|Developer||Sony Computer Entertainment|
|Type||Home video game console|
JP: 3 December 1994
NA: 9 September 1995
EU: 29 September 1995
AU: 15 November 1995
JP: 7 July 2000
NA: 19 September 2000
EU: 29 September 2000
|Discontinued||23 March 2006|
|Units sold||102.49 million|
|CPU||R3000 @ 33.8688 MHz|
|Memory||2 MB RAM, 1 MB VRAM|
|Sound||16-bit, 24 channel ADPCM|
|Controller input||PlayStation Controller, Dual Analog Controller, DualShock|
|Connectivity||PlayStation Link Cable|
|Best-selling game||Gran Turismo, 10.85 million shipped|
The PlayStation (officially abbreviated to PS, and commonly known as the PS1 or its codename, 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, and 15 November 1995 in Australia. 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. In July 2000, a redesigned, slim version called the PS one was released, replacing the original grey console and named appropriately to avoid confusion with its successor, the PlayStation 2.
The PlayStation 2, which is backwards compatible with the PlayStation's DualShock controller and games, was announced in 1999 and launched in 2000. The last PS one units were sold in late 2006 to early 2007 shortly after it was officially discontinued, for a total of 102 million units shipped since its launch 11 years earlier. Games for the PlayStation continued to sell until Sony ceased production of both the PlayStation and 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.
On 19 September 2018, Sony unveiled the PlayStation Classic, to mark the 24th anniversary of the original console. The new console is a miniature recreation of the original PlayStation, preloaded with 20 titles released on the original console, and was released on 3 December 2018, the exact date the console was released in Japan in 1994.
In addition to playing games, select PlayStation models are equipped to play audio CDs; further, Asian model SCPH-5903 can also play Video CDs. Like most CD players, the PlayStation can play songs in a programmed order, shuffle the playback order of the disc and repeat one song or the entire disc. Later PlayStation models utilise a music visualisation function called SoundScope. This function, as well as a memory card manager, is accessed by starting the console without either inserting a game or closing the CD tray, thereby accessing a GUI for the PlayStation BIOS.
The GUI for the PS one and PlayStation differ depending on the firmware version: the original PlayStation GUI had a dark blue background with rainbow graffiti used as buttons, while the early PAL PlayStation and PS one GUI had a grey blocked background with 2 icons in the middle (these were different on each version). If the CD lid is closed with a game inside at any time while in the menu, the game will start.
In regard to the PlayStation’s hardware, its designer Ken Kutaragi stated, "The technology came from an original idea to create a synthesizer for graphics, something that takes a basic graphic and then adds various effects to it quickly and easily."
The PlayStation utilises a proprietary video compression unit called MDEC, which is integrated into the CPU, allowing for the presentation of full motion video at a higher quality than other consoles of its generation.
With the early PlayStation units, particularly early 1000 models, many gamers experience skipping full-motion video or physical "ticking" noises coming from their units. The problem seemingly comes from poorly placed vents leading to overheating in some environments. This causes the plastic mouldings inside the console to warp slightly and create knock-on effects with the laser assembly. The solution is to sit the console on a surface which dissipates heat efficiently in a well vented area or raise the unit up slightly from its resting surface. Sony representatives also recommended unplugging the PlayStation when it is not in use, as the system draws in a small amount of power (and therefore heat) even when turned off.
The first batch of PlayStations use a KSM-440AAM laser unit, whose case and movable parts are all built out of plastic. Over time, the plastic lens sled rail wears out—usually unevenly—due to friction. The placement of the laser unit close to the power supply accelerates wear, due to the additional heat, which makes the plastic more vulnerable to friction. Eventually, one side of the lens sled will become so worn that the laser can tilt, no longer pointing directly at the CD; after this, games will no longer load, due to data read errors. One common fix is turning the PlayStation upside down, which makes the lens sled rest on the unworn top rails. Sony eventually fixed the problem by making the sled out of die-cast metal and placing the laser unit further away from the power supply on later PlayStation models.
