When you think of PlayStation, does a specific console startup come to mind? Sony's crafted some iconic system screens over the years — complete with some iconic sounds — but which one's the best? We know that's a potentially difficult question — and it might be wholly dependent on how old you are! — but it should make for an interesting discussion.
For the sake of keeping things simple, we're only going to be judging the startup screens of PlayStation home consoles — which means no PSP or Vita. So your options are the original PlayStation (PS1, for clarity), PS2, PS3, PS4, and PS5. That's almost 30 years of PlayStation history right there.
So, which PlayStation startup is the best? Vote in our poll, and then explain yourself in the comments section below.
Which PlayStation startup is the best? (3,937 votes)
Definitely the PS1
PS1 clearly, and PS4 had the best theme/background music.
PS1 easily, everything about it is perfect.
PS3 with color changing each month.
It's PS1. A rare case of getting things so right first time you can never improve on them.
PS2. PS2 is definitely my favorite. PS1 is a close second for me, but I gotta go with PS2. Nothing beats having to scramble in the middle of the night to turn the volume down when booting up the PS2 for a quick match of WWE Smackdown VS Raw; that's why I would always plug underneath my door with a towel.
PS1. One of the greatest sounds in video game history.
Whenever I have a piece of tech that lets me customise the start up sound, I immediately change it to the PS1 start up.
The first 3 are all great! Probably PS1 but the PS2 one is true nostalgia and I love the orchestra warming up with the PS3 too.
I like both 2 and 3s almost equally. Altho the PS3 start up screen didn't necessarily make me feel gleeful over booting up a game the way the PS2 and GameCube start up screens did
PS5 has some startup screen???
I was looooong thinking between PS2 and PS1, I chose PS2 because it was my first PlayStation.
PS3 was classy and did a great job with the branding - both Spider-Man font and newer font.
PS1 for me. Absolutely iconic.
Nothing beats the classic. There's something so surreal and alien about it, it's f ing awesome.
The deep bass of the ps1 start up still gets me. With that one note, the PlayStation seemed to announce "Video Games aren't just for kids anymore"
PS1 was great but I enjoyed PS3's slightly more.
PS2 and why? I will just quote:
"The screen is customized to each player....
As it turns out, the blocks or columns represent the user's play history on the PlayStation 2's memory card. @DidYouKnowGaming points out that the save files are rendered on the screen in real-time based on the number of files and their sizes, which means that the depth of each column represents how long the player has played a title on that PS2 console."
PS2 then PS3. No point putting PS1 there as it's the best opening to anything ever made. Unfair competition
Is that even a question? PS1 hands down. It's really only a three man race because after PS3 they kind of stopped.
PS1. The only console startup screen that even comes close to rivalling GameCube.
PS1 for sure. Changed the gaming landscape, and you knew you were one of the special ones to enjoy history in the making.
Gives me chills even now when playing ps1 classics.
Slightly off topic, i also miss the squaresoft start up on ps1.
Ps1 sequence is iconic. But the ps4/ps5 beep is unrivaled. Omg.... I'm missing it right now.
PS2 for me, still remember getting it and GT3 in 2001. I got a callus on my thumb from playing it (accelerator thumb). Also FFX!
They are all pretty great but tuning up the symphony on PS3 was and still is awesome and my favorite. It really fit the whole "premium" feel of the console.
A tie between the PS1 and PS2. Both have the most coolest console startups in video game console history. Both startups still give me goosebumps today.
It was all dramatic startups till gamers in a hurry said they didn't want them no more since load screens and walking realistically in immersive games was already a pain for them. But hey they're here voting for best startups.
PS1 with no shadow of a doubt.
The startup was Iconic for me and it was instantly followed by games as iconis such as Tenchu 1, Mortal Kombat Mythologies Sub-Zero, Iss Pro Evolution 2 and Crash Bandicoot.
Good old days...
PS1 for me. I can hear it as I type this.
Struggling to remember the PS4/PS5 startup sounds and I only logged into my PS5 20 minutes ago.
I just watched all 5 and I thought PS1 was the coolest by a landslide.
I ended up voting PS2, but PS1 was iconic as well. To be honest, I love them all. Each one promised adventures ahead.
