News Article

Talking Point: What's Your Favourite PlayStation Startup Sequence?

Posted by Sammy Barker

Setting the scene

Republished on Tuesday, 2nd December 2014: We're bringing this article back from the archives to celebrate the PSone's big 20th Anniversary this week. The original feature follows.

Originally published on Friday, 12th April 2013: While it’s difficult to topple the trembling sense of anticipation that comes when you greedily tug at the cellophane concealing a brand new piece of hardware, watching said system’s startup screen for the very first time gives the momentous occasion a run for its money. Ever since the very first PlayStation took the world by storm, Sony has made a point of manufacturing memorable boot sequences for its portfolio of platforms, resulting in a family of unforgettable animations and sounds.

Chances are, you’ll have seen and heard the following idents thousands of times. They are as much a part of gaming as the adventures that they have prefaced, and are all individually inspired for their own unique reasons. But while we wait anxiously to see if the PlayStation 4’s introduction is more interesting than the PlayStation Vita’s, which of the subsequent startup sequences is your favourite?

PSone

The original PlayStation’s boot screen represented a real statement of intent from the freshly formed Sony Computer Entertainment. Pulling no punches, the console’s sudden swell of deep, beefy bass was powerful enough to knock you sideways – as it often did if you’d accidentally left your television’s volume too high. There was no need for fancy visual effects or glossy animations, because the sound conveyed everything that you needed to know about the system. We don’t think that the platform holder could have produced a more potent introduction if it had ushered Ken Kutaragi into a sound booth, and forced him to scream obscenities into a microphone.

PlayStation 2

With the PSone already on top of the world, Sony opted for something a little more subtle with the PlayStation 2. The company ditched the powerful bass swells of its predecessor in favour of an organic pad, as the screen panned around an image of featureless tower blocks and dancing DualShock button-coloured orbs. But while the sequence appeared restrained on the surface, it was actually a lot more interactive than most realise. The system would take into account the data stored on your console’s memory card, and render slightly different cities as a result. How it actually worked is still up for debate today, and remains one of the device’s enduring mysteries.

PlayStation Portable

Much like its home console counterpart, Sony’s first foray into the portable market opted for bright twinkles and breezy guitar slides ahead of the face-melting bass of its ancestor. We suspect that the emphasis on high-tones may have been solidified by the PlayStation Portable’s tinny speakers, but the chirpy nature of the startup sequence felt appropriate for a system primarily designed to be played outside in the sunshine. While previous boot screens opted for dark colours, the handheld focused on bright whites and a cheery lens flare. We often wonder if it helped to inspire the Japanese manufacturer’s famous ‘Make.Believe’ ident.

PlayStation 3

For the PlayStation 3’s introduction sequence, Sony worked with PixelJunk developer Q-Games. Originally the Kyoto-based studio concocted a concept involving a full-scale rendering of the planet earth, but the idea was scaled back and later re-explored in one of the system’s music visualisers. Unlike the synth sounds used on all of the platform holder’s previous consoles, the manufacturer opted for an orchestral tone, giving the opening a more organic feel. Fascinatingly, the boot screen actually changed when the PS3 Slim launched on 1st September 2009, replacing the original ‘Sony Computer Entertainment’ text with the refreshed hardware’s new logo.


What direction would you like the PS4’s startup sequence to take? Which of the above classics is your favourite? Let us know in the comments section and poll below.

Which PlayStation platform has the best startup sequence? (117 votes)

PSone

63%

PS2

22%

PSP

5%

PS3

9%

Please login to vote in this poll.

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User Comments (64)

get2sammybAdmin

#1

get2sammyb said:

I'm absolutely psyched for the results of this poll. My vote goes to the PSone. It's not the most interesting startup sequence, but you can beat that swell of bass that kicks in and blows your socks off.

BornOfEvil

#2

BornOfEvil said:

@get2sammyb Hearing the PS1 startup, filled me so much nostalgia.Back when gaming was pure and untouched by fanboys.

I can't wait to hear the PS4's startup sequence.

ZeD

#3

ZeD said:

PSone by a mile! The sound of it brings back so many childhood memories :D

rastamadeus

#10

rastamadeus said:

@TheRealBatman "untouched by fanboys"? My dear boy, the old Nintendo and Sega fans made these current Nintendo/Sony/Microsoft fanboys look like the utter cretins they really are.

ShogunRokAdmin

#11

ShogunRok said:

I'm usually against nostalgia swaying my opinion but damn, that PS1 startup is still soooooo good.

KALofKRYPTON

#13

KALofKRYPTON said:

PS1 all the way. The thump in that sound is almost wub like, and the tune was just so full of unbridled anticipation! But, I was an excitable teenager.

neumaus

#14

neumaus said:

All three home console PS start-ups are nice (PS1 is beast), but the PS3 has to be my favorite because when I hear/see it I know my PS3 is working, ROFL.
(My PS3's hdmi port is acting up and I can recall countless times spending 10+ minutes just trying to get it to work.)

pikku

#15

pikku said:

I don't know, startups Playstation systems always seemed so stale to me. Gamecube? N64? GBA? Waay better

ShogunRokAdmin

#16

ShogunRok said:

@neumaus Funny you should mention that, my PS3 crashed just before the startup the other day. So it's definitely nice to know the console is working!

