Sony PlayStation Turns 20 Years Old

On December 3, 1994, Sony changed the video game world forever. The original PlayStation was released 20 years ago this week, prompting a worldwide fascination with the gaming system and forever altering the landscape of video games. Whether you grew up playing upright video game machines or classic arcade games, you most likely remember the day you played Sony’s new creation for the first time.

A mere nine years after its release, the PlayStation became the first video game system (along with its companion the PSone) selling at least 120 million units. That was quite an accomplishment for a company competing with the likes of Nintendo and Sega.

PlayStation Origins

Surprisingly, Sony’s appealing game console once was almost released with Nintendo as a partner. Sony and Nintendo had partnered in a deal that would work on producing a gaming system that used CD-ROMs. Nintendo was racing against the clock, and Sega, to utilize the latest technology for gaming and produce compact disc playing ability for its current console, the Super Famicom/Super Nintendo Entertainment System. Instead of creating an entirely new console, Nintendo wanted Sony’s help creating an addition to their current systems. However, they were going to allow Sony to work on their own gaming console, called the Play Station, albeit with their name behind the project.

Nintendo dropped out of the contract with Sony at the last minute, instead deciding to work with Philips. CEO Hiroshi Yamauchi was dissatisfied with the profit shares outlined in the contract with Sony. Sony was not intimidated. Instead, they rebranded their product PlayStation and persevered, ultimately with much greater success than Nintendo’s add-on disc feature, which ended up bombing due to slower loading times.

Purchase a Limited Edition Retro PS4

To celebrate 20 years of PlayStation, Sony is offering a limited edition of an all-gray PlayStation 4, stylized after the original 1994 model. With a nod to its original release date of December 3, Sony is only selling 12,300 units.