Friday, September 10, 2010

15 years of PlayStation

The Sony PlayStation has turned 15 on Thursday it says in an article on In the days it was launched, those that played games on consoles played them on Atari's, Nintendo's and SEGA's machines. Some of these had been around since the late seventies and Sony had some catching up to do in a market that was still largely a niche market (have a look at some of these vintage machines here at Benway's collection).

Sony caught up. They sold some 240 million units of the PlayStation, PS one (a re-issue of the original) and PlayStation 2 and went on to launch the PlayStation 3. Although this last console had a little bit of a shaky start. The high price point and lack of tripple A games seemed to dampen sales of this new generation. The Microsoft Xbox 360 already had a huge following and a slew of mainstream games to play on it and Sony had to fight an uphill battle. In Februari 2010 Shacknews arrived at new estimates of PlayStation 3 sales that put it at 33+ million sold. This was close to the Xbox 360's previously published number of 39 million units sold. Although no one could touch the Nintendo Wii, which had become a runaway success and had sold 67+ million units.

In the 15 years the PlayStation has been around PC gaming has had to deal with the rising popularity of console gaming. PC gaming is not dead however as some gaming analysts would have you believe. But it has shifted its focus on online play and online distribution. Games like World of Warcraft, Starcraft II and the online distribution service Steam, keep PC gaming alive and kicking with tens of millions of players every day.

The venerable PlayStation has seen it all. It has travelled the timeline from the 8 bit graphics beeps and squeaks era to the hyper realistic every onscreen muscle moves surround sound era. And it has survived. It begs the question, what's next? What will the PlayStation 4 bring and what will it be up against? I am willing to bet it will probably be a Nintendo.

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