Throughout Sony PlayStation’s lifetime, they have released five major consoles and several other devices. For people who have been with Sony since the start, it is hard to believe it has been more than 25 years. Here is an overview of Sony PlayStation console history.
The Original PlayStation (1994)
Sony released the original PlayStation back in 1994. It quickly became one of the best-selling consoles of its time. The original Sony PlayStation was part of the fifth generation of gaming consoles.
It features some of the best games that sold really well, including Crash Bandicoot, Tekken 3 and Gran Turismo. Sony sold more than 100 million units of the popular console — 102.49 million.
That said, while this was the first console they released, it was not the first one they made. While only a few modern PlayStation fans know this, Sony and Nintendo collaborated on a console in 1991.
The console had a built-in CD drive but would play SNES games. The switch from cartridges to CDs was a big deal as developers could create bigger games with better graphics. However, the console was never released because Nintendo backed out of the deal and decided to partner with Philips.
PS One (2000)
On July 7, 2000, Sony released the PS One. It came out shortly after the release of the PlayStation 2. Sony released the console as a cheaper alternative to the PlayStation 2.
The video game console was a redesigned version of the original PlayStation and featured a more compact design with a new interface. The PS One sold surprisingly well and outsold all other consoles alongside the PlayStation 2 for that year.
Sony later released extra items for the console, including an LCD screen and a car lighter adaptor plug. The additional peripherals were sold as a combo pack and added some portability to the PS one.
PlayStation 2 (2000)
Slightly before the release of the PS One, Sony released the successor of the original PlayStation. The console sold exceptionally well and remains the best-selling video game console of all time. Sony has sold more than 155 million units and discontinued the PlayStation 2 in 2013.
The device was extremely popular and featured backward compatibility with previous PlayStation titles. One factor contributing to the console’s popularity was that it could function as a DVD player. It had several exclusive titles fans loved, such as Ratchet and Clank, God of War and Jak and Daxter. The PlayStation 2 will always be remembered as one of the best devices in PlayStation Console History.
PlayStation 2 Slim (2004)
Four years later, Sony released a more slimmer version of the PlayStation 2. The PlayStation 2 Slim had a few differences that separated it from the previous version. It had a built-in ethernet port, a thinner design and was notably quieter than the original PlayStation 2.
PlayStation Portable (2004)
In the same year, Sony went on to release the PlayStation Portable. This was Sony’s take on a handheld device, which became known as the PSP. Instead of opting for two split screens as their rivals — Nintendo — they went for a different design with a screen in the middle and the familiar Sony buttons on the side that fans have come to enjoy.
The PSP features internet connectivity and an impressive lineup of games. According to Statista, Sony has sold more than 80 million units of the popular handheld console.
PlayStation 3 (2006)
Two years later, PlayStation 3 hit the shelves. The first versions of the console had backward compatibility and an expensive price tag. It was part of the seventh generation of consoles and while it did sell well, the console did not reach the same amount of sales as previous generations.
That said, the PlayStation 3 was still a success that competed with the Xbox 360 and Nintendo’s Wii. The console used Blue Ray Technology as storage and featured many popular titles, such as Uncharted 2, God of War 3, and Gran Turismo 5.
PlayStation 3 Slim (2009)
As with the PlayStation 2 Slim, the PlayStation 3 Slim was a thinner version of the original 2006 console. It was quieter, lighter and featured a redesigned logo. Sony also changed the hardware and decided to forgo the ability to play previous console generation games.
PlayStation Vita (2011)
After the success of the PlayStation Portable, Sony created the PlayStation Vita as its successor. The Vita was an impressive step up from the PSP and featured powerful hardware with dual analogs.
Despite all the changes, the handheld was not a commercial success. One of the reasons for this could be due to its lack of Triple-A (AAA) titles.
PlayStation 3 Super Slim (2012)
In 2012 the PlayStation 3 Super Slim was released. This version was lighter than the previous slim model and replaced the standard disk drive players were used to with a manual sliding disc cover. The Super Slim was available in a 250GB and 500GB model.
PlayStation 4 (2013)
One year later, PlayStation fans were rushing to their local stores to buy the new PS4. It had much more powerful hardware than the PS3 and represented the new generation of console gaming.
The console sold exceptionally well and according to Statista, Sony has sold more than 117 million units of the PS4. Another phenomenal device for the Sony PlayStation console history books.
PlayStation 4 Slim and Pro (2016)
Three years later, Sony released a Slim and Pro version of the popular console. Like the older PlayStation 4 and 3, these versions did not feature backward compatibility despite fans asking for it. The PS4 Slim was lighter, smaller and used less power than the original PS4.
Besides that, the Slim was relatively the same as the previous version. However, the same can not be said for the PS4 Pro. It got an upgrade in performance and featured 4K resolution with select titles.
PlayStation 5 Disk and Digital Edition(2020)
At the end of 2020, the PlayStation 5 was released. While the console did have a rough start regarding availability, it is currently selling exceptionally well. It released in two different versions, namely the Standard PS5 and the PS5 Digital Edition.
The only difference between the two is that one has a disk drive while the other one does not. The PS5 was a massive step up from the previous generation consoles and does feature backward compatibility with most previous PlayStation 4 titles.
It has impressive graphics, a solid-state drive and 4K resolution with up to 120 FPS on supported titles. On July 27, 2023, Sony announced they had sold more than 40 Million units worldwide.
Sony Bringing Joy to Gamers Throughout PlayStation Console History
Sony has been releasing consoles for over two decades. While some consoles have done better than others, most were well-received and have been keeping players entertained for years. With the incredible track record Sony has set, it is exciting to think what the next generation of PlayStations will look like.
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