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Feature: Celebrating the 18th Anniversary of the PSone

Posted by Jamie O'Neill

Happy Birthday, PAL

Hip-hip-hooray, because today is the 18th anniversary of the original PlayStation console, as it was released on the 29th September 1995 in Europe, just twenty days after it was made available in North America. Therefore in the UK, at the age of eighteen, the PAL PSone can legally participate in a champagne tipple, so we raise our glass in celebration of PlayStation’s landmark birthday.

Hindsight is a marvellous thing. It enables us to revel in Yoda-like glory from our expertise, as we reflect upon Sony’s achievements based upon almost two decades of knowledge and experience. However, it’s worth remembering that in 1995 Sony weren't guaranteed success, because SEGA still possessed potential with the Saturn and Nintendo was a relatively unknown quantity as a rival, with the delay of the Ultra 64. Push Square has covered in detail how Sony clambered over significant stumbling blocks on PlayStation’s road from concept to 32-bit powerhouse, in our feature that explored and investigated The Making of the Sony PlayStation.

As early as August 1994, issue 11 of EDGE magazine included PlayStation as part of its cover feature, back when it was still referred to as the PSX based upon its project title. The magazine was already optimistic about Sony’s first foray into console development, and there was a sense of clarity in their crystal ball as they forecast that “with a Japanese launch less than six months away, and a hardware spec turning the heads of the world’s best software developers, EDGE wonders if this could be the start of something really big".

Considering that it was only fifty pounds cheaper than the hotly anticipated PlayStation 4, and allowing for inflation, 1995 wasn't the cheapest time to purchase a swanky new console. A shop called Gameplay in Yorkshire advertised PlayStation in the November 1995 issue of CVG as “The world’s most powerful console”, selling it with a competitive price tag of £279.99. Just two months after the September launch this marked a prevailing price reduction, by twenty pounds in magazine adverts, as retailers competed to reduce the £299.99 price to a more attractive £280.

The graphical presentation of the original PlayStation may appear visually antiquated, as Sony demonstrated in a video highlighting the technical progression from PSone to PlayStation 4, but we shouldn't forget that PSone was flexing serious muscle for a console in September 1995. For gamers who had raced away their summer in the arcades, it was an impressive conversion of Ridge Racer that represented a striking technological leap forward from the 16-bit era. Namco's port stood out even when compared to a Super FX chip enhanced SNES racer like Stunt Race FX, or the 32X conversion of Virtua Racing Deluxe, both released in 1994.

Ridge Racer sat at the podium alongside WipEout in a PSone launch line-up that included first-person platform game Jumping Flash!, a new polygon presented depiction of 3D Lemmings and a one-on-one weapons fighter, called Battle Arena Toshinden. Perhaps most interesting of all, from a retro gamer’s perspective, was a 2D run-and-gun game called Rapid Reload. This launch title took inspiration from games like Contra and preceded Metal Slug. However, it was relatively under-appreciated as sprites were flickering out of fashion, so it has not yet been re-released on Europe’s PlayStation Store.

Pleasingly, it wasn't just the launch day titles that made the PSone a tempting purchase, but a steady flow of games unleashed before Christmas 1995 ensured that the console had a strong early library. Namco was particularly active, with Tekken beating Battle Arena Toshinden to a pulp just two months later, which sold well alongside its release of Air Combat at the end of 1995 (Ace Combat in Japan). In December 1995 Ubisoft's colourful, stylish and challenging platformer Rayman proved that 2D games could still garner praise and attention, in a gaming landscape increasingly obsessed with polygons.

It didn't escape our attention that Push Square’s readers possess nostalgia for the original PlayStation console, especially as you voted it as having your favourite PlayStation startup sequence. Push Square will continue to celebrate the eighteen year anniversary of PSone between now and Christmas, by providing PSone reviews of a number of key releases, with a focus on games that are available on the PlayStation Network. Each weekend we will shine our retro spotlight on a new review, starting with launch titles like Jumping Flash!, WipEout and Rayman. We’ll also tiptoe and shiver our way through a selection of spooky PSone game reviews, so prepare to tremble at 32-bit depictions of terror, later in October.


What are your most cherished memories of the PSone launch? Are you surprised that the £349.99 PlayStation 4 launch price is only fifty pounds more than the £299.99 price tag of the original PlayStation? How do you think that the PSone’s launch line-up compares in diversity and quality to the PlayStation 4’s initial games? Let us know in the comments section below.

Did you purchase an original PlayStation in September 1995? (38 votes)

Duh, of course I did

29%

I purchased the console later in its life

42%

I never owned a PSone

29%

Please login to vote in this poll.

