Happy 20th birthday PlayStation

20 years ago today, Sony’s beloved PlayStation console was released in Japan. Launched into a gaming world utterly dominated by Sega and Nintendo, the PlayStation quickly became the must-have console. I got my initial first-hand experience of it at E3, and remember it being pretty much the only thing people there were talking about. I was (and still am) a dedicated PC gamer, and the PlayStation was the first games console I ever bought.

Sony’s PlayStation was an essential purchase for gaming fans -- especially those into driving and fighting games, which the console excelled at -- and it’s fair to say the PlayStation quickly had a massive impact on the gaming world, leaving a legacy that is still very much in evidence today.

The original PlayStation actually launched globally in September 1995, priced at $299 in the US, by which time it had a good selection of titles available including Ridge Racer, Rayman and Battle Arena Toshinden. PlayStation classic Wipeout debuted with the launch of the console in Europe, and probably the best known of all PlayStation games, Tomb Raider, arrived in 1996, cementing the PlayStation’s reputation as pretty much the only console worth owning at the time.

Sony released its next console, the PlayStation 2, in 2000 (which ultimately resulted in the death of Sega’s console division), and also a smaller version of the original PlayStation, called the PSone in the same year. A smaller PS2 arrived in 2004, and two years later saw the launch of the PlayStation 3. The PlayStation 4 launched towards the end of last year, putting the brand back at the top of the console charts, and easily outselling its big rival -- Microsoft’s Xbox One.

To celebrate 20 years of PlayStation, Sony is releasing a 20th Anniversary Limited Edition PS4 in the same gray hue as its original 1994 console. Preorders for the model (limited to 12,300 units -- reflecting the launch date of the original console), start on December 6 in the US.

But that’s not all. Sony has also released retro-styled 20th anniversary themes for PS4, PS3 and Vita. These offer the iconic gray color scheme and include the original start up sound. You can download them from the PlayStation Store.

What’s your first memory of the PlayStation?

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