2020 is a very important year within the offices of Sony Computer Entertainment. Not only does it mark the arrival of its family of consoles PlayStation 5, next November 19: it is also the time when if they are 25 years old since the first light saw the light PlayStation of all. A September 29, 1995 The console reached the European market, this being the firm’s commitment to compete with Nintendo 64 and SEGA Saturn. The person responsible for the beginning of this phenomenon in the world of video games? The Sony engineer, Ken Kutaragi, who later became known as “the father of PlayStation”.
PlayStation: History and Video Games
La PlayStation, known as PS1 or with its code name PSX, was the first bet of Sony Computer Entertainment for the world of videogames. While it debuted on December 3, 1994 in Japan, it wouldn’t be until a few months later when it made it to Europe. Thus materialized the company’s first foray into the field of video games, seeking to rival platforms such as Nintendo 64 or SEGA Saturn.
The inventor of this system was the engineer Ken Kutaragi– During his career at Sony, Kutaragi created the SPC700 sound chip for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. His interest in video games grew to see how his daughter had fun with the console of the Japanese firm. It was then that, after the success of his chip, Kutaragi began working with Sony to create your own video game console. In this way, I helped launch the first PlayStation as its lead engineer in 1994.
Ken Kutaragi, the father of PlayStation, shaped the first Sony console
The console, christened the Play Station, was announced at the 1991 Summer Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. However, its beginnings were tumultuous for Sony regarding the relationship it had with Nintendo: it must be remembered that, in those years, Sony was not a presence in the world of video games. In fact, his only stake in the industry was that little sound chip that Kutaragi created. After purchasing and disassembling an 8-bit Nintendo console, Sony gave Kutaragi permission to approach Nintendo and thus embark on a joint venture in which Sony developed a CD-ROM drive for the Super Famicon
But after the aforementioned Play Station announcement occurred in 1991, Nintendo ended its relationship with Sony being aware that the company was also going to venture into this industry. In order to protect your licenses, Nintendo closed the contract with Sony and opted to work with Philips, precisely the rival of Sony.
The arrival of PlayStation in Europe: The turning point
Sony finally released his first PlayStation in Japan on December 3, 1994, a week after the launch of its rival Sega Saturn, at a price of 39,800 yen (about 322 euros). Sales in Japan began sweeping and causing long lines in stores, managing to sell 100,000 units on their first day and two million after six months on the market. Nonetheless, Sega Saturn was able to outperform PlayStation
The thing, however, was different if we put the magnifying glass on the European market: PlayStation was launched in Europe on September 29, 1995. By November, it had already outsold Saturn in the UK, where Sony had allocated a marketing budget of £ 20 million for the holiday season compared to Sega’s £ 4 million. Similarly, from September to the end of 1995, console sales in the United States totaled 800,000 units, which gave PlayStation a dominant advantage over the other fifth generation consoles in the region.
PlayStation managed to overtake Sega Saturn in the European and US market
At the end of 1996, when Sony expanded its CD production facilities due to the high demand for PlayStation games, sales in Europe amount to 2.2 million, of which 700,000 belonged to the British market. Competition in Japan for market dominance, however, was fierce between PlayStation and Sega Saturn, which featured its predecessor Virtua Fighter.
In 1997, a team of five editors of Electronic Gaming Monthly met to appraise the console after it had been released. They gave PlayStation the highest score They had given a console to date, praising their extensive library of games and the quality of them, as well as the price of their titles compared to those of the Nintendo 64.