The PlayStation (Japanese: プレイステーション Hepburn: Pureisutēshon?) (officially abbreviated to PS, and commonly known as the PS1 or PSX) is a home video game console developed and marketed by Sony Computer Entertainment. The console was released on 3 December 1994 in Japan, 9 September 1995 in North America, 29 September 1995 in Europe, 15 November 1995 in Australia, and for Korea in 1996. The console 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. Microsoft chairman, Bill Gates, preferred Sony's console over the competition from Sega's Saturn, saying "our game designer likes the Sony machine". 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'sDualShock 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 ADPCMsound 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.
Sony also planned to develop a Super NES-compatible, Sony-branded console, but one which would be more of a home entertainment system playing both Super NES cartridges and a new CD format which Sony would design. This was also to be the format used in SNES-CDs, giving a large degree of control to Sony despite Nintendo's leading position in the video gaming market.
The DualShock controller.
The product, dubbed the "Play Station" was to be announced at the May 1991 Consumer Electronics Show (CES). However, when Nintendo's Hiroshi Yamauchi read the original 1988 contract between Sony and Nintendo, he realized that the earlier agreement essentially handed Sony complete control over any and all titles written on the SNES CD-ROM format. Yamauchi decided that the contract was totally unacceptable and he secretly cancelled all plans for the joint Nintendo-Sony SNES CD attachment. Instead of announcing a partnership between Sony and Nintendo, at 9 am the day of the CES, Nintendo chairman Howard Lincoln stepped onto the stage and revealed that Nintendo was now allied with Philips, and Nintendo was planning on abandoning all the previous work Nintendo and Sony had accomplished. Lincoln and Minoru Arakawa had, unbeknownst to Sony, flown to Philips's global headquarters in the Netherlands and formed an alliance of a decidedly different nature—one that would give Nintendo total control over its licenses on Philips machines.
After the collapse of the joint-Nintendo project, Sony briefly considered allying itself with Sega to produce a stand-alone console. The Sega CEO at the time, Tom Kalinske, took the proposal to Sega's Board of Directors in Tokyo, who promptly vetoed the idea. Kalinske, in a 2013 interview recalled them saying "that’s a stupid idea, Sony doesn't know how to make hardware. They don’t know how to make software either. Why would we want to do this?". This prompted Sony into halting their research, but ultimately the company decided to use what they had developed so far with both Nintendo and Sega to make it into a complete console based upon the Super Famicom. As a result, Nintendo filed a lawsuit claiming breach of contract and attempted, in US federal court, to obtain an injunction against the release of what was originally christened the "Play Station", on the grounds that Nintendo owned the name. The federal judge presiding over the case denied the injunction and, in October 1991, the first incarnation of the aforementioned brand new game system was revealed. However, it is theorized that only 200 or so of these machines were ever