Still going strong 25 years on, the original PlayStation was a game changer
As the mid-90s came round. Gaming consoles were 10 years old or so.
At the time they were expensive and so were the games. We also had gaming PC alternatives such as the commodore 64 and omega. Then there was also the handheld market.
Sega and Nintendo were the big players in the market. Starting out in the mid-80s they had moved consoles forward. While we can’t deny that they brought gaming to the masses. There was an issue.
You either had a Sega or a Nintendo. Which influenced the games you could buy or play.
There was very little crossover between the two platforms.
In 95 when Sony released the PlayStation, it was a game-changer in many ways.
Sony didn’t make its own games like Sega or Nintendo. They licensed the platform. That meant all games more or less were available on one platform. (Nintendo were the only company who didn’t take advantage)
They worked hard to break the duopoly of the big two. That meant a cheaper console with cheaper games. The whole experience from controls, through graphics and gaming speed, was a huge improvement.
It was a no-brainer, you had to have a PlayStation.
In the longer term, Sega and Nintendo got pushed out of the serious gaming market. Today Sony and Microsoft have a duopoly in the market, so we are back in the same position as we were 25 years ago.
Well not quite.
The new duopoly has at least kept gaming moving forward. The licensing that Sony started for software is normal today. 98% of games can be played on either platform.
The complexity of the consoles and the depth and quality of the games has gone from strength to strength. Now with internet connectivity and streaming. The days of physically buying a game on disc have gone.
One other thing that has remained the same from that first machine 25 years ago is the controls. Which shows you how right that original machine was.
I still have my first PlayStation today and it’s not that different in the way it plays to a PS4. It all feels familiar.
I don’t play it often, but it will come with me on long business trips. Even 25 years later that original console is still great to play and I can’t think of a better compliment for it than that.
That first PlayStation really was a gamechanger. Going forward there is a lot of hype around PS 5 and what it will bring to the table.
Could 2021 be the year we see another huge change in gaming brought forward to us by Sony?