, and the monumental Nintendo 64.


    Sony’s success story started here, with this very system. At this point, they had little to no experience with developing video games, causing them to seek out other major developers and sign contracts with them to secure that the PlayStation would have a vast library. Thanks to this, and the PlayStation’s new CD-based technology, we’d see companies like Capcom and Square, who had been working together with Nintendo for ages suddenly jump ship for what Sony offered. 32-bit hardware coupled with impressive at the time 3D visuals made for a “next gen” experience that surpassed what the Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis could offer.

    Though it was critically and commercially a success on the market, and heavily praised after it launched, there were not that many killer apps at the time. Ridge Racer, NBA Jam, Battle Arena Toshinden, and Rayman were some of the titles you could play on your PlayStation, and while they were all fairly enjoyed by gamers, there was a distinct lack of games that could put the PS1 in a league of its own.

    Those would come later on. 1996 would bring about games like Crash Bandicoot, Resident Evil, and Tomb Raider, which defined the PlayStation as a mature console, but still one that could appeal to all ages as well. The following year would see two of the most beloved games of all time release; Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, and Final Fantasy VII. One was a peak of its genre, and the other defined how Japanese RPGs would be treated and compared to in the west for years to come.

    If that wasn’t enough, Sony would go on to create the Dual Analog Controller, which was the first controller to popularize having two joysticks, and would later go on to be refined into Sony’s flagship controller, the DualShock. Now, dual-analogs have become the standard for video game controllers. Memory cards, too, were popularized on this console, as well as helping push forward an era of disc-based game releases. Many of the innovations made thanks to Sony's PlayStation helped influence future gaming trends, and its effects are still seen to this day.

    More than two decades have passed since the PlayStation 1. From 3D platformers to JRPGs, a ton of varying games existed, kicking off long-running franchises, and revolutionizing older ones. Classics like Suikoden, Spyro, Valkyrie Profile, Crash, Final Fantasy, Resident Evil, Metal Gear Solid, and dozens more left lasting memories with players. Now, its successors, the PlayStation 2 and 3 have come and gone, and we have the PlayStation 4, which is making lasting memories with gamers, once more. With the advancements of the PlayStation, the world of gaming was forever changed, and it all started 23 years ago, on September 9, 1995.

    Did you own a PlayStation at launch? Was it a console you grew up with? Are there any fond memories you have with playing the library of games? Let us know by sharing your experiences in the comments below!

    If you liked this article, and would like to see more of these anniversary celebrations in the future, be sure to comment and let us know what gaming anniversary you'd like to see featured in future threads!
    Discussion (43 replies)
  1. VinsCool

    VinsCool Cattus Incerta Tacitusque

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    Jan 7, 2014
    Another World
    Damn, It's almost as old as I am.
  2. gallymimu

    gallymimu EE Expert

    Mar 15, 2009
    United States
    well I was your age when it came out!!!
    d3vilRed and slaphappygamer like this.
  3. VinsCool

    VinsCool Cattus Incerta Tacitusque

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    Jan 7, 2014
    Another World
    It must have been the PS4 of your time, haha
  4. jt_1258

    jt_1258 GBAtemps Midna

    Aug 21, 2016
    United States
    The Twilight Realm
    And I wasn't born yet...wait, oh, that isn't something to be proud of :(
  5. gallymimu

    gallymimu EE Expert

    Mar 15, 2009
    United States
    better than being old at f$^# like me.
  6. pustal

    pustal Koalafied member.

    Jul 19, 2011
    The Matrix
    Let's be thankful for Nintendo turning down Sony.

    App would not be a term you'd use and your forgetting about Wipeout and Tekken. Those were two 1995 hits.
    TeamScriptKiddies likes this.
  7. Skittyusedcovet

    Skittyusedcovet Gbatemp’s Favourite Skitty

    Jul 16, 2018
    Where cats are plentiful.
    I grew up with a ps1 which was given to me free from a neighbour. I remember playing crash team racing on it. I loved it and then it was thrown away because I didnt play it enough. I cried that day. It was a really sad day. Years later (2/3 years ago) I got another one luckily for free again(I wish I was joking). Im guarding it with my life so don't worry.
    TeamScriptKiddies likes this.
  8. sephurchin

    sephurchin GBAtemp Fan

    Sep 28, 2015
    United States
    World V
    Wow I remember when I got my ps1. Ff 7 was the reason I got one. I bought both on the same day, ff7 launch day. Wow that was 20 years ago. . .
    Great article as always chary. Look forward to the next.
    Last edited by sephurchin, Sep 9, 2018
    TeamScriptKiddies and Chary like this.
  9. Unleanone999

    Unleanone999 GBAtemp Fan

    May 15, 2018
    I was still a child when the ps1 came out and watching for the first time the games on the system like battle arena and tekken really blew my mind. So many memories I had playing with my friends and family, from crash to twisted metal to resident evil to final fantasy to wwf and so many more. It was a fun and amazing time growing up with this system.
    Last edited by Unleanone999, Sep 9, 2018
    sephurchin likes this.
  10. DaFixer

    DaFixer Dare to be stupid

    Aug 29, 2010
    In my mencave ;)
    23 years already?
    I was like 13 or 14 years old when I saw the PSX for the first time at my friends house.
    I still remember the moment when I saw Tomb Raider 1 for the very first time, it was really a mindblowig moment for me becease at the time I was still using my Amiga 500 and 368SX 25mhz pc for games...
    My friend also showed Tekken 1 and I still remember looking at the controller (the first model) how can I play games with all those buttons :)

    Soon after I bought my PSX value pack (2 controllers, memory card) for 480 dollars with Tomb Raider and Soul Blade.
    1,5 years later I mod my PSX for 120 dollars and then I was buying pirate PSX games for 25 dollars.
    Back then a new game was about 180 dollars, so it was cheaper that way ;)