@itsbritneyb_tch lol. Had to giggle.
I genuinely wondered how you’d turn this in to a poll considering there is in reality only one option, the PS1, but somehow you guys really managed it…hats off.
@papaglitch so true. Until ps1 i hadnt bothered with gaming since i was a kid on nes and snes etc. Ps1 dragged me into gaming as a 23yr old.
The PS3 hands down. It is when game audio start to truly shine, and the startup sound proved it.
PS1 obviously. Nothing beats the feeling of having to wait for the PS logo to come out and hope the game works lol.
PS1 for me..the others have all had great things about them but the first was the most iconic console boot up screen and just let you know that you part of something special..
The sound of childhood, and being truly, blissfully happy.
The best, most popular PlayStation home console of all-time, of course.
PS2 is the sound of cocaine, enough said 😂
@gorosbat Do not promote drugs here!
Ps1 for the win.word up son
PS1 by a mile, it still gives me goosebumps
PS3 for me especially after the Slim updates the start up sound to more string instruments.
The PS3 Orchestra Tuning sample. Always
No other console has ever reminded me of going to the The New York Philharmonic with my parents as a kid. It blew my mind.
Only one with an actual concept behind it.
I think nostalgia plays a large part with ps1. Certainly does with me.
Which tells me that your site's demographic is an older age range?
I'd like to see a poll on that 😀
I came in at the PS3 as my first console, but the PS1 intro is absolutely undeniable and SOLID. Best they've ever done. Everything else seems weak by comparison. But I LOVED the customizable backgrounds of the PS4. REALLY wish they'd bring that back for PS5.
PS1. Didn't even have to think about it.
Can still vividly remember starting up my (Japanese import) PS1 for the first time back in 1994. Shivers.
Well, I agree that the PS1 title was the most iconic, I voted PS3 because of the ability to really customise the xmb icons, and the backgrounds and wallpapers, play and rip CDs, as an all round console, the PS3 was untouchable.
PS1 for the win.
Do you know what is absolute garbage?
Turning on the XSX and it making that massive annoying boot up sound, that is 10x the volume level of games, and nearly causes all the windows in my street to shatter (my eardrums burst though).
Not a fan of background menu music on PS4 and PS5, but I can turn that off.
1. PS1 by a mile
The Playstation 3 was such a classy, refined startup. It was fitting for a high-end, luxury device — and made gaming feel less like a child's toy and more of a respectable entertainment medium. The PS5's startup feels like a more subdued take on the PS3's aesthetic, shortened significantly to reinforce the value of the SSD's speed.
Man the PS1 is a classic, but im most nostalgic about the PS3 orchastra, had such great gaming memories with console, and the intro felt so quality.
PS1's startup is iconic but I have an equal amount of love for the PS2 sound. I like all of them to an extent, but the first two consoles are definitely at the top.
Love PS3's ribbon startup and theme.
Need a poll for best menu/User interface!
PS1's startup is just the best - that sound immediately puts you in mind of Tomb Raider (the proper Core one), Wipeout 2097 and so on.
If you miss it, install the 20th Anniversary theme on a PS4 and it starts with that sound. And they say that the PS5 doesn't need themes....
@Stragen8 The PS5's interface would come last - and the XMB would be best.
PS1 Best. PS4 Worst
@Sanquine Correct answer
The PS1 startup music is sorta like the THX music from way back, ya'll remember that?
Its epic, grand and nostalgic
No love for PSP here btw? Vita didnt really have boot up music - just menu music - but i remember enjoying the PSP's:
Ps1 oppening is iconic and is was like a gate to a new era for me. It was a bit inspired by the classic oppening of SEGA games in the Megadrive in my opinion and it was very cool at that time.
ps1 for sure.
PS1 all the way. Mid to late 90s great times for me personally and have super nostalgia for. Still remember all those loading bars too ha
1, 3, 2, 5, 4. All are very good though. First time I heard the symphony on ps3 was magical. 1 just hit different because of it being wrapped in my childhood years.
