The PlayStation is a home video game console developed and marketed by Sony Computer Entertainment. The console was released between 3 December 1994 and 15 November 1995 around the world. It was the first of the PlayStation lineup of home video game consoles. It primarily competed with the Nintendo 64 and the Sega Saturn as part of the fifth generation of video game consoles.
The PlayStation is the first “computer entertainment platform” to ship 100 million units, which it had reached 9 years and 6 months after its initial launch. In 2000, a redesigned, slim version called the PSone was released, replacing the original grey console and named appropriately to avoid confusion with its successor, the PlayStation 2.
In 1999, Sony announced the successor to the PlayStation, the PlayStation 2, which is backwards compatible with the PlayStation’s DualShock controller and games, and launched the console in 2000. The last PSone units were sold in winter 2004 before it was officially discontinued in March 2005, for a total of 102 million units shipped since its launch 10 years earlier. Games for the PlayStation continued to sell until Sony ceased production of PlayStation games on 23 March 2006 – over 11 years after it had been released, and less than a year before the debut of the PlayStation 3.
The inception of what would become the released PlayStation dates back to 1986 with a joint venture between Nintendo and Sony. Nintendo had already produced floppy disk technology to complement cartridges, in the form of the Family Computer Disk System, and wanted to continue this complementary storage strategy for the Super Famicom. Nintendo approached Sony to develop a CD-ROM add-on, tentatively titled the “Play Station” or “SNES-CD”.
A contract was signed, and work began. Nintendo’s choice of Sony was due to a prior dealing: Ken Kutaragi, the person who would later be dubbed “The Father of the PlayStation”, was the individual who had sold Nintendo on using the Sony SPC-700 processor for use as the eight-channel ADPCM sound set in the Super Famicom/SNES console through an impressive demonstration of the processor’s capabilities.
Kutaragi was nearly fired by Sony because he was originally working with Nintendo on the side without Sony’s knowledge (while still employed by Sony). It was then-CEO, Norio Ohga, who recognized the potential in Kutaragi’s chip, and in working with Nintendo on the project. Ohga kept Kutaragi on at Sony, and it was not until Nintendo cancelled the project that Sony decided to develop its own console.