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Sony celebrates 15 years of PlayStation in North America

Platform holder has now sold over 377 million consoles worldwide since 1995

Today marks the fifteenth anniversary of the launch of the PlayStation in North America, a milestone which sees over 377 million PlayStation consoles of various types sold worldwide.

One of the first commercially available CD-based games systems, the original PlayStation was launched in Japan on December 3, 1994 - becoming the first console to ship over 100 million units worldwide after nine years and six months on the market. The origins of the system lie in a dispute between Sony and Nintendo, with Sony originally developing a disc-based prototype addition to Nintendo's SNES system.

When Nintendo decided to contract Phillips to produce the drives instead, Ken Kutaragi was promoted to the head of PlayStation development in order to produce a market rival for Nintendo's machine. Internal opposition to the project was so strong that it was shifted in its entirety to Sony Music so that development could continue unhindered.

Sony Computer Entertainment America chief executive Jack Tretton was bullish about both the past and future of PlayStation in a statement accompanying the announcement.

"When you look in the rearview mirror at what was happening in 1995 you see that the videogame industry was an entirely different animal. Cartridges were still the preferred medium, and the market was a modest $2.6 billion in sales revenue annually. Many critics thought that a disc-based console with a lot of horse power would shoot over the heads of consumers, but our users proved them wrong," he said.

"Now, we are seeing a convergence of video games and home entertainment, and a market that is a robust $20 billion in revenue. In the next 15 years and beyond PlayStation will continue to bring new and more immersive experiences, like stereoscopic 3D, augmented reality as well as genre-defying gameplay into consumer living rooms."

Sony intends to celebrate the anniversary with a range of discounts, downloads and special offers.

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Latest comments (5)

Terence Gage Freelance writer 8 years ago
"The first commercially available CD-based games system"

What about the 3DO? I'm pretty sure that was before the PS1. I think even earlier consoles like the Atari Jaguar and Sega Mega CD used a CD ROM too.
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Tim Holt Studying Computer Games Technology, University of Abertay Dundee8 years ago
"One of the first" Terence.
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Terence Gage Freelance writer 8 years ago
They've edited it, Tim. I lifted the quote directly and given 'The' has a capital T, it must have been the start of the sentence.
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Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.8 years ago
Terrence is correct. It was as he has it quoted.

The TuboGrafx-16/PC-Engine, Sega Genesis/MegaDrive, Atari Jaguar and Neo Geo all had CD add-ons. The Philips CD-i, 3DO, Amiga-32, Sega Saturn and PC-FX all had CD built in and all released prior to the PS. There were several other consoles as well with a built in CD drive that were not as well known.

Given all that, I'm not even sure I'd call it one of the first (at least 11 before it). By that point, the N64 as the only one that wasn't CD based.

But that's all semantics as it proved to be the most successful of the early optical systems by quite an incredible margin.
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Private Industry 8 years ago
Here is hope to have PlayStation for another 15 years. :)

Many fond memories from PS1, PS2 and PS3 games even a handfull of PSP memories.
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