Edit: I know not Playstation but Dreamcast and GameCube were also phenomenal
Nothing matches the sound of the PS2 start up for me
I rented a PS and Saturn from Blockbuster when they launched. I was leaning Sega because of my preference for Genesis over the SNES (and the maker of the Walkman was making a console now? Okaaaay…), but PS gave me chills when I booted it up to play Resident Evil. I rented D for the poor Saturn, so it wasn’t apples to apples, but PlayStation had me from the launch screen.
Worst console startup experience: The one where you puckered your butt hoping the RROD didn't show up.
PS2 was quick, PS3 was like a trumpet sound, don't remember PS4 and PS5 because I always had them in rest mode so yeah. PS1 was more iconic because of the sound. Reminds me of THX/the sound you hear in movie theaters
So glad to see people still have love for the PS1 startup. Just imagining the sound gets me in the mood to play games on it
PS1, not even a question. The only debate would be what takes second place. I’d personally say PS3 then PS5, followed by PS4 and have PS2 as the worst. To me it sounds cheap.
@lacerz D was still pretty terrifying imo. I'm shocked someone else remembers that game lol.
Going from a sega megadrive and then hearing the ps1 boot up for the first time with cd quality sound was an absolute iconic moment for me.
I always thought sony should have kept that intro going fowards
1 and 2 are so iconic, but I had to vote love for PS3. That orchestra tuning gets me every time.
I wish I could vote negative PS4/5 background sounds though. The dirge played in the background is so horrid.
PS1 all the way. It was my first PlayStation console and my re-entry into games after not really playing them throughout high school. Plus it's a great sound. I wish there was a theme for PS4/PS5 that mimicked the PS1.
Ps1 was iconic, Ps3 so classy! The rest is kinda meh
Ps5 makes it feel like futuristic high tech. Ps1 made it feel like a monster was coming alive.
Can't beat the OG.
PS2 easily .
@Luvstagrind it’s just bias
The first time PS5 startup is incredible and it's a shame they don't have the option for it to play every time.
The PS1 startup sequence has to be my fav by far.
@get2sammyb The shocking thing is didn't remember the PS3 and PS4 one it's so strange but it leaves no impression. The PS1 remember the sound instantly and the PS2 the same but the PS1 is clearly the winner by a landslide.
@Flaming_Kaiser I really like the PS3 one, that one's embedded in my brain. Agree, though, PS1 is just iconic.
@Luminous117 I'm going look it up and use it as my ringtone. It brings back so many fantastic memories. Final Fantasy 7,8,9, Breath of Fire 4, Koudelka, Legend of Legaia 1/2, Parasite Eve 2, Dino Crisis 1+2, Resident Evil 1/2/3, Twisted Metal, Metal Gear Solid and my favorite trip Legend of Dragoon.
@get2sammyb Its also the nostalgia these games.
Final Fantasy 7,8,9, Breath of Fire 4, Koudelka, Legend of Legaia 1/2, Parasite Eve 2, Dino Crisis 1+2, Resident Evil 1/2/3, Twisted Metal, Metal Gear Solid and my favorite trip Legend of Dragoon. These games made my childhood but. But I understand they don't use the bombastic PS1 sound anymore booting up your console late will make your parents kick your ass if you wake everyone up because you forgot to turn of the sound. Probably the same with wifes and girlfriends. 😅
I voted PS4.
I love the ambience music in home menu, blue background by default and square games icons.
PS3 for me. I think about how much I love that startup sound whenever I go to a symphony.
@get2sammyb To respond a second time i think it's also what console gave people the best experience but really if forgot the PS3, PS4 and the PS5 is almost no startup to me.
PS1, because it's the only one that plays in my mind when I wake up in the morning.
I'd like to nominate the non-listed PSP.
Damn...warms my heart to see all the PS1 love. That chime gives me goosebumps, especially when it's followed by the "chu, chu, chu...chuchuchu..." from MGS.
The PS1's startup screen has never been rivaled.
I did like Gamecube's as well, but it's not nearly as powerful.
Is this even a debate, it's PS1 all day long. The tune has been ingrained in my mind since the first time I started it up.
