The PlayStation (officially abbreviated the PS) is a fifth generation video game console manufactured by Sony Computer Entertainment. It was launched in Japan on December 3, 1994 and in North America and Europe on September 1995. It was the first in SCE's ubiquitous PlayStation brand of gaming consoles, followed by the PlayStation 2 in 2000. The original PlayStation was discontinued a decade after its launch on March 31, 2005, having shipped a total of 102.49 million units, being the first video game console to pass the 100 million mark.
The original PlayStation is retroactively abbreviated as the PS1 to distinguish it from its numbered successors and the PlayStation brand in general. It was also abbreviated as the PSX, after its development codename (the PlayStation Experimental), but this abbreviation fell into disuse after the launch of a PS2/DVR hybrid device of the same name in Japan in 2003.
The PlayStation has a 32-bit RISC CPU that clocks at 33.8688MHz, a main memory of 2MB of DRAM, an SPU sound chip with support for up to 24 channels and a double speed CD-ROM drive. It can play dedicated PlayStation CD-ROM discs, as well as standard Audio CDs. It also has a two controller ports for input devices and two memory cards slots, which were the storage media used to record save data (up to 15 "blocks" of data per card). The PlayStation console underwent numerous revisions throughout its lifespan (e.g. the SCPH-1000 series, SCPH-3000 series, ect.) with the later models lacking the RCA jacks and parallel ports that the earlier models had. The Hong Kong exclusive SCPH-5903 model in particular had support for Video CDs, a format popular in Asia. The biggest revision of the original PlayStation was the PS one redesign (a.k.a. the SCPH-100 series), launched in 2000, which featured a more compact design (made possible due to having an external power supply), a revamped interface for its BIOS and support for an LCD Screen attachment.
PlayStation consoles and discs were region coded in three formats: NTSC-J (Japan and Asia), NTSC-U/C (North and South America) and PAL (Europe and Australia). While PlayStation discs are programmed to run only on consoles from their corresponding region code, there are several homebrew and gray market methods to bypass this, with the most popular alternative being the installation of a modchip into the console's motherboard.
Relation to the Metal Gear series
After the release of Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake on the MSX2 in 1990, Hideo Kojima held off developing another Metal Gear game for several years, instead choosing to focus on other projects released on CD-ROM based platforms. The first was Snatcher CD-ROMantic for the PC Engine in 1992, a remake of his earlier PC-88/MSX2 adventure game featuring added voice acting, which later saw an English localization released for the Sega CD in North America and the Mega CD in the PAL region (both in 1994). This was followed by Policenauts, which was initially released for the NEC PC-9821 in 1994 and was followed by ports for the 32-bit consoles at the time: 3DO and PlayStation in 1995, and then the Sega Saturn in 1996. Kojima would use the know-how he acquired working on these projects to work with the newly established Konami Computer Entertainment Japan division for his third Metal Gear game.
The PlayStation was ultimately chosen as the platform of choice for the new Metal Gear, now titled Metal Gear Solid, over the initially considered 3DO due to its greater popularity and more advanced 3D graphical capabilities, as Kojima intended to bring the franchise to 3D. The popularity of the PlayStation also allowed Metal Gear Solid to receive a full worldwide release, something that Kojima's prior Metal Gear games didn't received due to the MSX's lack of commercialization in North America.
Many aspects of Metal Gear Solid were tailored to use the PlayStation's specifications in unconventional ways, such as the use of the DualShock controller's rumble feature to simulate a heart attack or a massage, as well as Psycho Mantis' use of memory cards to judge a player's performance or figure out his taste in games. Because of these peculiarities, the original Metal Gear Solid was never ported to any other gaming console outside the digital download releases on PlayStation Network. The only exception was the Windows PC version released in 2000, which still retained the use of PlayStation-specific button terminologies due to the unchanged voice assets.
Appearances within the games
A PlayStation-like game console can be found within Hal Emmerich's lab in the original Metal Gear Solid. The PlayStation is also shown in a flashback in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots when Psycho Mantis tries to read the player's memory card, only to find out that the system uses an internal hard drive instead.
List of games
- Metal Gear Solid
- Metal Gear Solid: Integral (released as Metal Gear Solid: VR Missions in the NTSC-U/C region and as Metal Gear Solid: Special Missions in the PAL region)
- ^ PlayStation Cumulative Production Shipments of Hardware. Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. Retrieved on 2008-05-03.
- ^ PlayStation 2 Breaks Record as the Fastest Computer Entertainment Platform to Reach Cumulative Shipment of 100 Million Units (PDF)