Happy birthday, dear PlayStation! Happy birthday to you!’ I sing, as I place my arm lovingly around my beloved console, ‘Oh PlayStation, my old friend, you’ve grown up so much. Wow, twenty years! Remember all those late night Tekken 3 sessions? Or how about that time I faked being sick so I didn’t have to go to school so I could improve on Gran Turismo 4? Or when you first showed me Jak and Daxter and I truly got interested in gaming? Yeah, we’ve had some good times.’ ‘Great times,’ he corrects me.
When I was young, my uncle, who was then a university student desperately looking for cash, sold his PlayStation console to my older brother and I. I vividly remember my dad bringing the grey box home and hooking it up to our old CRT TV. We saw the words ‘Sony Computer Entertainment’ accompanied by a small jingle, which will forever be ingrained in my soul. Hearing it now makes me severely nostalgic, in a very good way.
We saw the words ‘Sony Computer Entertainment’ accompanied by a small jingle, which will forever be ingrained in my soul.
We had one game with our PlayStation, and that was Tekken 3. A firm favourite now at pre-drinks, (the reason I assume my uncle had the game too), my brother and I fought for hours as various characters on the iconic, grey pads. We later invested in other games, such as Oddworld, Driver, and Crash Bandicoot, all classics in their own right. The PlayStation was released in Europe in September 1995. It was the first console to ship 100 million units worldwide and was highly acclaimed for the quality of its graphics.
Five years later, Sony released the PlayStation 2. It was sleek, black and sexy. Gaming had evolved. It went on to become the most successful home console of all time, having sold over 155 million units as of December 2012. A whole new library of games became available to me such as Ratchet and Clank, and Jak and Daxter, action platformers that involved playing as strange characters in magical universes, using a plethora of fun weapons and both captivated me in my youth. They were immersive and fun, something the Playstation has never failed to be. My brother was allowed to play TimeSplitters before me, much to my dismay, but eventually I got my hands on the controller and engaged in my first FPS.
After the success of the PlayStation 2 came the (wait for it) PlayStation 3, which I personally see as the ultimate console. Many think that the Xbox 360 was superior but I beg to differ. It was the first console to use motion-sensing technology through its six-axis wireless controller, it had a Blu-ray player and boasted a new, ‘fatter’, rounded design. As of November 2013, the PS3 has sold 80 million units worldwide. The amount of games I could list are endless, but those that stand out for me are Metal Gear Solid 4, the incredible Uncharted series, and the more recent The Last of Us.
Now we are in the age of the PlayStation 4, released in 2013. It’s another sleek device, combining the sexiness of the PS2 with a new slanted, two-tier design and a newly designed controller. I am not disappointed so far with the console, and doubt I ever will be with future PlayStations. I could write a whole extra list of other iterations, such as the Playstaion Portable devices. But to me, these just show that PlayStation is the ultimate console, continually evolving. And now in its twentieth year, and in my twentieth year, I can confidently say I want to grow old with PlayStation and remain the best of friends.