The PlayStation does not produce a proper signal on several older models of televisions (due to an engineering oversight) causing the display to flicker or bounce around the screen. Sony decided not to change the console design, since only a small percentage of PlayStation owners used such televisions, and instead gave consumers the option of sending their PlayStation unit to a Sony service centre to have an official modchip installed, allowing it to play on older televisions.
Prior to the PlayStation, reproducing copyrighted material for game consoles was restricted to either enthusiasts with exceptional technical ability, or people who had access to CD manufacturers. However, due to the increased availability of cheap CD burners at this time, Sony modified the shape of the first portion of the data track on PlayStation formatted discs: A normal data track follows a smooth spiral path around a disc, whereas the modified portion follows a wavy spiral path. As a result, any discs that did not contain this modification, such as CD-R copies or standard pirated discs, would not boot on the console. This modified portion of the data path is also used to encode the disc "region"; for example, a disc distributed in the NTSC-U/C region would encode the letters "SCEA"; in Europe, "SCEE"; in Japan, "SCEI". This served as copy protection as well as region-locking.
The installation of an unofficial modchip allowed the PlayStation to play CD-R copies of games. It also allowed the console to play games from any region, as the modchip could inject the data for any region into the system. Since there was a multitude of electronic parts on the market, by the end of the system's life cycle, anyone with minimal soldering experience could perform these modifications. This created a wave of games developed without official approval using free, official tools, such as the Net Yaroze, as well as unofficial tools, and the reproduction of original discs. With the introduction of such devices the console became very attractive to programmers and illegal copiers alike, as well as those who wished to protect the lifespan of their lawful, original discs. In 1996 Sony filed lawsuits against many companies which advertised such modchips and pirated games, under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.
Some companies (notably Datel) eventually produced discs that booted on unmodified retail units while using special equipment.
Instead of a D-pad, which is used for directional movement in nearly every other console then on the market, the PlayStation controller uses four directional buttons.
Peripherals released for the PlayStation include memory cards, the PlayStation Mouse, the PlayStation Analog Joystick, the PlayStation Link Cable, the Multiplayer Adapter (a four-player multitap), the Memory Drive (a disk drive for 3.5 inch floppy disks), the GunCon (a light gun), and the Glasstron (a monoscopic head-mounted display).
- CPU: 32-bit RISC MIPS R3000A-compatible MIPS R3051 (33.8688 MHz)
- MDEC (motion decoder) for FMV playback
- RAM: 2 MB main, 1 MB video
- Graphics: GPU and Geometry Transformation Engine (GTE), with 2D rotation, scaling (2.5D), transparency and fading, and 3D affine texture mapping and shading
- Colors: 16.7 million (True Color)
- Sprites: 4,000
- Polygons: 180,000 per second (textured), 360,000 per second (flat-shaded)
- Resolution: 256×224 to 640×480 pixels (480i)
- Sound: 16-bit, 24 channel ADPCM
The PlayStation went through a number of variants during its production run. From an external perspective, the most notable change between variants was the reduction in the number of connectors. The RCA jacks were removed in the first revision, and the Parallel I/O port was removed in the final revision.
Sony marketed a development kit for hobbyists and developers also known as the Net Yaroze, which launched in June 1996 in Japan and in 1997 in other countries. Sold only through an ordering service, the development console came with the necessary documentation and software to program PlayStation games and applications.
On 7 July 2000, Sony released the PS one, a smaller, redesigned version of the original PlayStation. It was the highest-selling console through the end of the year, outselling all other consoles - including Sony's own PlayStation 2. A total of 28.15 million PS one units had been sold by the time it was discontinued in March 2006. A version of the PS one included a 5-inch (130 mm) LCD screen, referred to as the "Combo pack".
On 19 September 2018, Sony announced the PlayStation Classic. It was released on 3 December 2018. It featured 20 pre-installed video games such as Tekken 3, Final Fantasy VII, Jumping Flash, Wild Arms and Ridge Racer Type 4. It also features two replicas of the wired PlayStation controllers without analog sticks. It also features an HDMI output. The maximum resolution is 720p. It is 45% smaller than the original console.