PlayStation is officially 25 years old today in the West, having first launched in North America on 9/9/1995, almost a year after its Japanese release.
By its first Christmas in the US, Sony had sold almost a million PSOne consoles – double that of Sega’s rival Saturn, which was left overpriced and poorly marketed thanks to a surprise launch months earlier.
In Europe, PlayStation arrived in November and shipped over 600,000 units. The console was an immediate success and its popularity continued for years.
Across its lifespan, Sony went on to sell over 100 million PlayStation One consoles, with classic titles such as Gran Turismo, Tomb Raider, Metal Gear Solid and Final Fantasy VII defining the entire generation.
With more sales than Nintendo’s Super NES and its successor Nintendo 64 combined, Sony had pushed the previous market leader into a distant second place after it walked back on PlayStation’s original vision as a SNES add-on.
Bedrooms to Billions: The PlayStation Revolution, a feature-length documentary featuring interviews with key figures from Sony’s gaming division, is available now at digital and physical storefronts.
In a message posted in December last year to acknowledge PlayStation’s Japanese anniversary, Sony Interactive Entertainment boss Jim Ryan said it was “truly humbling” to see fans who had grown up with PlayStation now sharing that passion with their children.
“Starting from a humble beginning as an upstart within Sony, Ken Kutaragi and team delivered on a vision to elevate video games as a form of entertainment that everyone could enjoy, and to make a platform for game developers to express their creativity,” he wrote.
“The original PlayStation sold 100,000 units in Japan on its first day and went on to become the first-ever home console to surpass 100 million units sold globally. We struck a chord with the gaming community because PlayStation offered experiences beyond what anyone could ever imagine was possible with a home console.
“From the very start, we opened our arms to developers, providing them with the tools and technology to create beautiful, expansive worlds, and to experiment with new ideas. That approach led to the diversity of games PlayStation is known for, a true hallmark for our brand across multiple generations of hardware platforms.”
He added: “Over the past 25 years, PlayStation has stood at the forefront as gaming, and I’m honoured to have been a part of the team since the early days. As I was helping set up the business in Europe, I remember having to start from scratch with many things, from hiring employees to ordering furniture.
“Back then, we focused on catering to local markets to ensure that a gamer in Poland would feel a part of the broader PlayStation community just as much as someone in the UK, or Japan, or the U.S. Supported by passionate fans all around the world, our business has grown significantly and our focus on community is more important than ever.
“It’s truly humbling to see fans who grew up on PlayStation passing down their love of gaming to their children, who are now playing on PS4.”