The Playstation 4 has recently hit stores and sold more than one million units in its first day. The PlayStation brand has become a legacy in video game entertainment. Let us celebrate with a look at 10 of the most incredible facts in the history of PlayStation.
The PlayStation was a result of a failed collaboration between Sony and Nintendo.
Sony was working together with Nintendo to develop a CD-ROM drive to add on to the Super Nintendo and the prototype was called the “Play Station.” (Sega was also about to combine its Genesis console with a CD add-on, the Sega CD.) After Sony and Nintendo disagreed on how to split the profits, Nintendo scrapped the project and terminated the deal, but Sony continued to develop its CD-ROM into a standalone gaming system under the name “Playstation.”
Commentators on the video game industry often note that Nintendo held on to cartridge technology long past its due date, especially when the Nintendo 64 came out. Squaresoft initially wanted to release Final Fantasy 7 on the Nintendo 64, but its cartridges lacked the memory that CDs could provide. FF7 was released on the Playstation One and it became one of the most popular games of all time.
The history of video games would have unfolded a lot differently if the PlayStation was nothing more than an SNES accessory, or perhaps even the Nintendo Playstation.
Sega might have released the first PlayStation, but Sony turned them down.
After Sony’s deal with Nintendo fell through, Sega proposed a joint Sega-Sony venture. Sony was working with Sega at the time in developing the Sega CD. Sega’s Hayao Nakayama wasn’t into the idea and shot it down.
Sega focused its efforts on the 32X and Sega Saturn and eventually found itself on the losing side of the console wars. The Sega PlayStation, like the Nintendo PlayStation, was never meant to be.
A psychedelic game titled “LSD” was released for the PlayStation One
Released in Japan in 1998, “LSD” was a avante-garde horror video game based on a dream journal a developer had been keeping for over a decade. In the game, the player navigates a disturbing dreamscape that gets stranger and fuzzier until the player “wakes up” and is returned to the start screen. This is the same basic concept for early Super Mario Brothers games.
The environments fluctuate based on where the player moves, always with subtle, almost random variation, like mutating textures on the walls. Strange things abound in this nightmare realm, such as elusive creatures that manipulate the fabric of reality. After playing the game for a few weeks the player may begin to have “flashbacks” that revisit scenes from previous dreams.
A man changed his legal name to PlayStation 2.
According to the BBC, a 29-year-old man from Oxfordshire was so obsessed with his video game console that he decided to change his name to PlayStation 2.
“I joked about marrying a PlayStation, and asked a few vicars if they would do the service,” said PlayStation 2. “They didn’t seem keen.”
Dictators like Playstations too
According to the New York Times, Mohammad ibn al-Dheeb al-Ajami of Qatar was put in jail for life for writing a poem which, among other things, criticized “sheiks playing on Playstations.” Ajami was a poet whose verses were inspired by events of the Arab Spring, and he criticized Arab dictatorships for restricting freedoms. Claiming he was “inciting to overthrow the ruling system,” Qatari officials arrested him under a constitutional provision that forbids any criticism of the emir.
PlayStation 2 games were still being released in 2013
The number of PlayStation 2 games being released peaked in 2004 and began to decline sharply in 2006 when the PlayStation 3 came out. FIFA 14 was published for several systems, including the PlayStation 2 in September 2013 (only available in Europe and Latin America). Final Fantasy XI: Seekers of Adoulin is the last game to ever be released on the PlayStation 2 (Japan only), which came out in 2013 as well. Production of PlayStation 2 systems discontinued on January 4, 2013.
A hacker attack caused almost as much in damages to Sony as the initial fallout of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami did.
In the summer of 2011, hackers broke into Sony’s databases and accessed the account information of hundreds of millions of PlayStation Network and Qriocity users. Sony estimated the costs of repairing the damage at $171.7 million, including rebuilding computers and offering greater credit protection services and compensation to customers.
In comparison, the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan caused an estimated $208.5 million dent in the Sony’s profits that year.
Reporters thought Sony’s fictional PlayStation executive Kevin Butler was real.
Kevin Butler was a character used in TV advertisements for the PlayStation 3 from 2009 to 2011. Played by actor Jerry Lambert, Butler was portrayed as a Vice President of various fictional departments in Sony, with ridiculous titles such as “Director of Rumor Confirmation” and “VP of First Person Shooter Relations.”
The character became a cult success so popular that Sony received requests to contact Kevin Butler by media representatives who didn’t know he wasn’t a real person.
The US Air Force constructed a constructed a supercomputer out of Playstation 3s.
The US Air Force research laboratory created a supercomputer using 1,760 PlayStation 3 consoles. They chose to use the video game system because of its high power and low cost. The supercomputer cost about $2 million to build, but if it was built out of regular computer parts it would have cost 10 to 20 times as much and would have used 10 times as much power.
Named the “Condor Cluster,” it can do 500 trillion floating point operations per second, making it roughly the 33rd fastest supercomputer to exist. Its applications include pattern recognition, radar enhancement, AI research, and image processing.
By K. Elsner