    In 1998 or 1999 I got my first PC a AMD Atlon 700mhz with a 8x cd burner, so then I was copy games like crazy and sell them at school.
    I played all lot of games back then, it was a good time :P
  11. bandithedoge

    bandithedoge GBAtemp Regular

    Aug 23, 2018
    Oh boy, how I love this console. My aunt had one and it was my first ever gaming experience. To this day, the first games I played, Kula World (Roll Away in the US) and the Crash Bandicoot trilogy remain my all time PS1 favorites, the latter still being one of my absolute favorite series (just take a look at my username). Kula World/Roll Away is a bit of a hidden gem but I really recommend it to everyone. It's a very interesting puzzle game with an awesome soundtrack.
  12. mightymuffy

    mightymuffy fatbaldpieeater

    Nov 6, 2002
    United Kingdom
    Wigan, land of the Pies
    Ahh, I remember buying this on launch day - one of the few consoles I've ever done that with... worth every penny! But...

    Wait, what?! As if Ridge Racer wasn't enough of a killer app, a certain WipEout came out on the Eur launch day, so a couple of weeks after launch? There hasn't been many bigger killer apps than that trust me, it changed the face of gaming almost single-handedly - or at least certainly was the catalyst...
  13. Ryccardo

    Ryccardo and his tropane alkaloids

    Feb 13, 2015
    @Chary, you forgot to mention one of the reasons it probably won the console war - CD-R becoming a (rich) consumer-accessible format ;)

    I got one for my 5th birthday (12 july 2000) with The Smurfs (a good platformer except for controls), though at that time I wasn't really interested in video games, and got a lot more entertainment from watching my dad play!

    Next game we got soon after was Hot Wheels Turbo Racing; if you load it up just pressing X all the time, you get stuck here:
    Of course at that time nobody knew English well enough to understand what that meant; it was only after some button mashing that I found I could just scroll down to Continue!

    Later we went to the store and bought an 8 Mbit memory card, the kind with a display and 8 partitions that change... randomly
  14. Song of storms

    Song of storms GBAtemp Advanced Fan

    Jul 18, 2018
    The PS1 was a success almost immediately because it was a great CD audio system too. A CD player back in the early 90s could cost over $300. They did the same with DVD and Blue-ray support with the successors.

    Let's not forget about the countless demo discs that flooded the market, that would keep the hype high. You didn't have to read any article or read any news, all you had to do was buy a demo disc (it was usually free with some magazines) and get a taste of what was going to come.

    The only issue I can recall was the loading times for some games. Other than that, a solid system.
  15. Cyan

    Cyan GBATemp's lurking knight

    Global Moderator
    Oct 27, 2002
    Engine room, learning
    I bought the PSX (not the media player :P) on launch day, with wipeout.
    I was disappointed at first as I though it would be a "f-zero" game, haha.
    control was hard (heyy, remember, we didn't have analog sticks! controller with analog stick were released a lot later, copied from 96's nintendo N64), but I got used to it and eventually completed it liked it for what it is, and not a f-zero comparison anymore.
    I'm now still loving Wipeout Omega collection on PS4! too bad we don't have all previous tracks from older games. though, there's one mimicking the track of wipeout1.

    as I bought the EUR launch day console, I quickly learned it could play copied disc, and CD burner was just released and a new market created (burners was advertising "can copy protected PS1 games" with subchannels).

    I loved that console for the amount of games it had. Many different games, lot of innovation thanks to the new 3D capability.
    I made myself a nice library, most of which I still haven't played but hope to return to one day. I kept my console, though it's now possible to play some on re-releases (psn, PSPlay, etc.) or hacked console (PS3 cfw) or emulators, I'd still like to play on official hardware.
    Last edited by Cyan, Sep 9, 2018
  16. mss1988

    mss1988 Member

    Jul 25, 2018
    Serbia, Republic of
    I remember year 1996, I was 8, I got Atari 2600 from my uncle as a gift. It was one of the happiest moments of my life :D

    A year later I saw Super Mario (NES) for a first time time and I was amazed how good it is.

    There was TV ads for Sega Mega Drive (Genesis) in 1997/1998. It was something unreachable for us, common folk.

    Now when I recall that time I realize how isolated my country was and how poor I was.
    Last edited by mss1988, Sep 9, 2018
    Garcimak likes this.

    THEELEMENTKH GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

    May 31, 2016
    I grew up with it and I still have my PSOne!
    Lotsa fun memories playing (and watch my dad play) Crash Bandicoot 3 Warped, Crash Bash, Crash Team Racing, Tekken 3, Dino Crisis, Resident Evil 3...

    Feels a bit weird seeing how we've evolved since then, those games I had to put the disc on my console, have enough memory card space so I could save and play on the TV I can nowadays play them anywhere I want with my phone or my PS Vita
  18. kumikochan

    kumikochan GBAtemp Psycho!

    Feb 4, 2015
    Yeah we bought one exactly on launch day. The thing is that my dad was a huge gamer so I had the luck of owning every system on a young age. I remember gaming on a commodore 64 at the age of 5 playing that Donald game and the gremlins and from that to the master system and the snes and then we had a playstation on launch and modchips got launched like almost at the same time. We had a pc and internet back then, I remember us being one of the first people who owned a pc together with internet and other people being a lot later but it was cheaper to buy the games of somebody else then to copy it ourselves. We had to pay around 5 euro a game and it had a cover art on the disc itself and so forth and my dad would order around 10 - 20 games a month so those were good times for me as a kid.
  19. DinohScene

    DinohScene Feed Dino to the Sharks

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    Oct 11, 2011
    Croc on PS1!
    That's all I have to say.