The PlayStation 4 just came out, so here’s some trivia about the first three: 5 facts about PlayStation.
• In the late ‘90s, Sony manufactured the audio processors for the Super Nintendo system. Seeing how much money Nintendo was making, the company decided to make its own system. At the same time, it was working with Phillips Electronics to improve CD-ROM technology. Sony figured out how to run data, graphics, and audio from a CD-ROM simultaneously and super-fast. Result: It could put highly advanced video games on discs, a gaming first. Disc games are also much cheaper to manufacture than cartridges, the traditional delivery method for video games.
• Video game industry analysts predicted the PlayStation to fail shortly upon its release in 2000. Why? Because at that point, only software manufacturers like Nintendo and Sega had successfully launched a video game console. Strictly electronics companies, like Sony, had a long history of releasing flop systems, such as RCA’s Studio II, Fairchild’s Channel F, and Magnavox’s Odyssey.
• Released in 2000, the PlayStation 2 is the bestselling video game system of all time—more than 155 million people bought one. The original PlayStation sold 102 million, and the PlayStation 3 has sold 80 million. PlayStation 4 recently sold over 1 million units within the first 24 hours.
• Most popular games for each system: Gran Turismo (PlayStation, 10.85 million copies sold), Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (PlayStation 2, 17.33 million), Grand Turismo 5 (PlayStation 3, 10.66 million).
• Today, video game systems like the new PlayStation 4 and the Xbox 360 are multimedia entertainment centers—they can be used to watch DVDs, download music off the Internet, and stream films. That idea started with the PlayStation—it could play music CDs (remember those?).