Zombie_Barioth

#23

Zombie_Barioth said:

As far as the one I actually like the best out of the four, I would have to say its the PSP's intro. It might be from growing up with Nintendo consoles but I just like how cheery it sounds. I still get chills hearing the PS1 intro but I get that feeling from all the classic tunes, its still a really close second though.

All the older consoles just seem to have more imaginative intros to me, from game specific ones like the walking N or laughing children to the Gamecube's rhythmic xylophone.

nintendomasterr

#25

nintendomasterr said:

Just going to point out that there are 2 PS3 intros.

The first old PS3 intro was godly.
The newer one is horrible and ruined it.

Valky

#26

Valky said:

They should make a new one as epic as the ps1 era, the fans want it.

Jaz007

#32

Jaz007 said:

I think I would like the PS4 start up be like the PS3's but with a touch of the PS1's start up.

NathanUC

#33

NathanUC said:

I really liked the PS1's sound effects, but it took so long lol! I voted for PSP

Splat

#34

Splat said:

Speaking of sounds, the one that plays when you get a trophy is just about the greatest sound ever.

zipmonStaff

#35

zipmon said:

@get2sammyb Dreamcast takes the cake, for sure!! :)

And as much as I loved the PSOne startup, the PS3's gets my vote. An orchestra tuning up before a piece is such a perfect audio metaphor for a console boot up!

bauckster

#36

bauckster said:

@Splat Agreed. It's SUPER satisfying! I'm not at all a trophy-whore but I still LOVE that sound. It's weird...like audio drugs or something haha.

Ginkgo

#38

Ginkgo said:

For me, the results of this poll show one thing. That sound can be more important than image.

turbowhine_360

#39

turbowhine_360 said:

I can't deny the nostalgia for PS one, but as an orchestra nerd, I love the tuning 'a' that the PS3 does. It sounds just like a real orchestra getting ready to game.

AlexSora89

#40

AlexSora89 said:

PSOne, all the way. It's not a matter of nostalgia, it's just that the startup sequence pretty much screams "alright, you got this new game. Let's play".

Quadkid_1998

#42

Quadkid_1998 said:

the moment you get when you haven't turned your PS2 on for 5 years and the sequence comes on and it runs as if it was new.

DrJoeystein

#43

DrJoeystein said:

PlayStation 1 all of the way! It's not only my favorite Sony console startup sequence, but my favorite startup of all time.

BetweenTheTrees

#46

BetweenTheTrees said:

the ps one start up and ps2 start up have always reminded me of certain games, as i played these games the most. ps one always reminded me of gex enter the gecko and the ps2 always reminded me of jak and daxter....oh nostalgia

TasukiStaff

#50

Tasuki said:

I have to go with the PS One. At the time I have never seen a start up screen for a console at all. I was just to just popping the cartridge into the system turning the power on and seeing the title screen of the game appear. When I popped in my first PS game on the PS One and saw that it felt so new and next gen kinda like Sony was announcing ok we are here and we are serious. I still get that feeling when I turn the PS One on.

sinalefa

#51

sinalefa said:

Another vote for PS1. Not only for the huge nostalgia, but having watched all four videos I like it the most, followed by PS3.

And yes, the Dreamcast is also one of my favorites.

drpepperdude100

#52

drpepperdude100 said:

I love the PS1 start up the best. I guess my favorites would go in the same order as the consoles released. PS1, PS2, PSP, PS3. Too bad PS4 didn't get one. It has some sound it will play if you wait a few seconds after your turned it on but that's about it which is extremely disappointing.

3Above

#53

3Above said:

I voted for PS3, but the original PS3 start up not the one in the video.

BigDaddyT0101

#54

BigDaddyT0101 said:

Ps one by a mile. I still here that sound and the first thought i always have is the voiceover for resident evil. That startup sound always was followed by that voice for long enough that hearing it actually gets me creeped out.

seeafish

#56

seeafish said:

I'm gonna ignore the OVERWHEMLING nostalgia I feel when watching that PS1 video, and be objective about this.
PS2 for me. Simple, slick, cool, and that smoke-fade-in of the logo is killer. It screams "this here console is da shiznit!". Of course PS1 is a very close second.
PS3 was classy and mature but a bit meh, and PS4...well, I just LOOOOVEEE that beep followed by a health warning on what looks like a BSOD... =/

VolcanoFlamesNL

#60

VolcanoFlamesNL said:

GOTTA LOVE THAT PS2 BOOT! I also like the PS1 and the PSP boots for it's music and sound effects respectively. My best bootup, however, goes to either GameCube, Dreamcast or Xbox 360 Kinect ones...

DerMeister

#61

DerMeister said:

I'm split between PS1 and PS2. PS1 had a classic startup, and PS2's looks really cool. The way the Sony logo flashed on a white screen then transitioning to the PS logo on a black screen, along with the sounds playing with it, just wowed me as a kid. I do love how cool the PS2's is though, acting as if you're diving in the game itself. The fact that the blocks on screen changed depending on the memory card saves made it much cooler.

Dohv

#63

Dohv said:

The PS2 was the best console ever and I have the most memories with it. But the PSone is just immaculate, it used to creep me out especially playing RE1 at night time.

I wish the PS4 had one, they should bring back the PSone startup that would be amazing.

TasukiStaff

#64

Tasuki said:

@Dohv: They have a free 20th anniversary theme for the PS4 that indeed has the PSone Jingle.

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