PlayStation - Game console by SONY

6470 games PlayStation
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PlayStation (PS1)

The PlayStation (officially short for PS or PS1) is a fifth-generation video game console developed by Sony Computer Entertainment under the direction of Ken Kutaragi. The console was released on December 3, 1994 in Japan, in the US on September 9, 1995, and in Europe on September 29, 1995. The console is the first gaming system in the PlayStation line. In 2000, an updated version of the console called PSone was released, which differed from the original PlayStation in a much smaller size. The console proved to be very popular, providing Sony with a breakthrough in the gaming industry, where until then Nintendo and Sega had reigned supreme.

The concept of the PlayStation project dates back to 1988, when Nintendo signed a contract with Sony to produce an additional CD drive for the SNES. Prior to this, the Sony-Nintendo relationship began when Sony engineer Ken Kutaragi became interested in video games after seeing his daughter play games on the Famicom, Nintendo's video game console. He took a contract from Nintendo to develop the audio subsystem for its Super Nintendo Entertainment System. Kutaragi, secretly from his superiors, developed a chip known as the Sony SPC700. Since Sony was not interested in the video game business, most of his superiors did not approve of the project, but Kutaragi found support from Norio Ohga, Sony's chief executive, and the project was put into motion. The success of the project prompted Nintendo to partner with Sony to develop a disc add-on for the Super NES,

After several years of development, Sony was about to introduce a new set-top box, the SNES-CD, at the 1991 summer Consumer Electronics Show called the Play Station [ sic ] . However, before that, Hiroshi Yamauchi, the head of Nintendo, found in the contract that he gave Sony a lot of rights - for example, after the development of the disc format, Sony received exclusive international rights to it, which could give it a profit from each game sold for the SNES-CD. So he sent Nintendo of America President Minoru Arakawa and CEO Howard Lincoln. to Europe to negotiate a better contract with Philips, Sony's competitor.

In June 1991, at the start of the first day of the Consumer Electronics Show, Sony announced a partnership with Nintendo and its new console, the Play Station. But the next day, what observers call the "greatest betrayal" in the industry and Nintendo's biggest mistake happened. Howard Lincoln rose to the stage, but instead of the expected confirmation of the contract concluded with Sony, he announced the termination of this agreement and the conclusion of a new contract with the Dutch company, Philips. The event came as a shock to many in the Japanese business community, who viewed the rejection as a severe betrayal: one Japanese company humiliates another Japanese company in favor of a European company - for Japanese businessmen it looked unthinkable.

After the failure of the project with Nintendo, new plans arose, this time for a partnership with Sega to create another console, the Sega Multimedia Entertainment System. Thomas Kalinske, then CEO of Sega, presented the proposal to his company's board of directors in Tokyo, but they quickly vetoed the idea. Kalinske recalled in a 2013 interview that they said "it's a stupid idea, Sony doesn't know how to make hardware. They also don't know how to make software. Why do we need this?" This prompted Sony to stop research, but ultimately the company decided to use what it had developed with both Nintendo and Sega to turn it into a full-fledged Super Famicom-based console.

Concerned about this, Nintendo sued Sony to prevent the publication of a possible future console, on the grounds that the Play Station name belongs to it. However, the federal judge who heard the case dismissed the claim. As a result, a partial agreement was reached that the consoles would be compatible and that games would be licensed for them by Nintendo and that Sony's royalties would be minimal. As a result, according to various estimates, about 200 copies of the SNES-CD prototype were produced. In the end, Sony decided that this project did not suit them, and contact with Nintendo was terminated.

The DualShock, an upgrade from the base controller for the PlayStation.

However, Kutaragi continued to work on the set-top box project, and in 1992, at a meeting with Norio Oga, he proposed creating an entirely new system. He stated that the 16-bit PlayStation, which is also tied to an unreliable partner - Nintendo - is a dead end. The only option, he reasoned, was to create a new system capable of handling 3D graphics at unprecedented speed. In response to the ridicule from President Kutaragi, he asked if he wanted the company to simply shut down the project after Nintendo had so grossly abused its trust, and remarked that if the project was successful, Sony would be able to get revenge on the former ally. As a result, he was given carte blanche for a new project, which he took on. In early 1994, it was announced that Sony was entering the video game market with its own console,

The set-top box's announced specifications surprised other players in the industry; Sega of Japan president Hayao Nakayama, for example, was reportedly so enraged that he personally visited his company's hardware division and reprimanded him. The result of his tirade was that the Sega Saturn, which was under development by that time, had an additional video processor. However, the addition of a new processor negatively affected the complexity of programming under the Saturn. which eventually resulted in serious consequences in the future.

Since Sony was inexperienced in game development - and the executives knew it - the company turned to third-party game developers. Enlisting the support of Namco, Konami and Williams, as well as 250 other development teams in Japan alone, the company secured its launch lineup with new games such as Ridge Racer and Mortal Kombat III . In addition, Sony bought the European company Psygnosis for 48 million US dollars, and renamed it Sony Interactive Entertainment, which developed games for the future console - WipEout and Destruction Derby .

The purchase of Psygnosis also brought another benefit to the company - a system for developing games for the console. SN Systems, with the help of Psygnosis, was publishing development software called PSY-Q. Sony originally planned to use its own game development kit based on the expensive R4000 processor. However, Andy Beveridge and Martin Day, owners of SN Systems, built a prototype development tool - which used a conventional personal computer - and showed it to Sony at CES winter 1994. Sony liked the alternative presented, and the device was redesigned and placed on two expansion cards for personal computers.


CPU: MIPS R3000A compliant (R3051) 32-bit RISC microprocessor running at 33.8688 MHz. The microprocessor is manufactured by LSI Logic Corp. using technology licensed from SGI. The chip also includes the Geometry Transformation Engine and the Data Decompression Engine .

  • Productivity - 30 MIPS.
  • Bus throughput - 1056 Mbps.
  • Instruction cache - 4 KB.
  • Cache: 1 KB SRAM.

Geometry Transformation Engine - a controller for working with three-dimensional graphics, located on the same chip with the central processor.

  • Productivity - 66 MIPS.
  • Announced performance: 1.5 million polygons per second, 500,000 textured and lit polygons per second.
  • Real performance: 360,000 polygons per second, 180,000 textured and lit polygons per second. This discrepancy is primarily due to the fact that the official characteristics were obtained under laboratory conditions close to ideal.


  • Main RAM: 2 MB. (16 Megabits)
  • Video RAM: 1 MB. (8 Megabits)
  • Sound RAM: 512 KB.
  • CD-ROM read buffer: 32 KB.
  • BIOS: 512 KB.
  • Memory cards: 128 KB per EEPROM.


  • two-speed, 300 KB/s.
  • XA compatible.

A PocketStation device could also be used as a memory card.