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The legend of PlayStation: How it started

Have you ever wondered how this legendary console came to be? There is a very interesting story behind the PlayStation brand.

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“It is no easy task to describe the revolution that PlayStation has brought about,” says Casino Bonuses Finder product owner Tony Sloterman. “This console not only revolutionized the video game industry, but it also affected other industries as well. Today, even the iGaming industry develops games for PlayStation.” Have you ever wondered how this legendary console came to be? There is a very interesting story behind the PlayStation brand.

We owe everything to Nintendo
Believe it or not, we owe the PlayStation to Nintendo. Back in the 1990s, Sony had no plans for the video game industry, nor did it plan to enter it. At the time, Nintendo and SEGA were the leading brands in this industry and Sony had no intention of competing with them. But it was producing some parts for Nintendo’s SNES console.

One of these parts was a CD-ROM. This part, named SNES-CD, would enable the Nintendo console to use CDs instead of cartridges. Sony named this project “Play Station” and included a clause in its contract with Nintendo that it would receive a certain percentage of the revenue from each game sold in CD-ROM format. At the 1991 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Nintendo would announce this partnership and the new CD-ROM format it will use.

However, Nintendo president Hiroshi Yamauchi was uncomfortable with this deal and secretly agreed with Phillips to produce the SNES-CDs. Yamauchi did not inform Sony that he was canceling the contract. Sony announced its partnership with Nintendo on the first day of CES. On the second day of CES, Nintendo announced that it was canceling the partnership: that’s how Sony knew the deal was broken. This is still known as the “biggest betrayal” in the video game industry.

Why don’t we do it ourselves
Sony had already done some R&D to produce the SNES-CD, and it was going to be the most complex part of the console. First, it made an offer to SEGA, which was Nintendo’s rival at the time, and said Sony could produce CD-ROMs for its consoles. SEGA rejected this offer, saying, “Sony is not a video game company”. Sony struggled to sell the CD-ROM it developed to other companies and even tried to re-establish a partnership with Nintendo for a while.

However, Ken Kutaragi, who was the head of the hardware engineering division at the time, made another offer to the board: why don’t we manufacture the game console ourselves? Kutaragi struggled for a long time to get this offer accepted because Sony’s board of directors saw game consoles as “toys” and said that the company did not produce toys. It was quite difficult and took a long time for them to agree to give Kutaragi a chance.

After receiving the green light, Kutaragi initially focused on developing a console capable of using 3D graphics. At that time, almost all Nintendo and SEGA games were 2D, so 3D graphics would make the console different. The name of the CD-ROM project was used for the console, and the “PlayStation X” (PSX) brand was registered in 1995.

Dealing with game studios
Sony had the technical expertise to produce a game console, but there was one problem: who would develop the games? In those years, SEGA and Nintendo developed their games in-house, rarely partnering with third parties. Sony did not have such a chance because establishing a game studio within the company was not possible, at least at that time. Therefore, Sony had to sign deals with third-party game studios.

There were many game studios in Japan in the 90s, but almost none of them were recognized. When Sony introduced the project to them, they all agreed immediately, as it was a great chance for them to expand into the global market. You know some of these studios very well today: Namco, Konami, and WMS were the first studios Sony signed with. WMS brought “Mortal Kombat” and Namco “Tekken” to PlayStation. These were games that would soon become legends and turn PlayStation into a worldwide phenomenon.

Launch of PlayStation
The PlayStation was released in Japan in December 1994. It sold 100,000 units on the first day and managed to sell 2 million consoles in the first six months. A year later, the PlayStation was also released in the United States and Europe. By 1996, PlayStation had sold more than the Nintendo SNES and SEGA Saturn consoles combined.

You know the rest of the story: we are currently using the fifth generation of this legendary console, and Sony still has no rivals. Although it is currently competing with Microsoft, it easily takes the lead in terms of both sales figures and exclusive game collections.