PS1 is good. PS4 and 5 are pretty standard. PS3 and PSP is also pretty standard. But Vita hmm the music during the setup besides the peeling. The PS3/PSP having the themes is cool. The photosensitive warning is great of course can't forget that. PS2 is also great. The clock doesn't work sometimes but otherwise the personality and boot up, the red screen with the disk faults is great. Memory card menus are great for both PS1 & 2.
As much as I don't like the Xbox One X's additional start up at least it has one even if only on unplugging not booting when still plugged in an quick booting.
Boooo to no handhelds I'm sick of consoles, consoles, consoles with polls and other things.
But yeah tied between PS1 & 2 as you see the boot up more, their iconic and well more interesting then PS3 onwards ones being well 'we got to the profile select screen or auto logged you in'. Besides when you format the consoles and deal with those.
I think the PS2 one has more to it. The PS1 logo, the sounds with a game and boot up are nice. The menu is.... Yeah PS2 has the ocean sounds, the boot/game and the menu personality. It has more to it you know. PS1 is good but besides that yes I don't own one and haven't experienced it really I think PS2 has more personality then PS1 even if PS1 is good.
So PS2 for me. I could say oh nostalgia but I don't play by those rules, so critically I think PS2 is better and PS1 is just as great no doubt.
Is there a way to mute the beep sound when I start the PS5? For when I don't want family to know that I turned it on?
They’re all great, but I’m glad to see the PS1 love. It’s hard to argue against utter perfection.
I really like the one where I turn off the playstation and play Tears of The Kingdom.
Also PS1 because it sounds like you're being warped into a land of fun.
Quite ironic that people have posted about ps being more adult orientated. But they play a Harry Potter game.
Tricky. I think the original PS screen was the best, BUT I played so much more on my PS2, that my brain just likes it more, despite knowing its not the best.
Through most of the PS4 gen I had a dashboard theme that mimicked the PS2, because I loved the PS2 that much.
PS3 was bad.
PS4 was worse.
PS5... about a tie with PS3.
@Dman10 you time a good throat clearing or cough to cover the beep. that's what I do anyway.
@Th3solution blasphemy! And here I thought you were a force for good around these parts.
The PS1 clearly has to win, iconic and really hits the nostalgia hard, but I really like the PS5 one.
It looks great so every time I boot up its a reminder "This is why you got a nice OLED 4k TV"
I wish sony would remake that PS1 intro for the PS5.
Hope they do that in PS6
@zupertramp 😂 I speak the truth!
It's really to bad Sony wouldn't give those custom options on the PS5 to change the start up, to like the PS1 startup or at least the music, and the other PS versions. Probably easy to do. But probably never see it.
No question ps1
PS1 and it’s not close.
@jorel262 There is one for the PS4. Released for the 20th Anniversary.
This is just about nostalgia. I love PS1 sequence and PSP since i had them. The rest i never had and PS4 is just too young to feel nostalgic.
The PS1, not just nostalgia but because it was a form of POST as well.
Definitely the PS1 start up. However I can’t tell how much of this choice is nostalgia.
But it’s iconic.
Nothing beats the feeling when I was able to boot up the PS1 disc. Nostalgic and awesome. Own every PS except PS 3.
been here from ps3 era, so this one for me)
The bass on PS1 was amazing.
PS1 for me. So many great memories booting up FFVII, Tomb Raider, MGS, Resident Evil, Alundra, Crash, and all the other classics.
Original and best
Is this even a real question? I feel insulted.
The start up on PS5 is so fast it doesn't really count!
PS1 is clearly the winner here, iconic!!
Shame we're not including the handhelds because the PSP start-up is right up there, especially with a disc in the UMD drive.
Don't think the Vita even has a start-up sound? It's just got that naff background 'musak' which everyone turns off.
PS5 for me because it's so fast I can jump into games quicker. Who wants a long start up sequence 🤔
PS1 is the first one I heard, and that first time someone had nudged the volume control of the HiFi it was rigged up to moderately high, so it was loud and powerful enough to literally made the windows rattle throughout the building! None of the others could come close to that experience... Even now every time I hear it the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end and I get goosebumps... Even had it as a message tone on my phone for a while (until I lost the file)
PS1, always felt like something big was coming after that, and there was, great games.
