A look at the 20th anniversary of Sony’s first console.
In the early 1990s, the video games industry was dominated by the battle between SEGA and Nintendo to be the number one video games console on the market. But on December 3rd 1994, the console market was turned on its head as Sony released the first PlayStation. It was originally slated to be a CD add-on to the SNES, before Nintendo decided to cancel the project, leading Sony to decide to create their own console.
Now, 20 years after the release of the console, the Brutal Gamer team have decided to share their favourite memories of Sony’s family of consoles.
Apart from the classic PlayStation splash screen and sound every time you booted a game up, I think one of the most amazing things for me was being able to listen to my music CDs through my TV. It was like magic to me at the time. I remember being blown away by the cut scenes in Final Fantasy VII, and how the system was able to produce something like that.
I also remember buying a PS2 with Gran Turismo 3 bundled in. The first time I played that game, I was utterly blown away by the beauty of the cars and tracks in that game, and I spent many hours racing away.
My fondest PlayStation memory is playing Final Fantasy VII. It was recommended to me because I had never played a JRPG before. I was excited since I’m a huge fan of RPGs, but this was unlike anything I had played before. The story was incredible for a video game and the gameplay hooked me. I decided I had to do everything and spent over 100 hours unlocking as much of the game I could. Yes, I did pour over GameFAQs and walkthroughs. By god, I was going to breed that golden chocobo to get to the island to get Knights of the Round. That was the moment I fell in love with the Final Fantasy series, JRPGs, and spending inordinate amounts of time with games in general. And it was only the beginning of what PlayStation had to offer.
My mother had always been a staunch adversary of games; strange, considering I grew up on pc games being spoon fed to me (both from her and my dad). So imagine her face when one wintery night my dad shows up with a game console.
Using one of those old channel dial TVs (12 inch?), my sister and I played Crash Bandicoot amid crazy static. We died repeatedly to pits we couldn’t see because of the static, but we didn’t care. We were so engrossed, we didn’t even hear the ensuing argument my parents had over the purchase. “It’ll rot their brains!” Cried my mum.
Then my sister had the ingenuity to pull this little tab on the tv, and holy crap the picture was clear! That was one of my best memories of my childhood, playing with my sister.
Then my dad found out about mod chips, and my enjoyment shot through the roof!
To this day, I still have my modded ps1 with burned copies of Legend of Legaia and Chocobo’s Dungeon 2 (My 2 favourite PS1 games that aren’t FF7/8).
I have many fond memories of the playstation. It was the system that got me into video games in general, as my cousin had every system you could imagine. One of the first games I fell in love with was super street fighter. I used to be awake the whole night with my cousin playing that game. I still remember my thumbs being sore days after.
The other two games that I enjoyed from that time was digimon digital card battle, and digimon rumble arena. As a big fan of digimon I was overjoyed when those games came out for the playstation. Playstation was a huge part of my child hood and I’m thankful that it brought me into the world of videogames.
The first thing that comes to mind when I think PlayStation is all the time I spent playing my PS2. It was my first console, aside from a Nintendo Game Boy Advance a couple years earlier. I probably had a total of 30 games for my PS2, but the one I loved the most and still play on occasion is Star Wars: Battlefront II. I must have dumped hundreds, if not thousands, of hours into Battlefront, mostly in an effort to get all the medals to Legendary status.
My favourite pastime was whiling away the hours (and I mean HOURS) on Hoth. I’d hop into a snowspeeder, fly down to where the AT-ATs spawn, and shoot them in the neck as many times as possible. After doing this enough, you could get enough Demolitions medals to achieve Legendary – because who doesn’t want remote controlled rockets?! Whether the weather was good or bad, it was always a good time to play Battlefront. Of course, this game wasn’t a PlayStation exclusive, but it definitely gave me a lot of lasting memories.
The PSOne is easily one of my favorite consoles of all time, second only to the SNES (which is some very big praise, believe me) on my all time list. I actually had a Japanese import console as I couldn’t wait for the US release to get into what Sony was cooking up. See in those days, there was still quite a wait between Eastern and Western launches and the polygonal glory that was the PlayStation was something that just could not be put off. I have way too many good memories of that little grey machine to name here, but there are a few that stand out the most in my mind.
On the first weekend I had the console, my buddies came over to my house and we played Battle Arena Toh Shin Den and Tekken (the first one!) till early the following day. Man was that fighting game heaven. I know Toh Shin Den didn’t last too long as a series, relatively speaking, but both of those games saw hours and hours of time in my PSOne’s disc drive. So much that I’m pretty sure they led to the eventual death of my console (may it rest in peace).
Also among the biggest moments from that first Sony console for me: the platforming revelation that was Crash Bandicoot, playing Resident Evil which was mind-blowing and so terrifying that I couldn’t play at night, and firing up the PSOne edition of Doom. Console ports of Doom don’t really get a lot of attention, but it was like a fresh experience for a huge fan who’d played the PC original and Jaguar versions to death. Actually, Doom and Crash are tied together for me and combined are probably my second favorite memory after that first weekend. I realize that might sound odd considering the themes of both titles, but I got the pair of them shortly before Thanksgiving in ’96 and they basically saved my sanity in a house full of guests and the subsequent near food-coma that followed.
There are way more great games and big moments from the PSOne of course, those are just the best for me personally. This was the console that birthed Metal Gear Solid, Tenchu, and a load of others, so I know that it’s got a place in many a gamer’s heart. After writing this, I think I might just have to go dig mine out of the basement. Sure I could play a few PSOne games on my launch PS3, but it’s just not the same.
That’s the team’s favourite PlayStation memories, but what are yours? Let us know in the comments below.