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User Comments (25)

TasukiStaff

#1

Tasuki said:

Great read. I can't believe it's been that long it seems just like yesterday when I picked up my Playstation. I actually bought the system for Final Fantasy 7 cause back then I was a huge fan of the Final Fantasy series, if only I knew how bad FF7 was. I also had a friend at the time that owned Battle Arena Toshinden and Suikoden so I spent many a days playing those as well. Oh and how can I forget Twisted Metal, still one of my favorite games to this day.

Happy Birthday PSone. :)

Philson

#2

Philson said:

wish i still had a ps1,i would like to know if there is or will be a modded ps1 system with component out,would buy one for sure

Cloud7794

#3

Cloud7794 said:

@Tasuki Hey FF7 was amazing, don't hate! XP and wow seriously though hard to believe it's been that long (when people say "10 years ago" I still think they mean the 90's). I am waaaaaaaay too young to feel this old @_@.

belmont

#4

belmont said:

I bought a Playstation 1 when the price dropped to 235 euros or 80000 drachmas since there was no euro back then.

My first game was Mortal Kombat 3 and my favourite ones were Final Fantasy 7 and Castlevania SOTN. In the end the console died about 7 years later but, since PS2 played all my games, I never got another one.

Farmboy74

#5

Farmboy74 said:

Brought my PSone on launch day, traded in my Megadrive and all it's games, which brought it's price down quite a bit!! Had some cracking games for it wish I kept it and put it into storage!

BornOfEvil

#6

BornOfEvil said:

I was 3 going on 4 when the PSone came out, but I have very fond memories of it starting from around the time I was 5 or 6. Tekken was the very first fighting game I played on it with Final Fantasy VII being my first JRPG and I had a blast playing both of them.

I can still remember beating my brother and dad with Nina, Hwaorang and Yoshimitsu. Oh and I can't forget Crash and Spyro, I can still feel the rumble from the controller whenever you headbutted a wall in Spyro.

I can't wait to share these stories with my grandchildren as I sit in my hover-chair.

Gamer83

#7

Gamer83 said:

Nice feature. I never actually owned a PSone, but I had a few friends with one and I was over at their houses a lot on the weekends so I didn't miss out too much on what was going on in the world of PlayStation at the time. It was funny because I always felt that N64 had more 'classics' from that generation but the PSone was no question the better all around console. While I was waiting months, sometimes years, for the next big release on N64 with very little to get through those times, it seemed like PSone was getting a great game damn near every week. I'll still never forget the first time I played a game on the PSone. Late summer 1995 demo kiosk was just setup at KB Toys in the mall, got to play Twisted Metal and really enjoyed it. It was such a different experience from what I had been used to with Nintendo and Sega but it was awesome.

The highlights of the PSone days for me... Metal Gear Solid, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, Resident Evil 1 and 2, MLB 98, Twisted Metal 1 and 2, Destruction Derby, Tekken 1-3, Gran Turismo, Grand Theft Auto, Crash Bandicoot 2, Driver 1 and 2 and the NFL Gameday series.

rykkchii

#8

rykkchii said:

I had bought a jap import in April may time (for £450 with Tekken). it came with hard wired rgb to scart lead, so when I first booted tekken running full screen and speed I was blown away. I only had 2 games for ages. but tekken and ridge racer kept me very busy. remember the free games of Galaga and galaxians u got as these loaded? It was an amazing inclusion.
I was excited for the UK release tho cos of the launch titles wipeout and destruction derby.
happy birthday EU ps1.. they were fantastic gaming days :-)

Jaz007

#9

Jaz007 said:

I was really young when the PS2 came out, so yeah. But I kind of remember when we had the PS2 early on, it had backwards compatabily so it took care of our PS1 needs as well.

Slapshot

#10

Slapshot said:

Great read, as always JamieO!

The PSOne was such a fantastic console in its time. Titles like Wild 9, One and the Parasite Eve series are games that I have extremely fond memories of, not to mention it was the console that introduced me to crazy world of Japanese video games, thanks to them being hidden in the PS Underground Disc.

JaredJ

#11

JaredJ said:

I got a PSone for my 14th birthday in November 1995 along with Ridge Racer. One of the best gaming machines in history. Spent many hours playing games like Resident Evil, Castlevania SOTN, and Final Fantasy VII.

Itachi

#12

Itachi said:

Everytime I see the original PlayStation it always brings back fond memories and reminds me of why I love playing video games. I got my PlayStation for Christmas when I was 14 and I'll never forget the feeling of ripping through the gift wrap and seeing that PS symbol on the box under the tree. I can honestly say that was one of the happiest moments of my life and i enjoyed every moment with my PlayStation throughout it's entire life cycle. I can still remember running home from school to play Crash and staying up late at night even on school nights playing Tekken 2 with my dad. Those were great times to be a gamer and just thinking about it makes me miss those golden years of being a kid.

get2sammybAdmin

#13

get2sammyb said:

Loving all of these awesome stories. Keep them coming. As Jamie says, there's going to be loads more PSone stuff on the site over the coming months.