I'm not sure PS4 even has one, straight into the menu.
Isn't this more like, which PS console are you most nostalgic of. I like the retro feel of PS1 boot just because I'm retro. There wasn't much of a boot sequence to PS4. I actually think PS5 boot is chic, but it has to include the final note which chimes as you go into the home screen. That last note does something to the whole sequence.
ps1 with ps2 a close 2nd place
PS1. (which is still my favorite PS console)
I can still remember how the startup sound, blasted through my stereo speakers, as I forgot to lower the volume
The first startup intro, when you setup the PS5, is pretty cool as well. Wish that was the startup intro every time.
BTW, since nobody seems to have mentioned it, I'm pretty sure PS3 is a twist on a orchestra tuning at the start of a concert. It's that "getting ready!" feel which only comes across if you're a classical nerd.
Seriously? What a question. PS1 start up gives me goosebumps.
Psone, and it's not even debatable.
Didn't the PS3 fat and slim have different startup sounds?
Pure nostalgia says psone for me easily .
But in reality I think the idea of a symphony orchestra warming up whenever the console starts is masterful.
Probably the heavy nostalgia but original Playstation is still my favourite
I do not know if it is because it was the 1st one I heard is the best because it was the 1st one...the 1st one was in Stereo...
PS1 is iconic. But PS3 with it's orchestra tuning up was my favourite.
PS5 hands down. Reason is the superfast boot up time. It makes the minimal sound a very positive experience, knowing you can jump into gaming in under 10 seconds. If I went on sound alone, ps1 is classic.
That fade out on the PS1 intro gets me every time. Nice if Sony gave us the option to choose which music to start the PS5 with...
The obnoxious beep rules out PS4/5 since that's part of the start-up sequence.
I went for PS1 but it would have been a tougher call is PSP was on the list.
@number09. Fairly sure it was the third one, just step left to the secret passage, giving you access to the 4th wall you were looking for
PS1 is the best start up sequence of any console of all time. Nothing else is even close.
My runner ups would be PS2, GameCube, Xbox OG, Sega Dreamcast, and Sega CD.
It really pained me not to pick the ps3 one.
Ps1 intro is an absolute masterpiece but i get shivers with the ps3 startup, like an orchestra tuning its instruments before playing a symphony of every feeling known to man, every game. Like what you're about to experience is a work of art.
So while I think the ps1 start up is perfect, 3 is really a fantastic and unique experience.
PS1 is iconic, and PS2 is up there too.
PS1 for nostalgia. But PS5 for speed.
This is the correct order. PS5 is a step in the right direction, but way too short. The PS5 sound would be great if it played after you select the account. It is therefore missing a startup sound that would play before loading the accounts. And would ideally be longer.
PS3 is my personal favorite because it was the console that let me get "serious" about gaming. PS2 is second, though it did always give me a strange sense of existential dread.....anyway! Never had a PS1, but I see lots of love for it in the comments!
My personal favourites from all consoles are;
I would say ps1 or ps2. I have fond memories when we were younger trying to get scratched games to work for the ps2. The orbs circle and circle the towers and blackness until the ps2 sharply displays. I wonder if we are linking the “Best” with our most nostalgic.
PS1 startup no doubt. It's not just nostalgia, it's plain better. PS3 had the best UI. If Sony listened to the consumer at all, we'd still have the original PS1 boot sequence and the PS3 XMB UI. Shame they listen to people who know nothing. Since PS4, the boot sequence may as well not exist, and the UI is just a mess a child thought up.
PS1 by far, will forever be stuck in my head.
PS3 orchestra was pretty good, PS2 and PS4 I don't really recall.
PS5 is my least favourite.
Just got a second hand XBox Series S. What the hell were they thinking? Startup noise is horrendous!
PS1, hands down. Maybe for PS6 Sony could do an updated version of that. Just the sound alone is majorly iconic.
Not even a debate. PS1's is not just the best PS startup, it's the greatest startup sequence of all consoles ever made!
PS1 no contest.
PS1 is best overall, however for me the stimulus response of the PS2 startup sound is epic. To add to that startup sound is the startup music of the 5 Gta games that followed. Pure magic.
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