PCGH Retro: The first Playstation
Once again PCGH takes a look at the short but eventful history of the computer. Today: What happened on December 3?
...1994: The future belongs to the CD-ROM. This doesn't just apply for the PC market, where the discs are steadily pushing the floppy aside, but also for the consoles: With a CD it is possible to integrate videos into a game, and developers expect to be able to create more realistic game worlds with that. Nintendo, leading on the growing console market, realized that in 1988 already; back then they closed a contract with Sony about the development of a CD extension for the future Super NES console. The name of the project: "Play Station”.
But the SNES drive wouldn't be left alone. Sony also planned their own console that was supposed to be able to read CDs and Nintendo's SNES cartridges. Thus Sony would have become a major player on the console market - a fact that Nintendo wasn't happy about and thus the contract was canceled in 1991. Philips worked on the development of the CD drive from now on. But this contract also didn't come off and the SNES finally was introduced to the market without a CD extension and, incontrast to Sega's Mega Drive, stayed that way. And while Philips transformed the started project into the CD-i, Sony transformed the "Play Station” project into the Playstation.
The solely CD based console is introduce to the (Japanese) market on this December 3, 1994. It utilizes a 32 bit processor, that is self developed just like the graphics unit, and is equipped with 2 MiByte system memory. The Playstation will become the top-selling console of its time - quite contrary to Philips' unsuccessful CD-I - and also beats the once overpowering competition of Nintendo.