Happy Birthday, Sony PlayStation
That original grey. Those black-bottomed discs. That hair-raising sound. Being a site that focuses on all PlayStation Network content, many of us have longstanding relationships with Sony consoles. We’d like to celebrate the original PlayStation’s 20th anniversary with a few blurbs from our editors. Please feel free to add your memories in the comments below; stories about growing up gaming are kind of, like, my thing.
When I woke up to learn that today is PlayStation’s 20th anniversary, I was shocked. My memory is notoriously selective. I can barely recall what I had for breakfast yesterday, but I can still recite dialogue from first-season episodes of Lost. I’m 27. My mind was shaken earlier today realizing that I have so many vivid memories that involve the original PlayStation. I can remember my family’s first game, Bushido Blade, and my love for Crash Bandicoot is well-known around these parts. I remember exactly where I was – my late grandfather’s breezeway – when I first faced Psycho Mantis. I remember buying magazines for demo discs and the disbelief of CCD classmates when I told them I have SEGA Saturn and Sony PlayStation. I remember Croc and Spyro and Tomb Raider, too! I demolished Final Fantasy VII and spent upwards of 50 hours getting Cloud in FF: Tactics. To say that the PlayStation was an integral part of my gaming upbringing is an understatement.
Later, the PlayStation 2 would dazzle me with its graphics (see FF: X, MGS: Sons of Liberty/Snake Eater) and genre defining games (see Grand Theft Auto 3). My friends and I spent hours tunneling in Red Faction then training bots in that game’s sequel. I dazzled onlookers with ridiculously lengthy (and quite badass) combos in Devil May Cry, and I swear I still own a memory card somewhere that has my record-breaking Tony Hawk 3 Canada run on it. Again, I can think back on specific points in my life and place them by what PlayStation game I was playing at the time. For a long time, there was a hole in the wall of the house I grew up in after a particularly heated game of NBA Street. I mean, these systems grew up with me (or is it vice versa?)!
I brought my PSP armed with Lumines to school with me every day. Suffice it to say, not much school work was getting done around those times. The console’s bright screen and graphically impressive titles were all the rage to me. When I finally got around to purchasing my PS3 (the MGS 80GB edition, of course), I didn’t realize what a wild ride I was in for. When I got back to my college apartment and hooked it up, I remember connecting to the internet – just like the Dreamcast, I thought – and downloading a game. It was Pain, it wasn’t very good, but it was a veritable revelation to me. I had just downloaded a video game and played it without leaving the comfort of my home. I knew even then how big of a deal this PlayStation Network thing was going to be. I devoured demos and purchased titles left and right. At one point, I was searching the internet for a review of a PSN game, I don’t remember which one (Lead and Gold, maybe?). I came across a relatively small site that happened to cover all of the PSN content that I had been wading through. I’m still here, five years later, writing for that champion of Sony Entertainment Network Store stuff.
It has been a monumental 20 years, with no clear sign of any greatness drought on the horizon. Onward to Share Play and Twitch streams and party chats!
I won my PS1 in a, shall we say, unconventional manner. When I was growing up, phone-in competitions were all the rage, as were the power rangers. So, when those two weird worlds collided, I leapt at the chance to win myself some money. I was 7 at the time, so I was at pretty much the right age to have no concept of a phone call costing my parents anything.
So, I gave it my all. And came third. Not enough to meet a slightly chubby guy dressed as the blue ranger, but enough to earn the cash to buy the system.
Naturally I gave it to my parents to spend for me. I finished the obligatory childhood practice of ‘a martial art I had no interest in’ one day, and got in the back of the car for the drive home. My seat was occupied by a PS1, a copy of Crash Bandicoot 2 and World Cup 98.
I freaked the f*** out, as was only appropriate. I then spent the next few hours at home playing nothing but Crash 2, and loving it all. But, whenever I turned off the console over the next week, I couldn’t resume from where I left off. It turns out my Dad hadn’t bought a memory card with the system. Goodness, did I get good at the first third of that game until one arrived. FIFA was alright too.
Oh and I got a PS2 for breaking my leg. Kind of. Rollerblades were involved.
It’s hard to believe how long it’s been since my dad first brought out the PSOne box into the living room for my sister and I to play. Over the years we’ve grown up with every PlayStation console and handheld. I don’t have a specific memory or a funny story to reflect on, but I do have a picture that to me represents the fun that PlayStation has brought me over the last two decades.
That picture is one that I took with some close friends of mine, of course with all of our Sackboys/girls in penguin costumes, just having a good time. Gaming has grown to be many things to many people (art games, complex stories based on choice, etc), but to me there’s nothing like just sitting down and having a good time with friends.