Zombie_Barioth

#14

Zombie_Barioth said:

Its kinda funny, but I didn't actually buy my PSone. My cousin wanted to borrow our N64, which also happened to be from her, so we swapped consoles. Unfortunately, someone stole it so she just let us keep the PSone. Didn't miss the N64 too much though, and the PSone is probably the console that got me into RPGs.

Don't have one anymore but I do have a my PS2 still. I also eventually replaced the N64 and a few missing games, so it all came back full circle in the end.

Rogue76

#15

Rogue76 said:

I remember purchasing the PSOne. I was a senior in Highschool. I bought the system because I thought the games looked better than other systems at the time. I remember it being somewhat expensive, but at the time, I didn't really have any responsibilities, so saving for the system wasn't that difficult.

A few things I will always remember about the system. First was playing Resident Evil. I remember turning off all the lights, and literally screaming, when one of the zombies that was lying on the ground reached up and grabbed my character as I walked by. That was awesome!

Second memory that comes to mind was playing Madden. I remember my dad watching me play the game, and there was James Brown giving an update of the upcoming games, and he said "It's a weekday, how are you watching football?"

Third memory is playing hours and hours of Final Fantasy 7, only to have my then girlfriend, play my saved game and beating the game while I was away. I was not happy.

charlesnarles

#16

charlesnarles said:

I had several games, but never a ps1. I just used my friends' since we were all 6 when it came out. No way I could've afforded $350 lol. My cousins even had the burned disc chip, that was awesome. I'm way PS, I wanna get a little tattoo somewhere but I don't trust anyone to do it well

DeHorror1975

#17

DeHorror1975 said:

My friends And I used to play the heck out of Virtua Fighter. I may buy one just to have it again.

rjejr

#18

rjejr said:

Why does your PS have a a DS controller, didn't they not come out until 1997?

I bought mine for Parasite Eve. I think it was Christmas 1998 and the commercial was on tv constantly and I couldnt believe how good the CG cut scene graphics looked. 2nd game I got was FF7.

Come to think of it I think I still own both of those original game purchases, and my PS1. W/ the DS ;-)

Sonicfan11589

#20

Sonicfan11589 said:

I remember my older brother getting a PSone for his bday many years ago, first games were Frogger and Tomb Raider 1. Was scared of Tomb Raider, then we got Resident Evil: Director's Cut, Final Fantasy 7, and tons more. I should also thank my older brother for getting me into most of the games i still enjoy playing today.

Sonicfan11589

#21

Sonicfan11589 said:

I also hope Sony starts re-releasing more PSone games on PSN. Some games that the European PSN has like Gex: Enter the Gecko, Tomb Raider: Chronicles, Fear Effect 1 and 2. (Yes, I know, they are all by Eidos)

odd69

#22

odd69 said:

Yep looking at mine as we speak, its there for a reminder but i do dust it off and use it with the gameshark

Dichotomy

#23

Dichotomy said:

I got the Playstation about a year after it was released with the games Tomb Raider and Resident Evil. I remember playing Tomb Raider to death and saving Resi for the right moment (I wasn't scared or anything, honest). Once I finally got around to playing Resi I managed to play for about a day before I came down with a relatively severe fever. Needless to say when I went to sleep my dreams were filled with feverish nightmares involving zombies (and that dog that jumps you through the window - how that made me jump when it happened). As a side effect of that fever I didn't go back to playing Resi for 3 months as it reminded me of both my fever induced nightmares and the rather unpleasant sick feeling I felt throughout the disease.

After about 3 months though I did go back and thoroughly enjoy the game. The same couldn't be said though for Asda's pizza flavoured version of monster munch which tasted nice going down, but less so coming back up.

Moviefan2k4

#24

Moviefan2k4 said:

I was never a huge fan of the PlayStation; in fact, I've never owned any of them past the original gray version of the first. The only games i really got into were "Resident Evil: Nemesis", "Mortal Kombat Trilogy", and "Castlevania: Symphony of the Night". In contrast, I currently own refurbished SNES, Genesis, and N64 consoles. My Wii was stolen a few months back, and I gave my NES with "Tetris" and "Dr. Mario" to my Mom for her last birthday.

AlexSora89

#25

AlexSora89 said:

The European Store has a lot of Classics to release yet. Someone tell SCEE to keep 'em coming!

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