This week marks the 20th anniversary of the American release of the original PlayStation, which is easily one of the most important events in gaming history. Sony’s PlayStation wasn’t just a sales dynamo that definitively crushed Nintendo’s chokehold on the gaming industry, it changed the entire medium. The PlayStation’s roomy CD storage and lack of publisher restrictions resulted in a game catalog that was more varied, experimental and mature than any gamers had seen before. The PlayStation changed everything, and it continues to cast a long shadow to this day.
But the success of the PlayStation was far from a predestined thing. The console had a rocky birth, and there was a lot of strife about how it would be presented and marketed once it was born. Here’s a few things you might not know about the console that truly changed the game…
Sony almost teamed with Sega to make the PlayStation.
Rejecting Sony, a decision almost as bad as Sonic’s scarf.
As we detailed in our recent article about the Super Nintendo, the PlayStation began life in the early ’90s as a collaboration between Sony and Nintendo. Basically, Sony agreed to make a CD drive add-on for the SNES and, in return, Nintendo would allow their cartridge-based games to be played on a Sony-built multimedia gaming machine called the Play Station. Unfortunately, at the 9th hour, Nintendo discovered Sony would get almost all the profit from CD-based games under the agreement they’d signed, so Nintendo backed out in a panic, sewing the seeds of a corporate rivalry that would rock the video game industry.
Sony and Nintendo’s falling out is fairly common lore at this point, but what far fewer people know is that Sony also tried to hook up with Sega after their nasty Nintendo breakup. Sony pitched the idea of collaborating on a CD-based console to Sega in the early ’90s, and Sega’s American branch was on-board, but when they brought the idea to Sega’s Japanese board of directors, it was immediately shot down. In Sega’s eyes, Sony was a company with no history of making video game hardware or software, so they had nothing to gain from partnering with them. Finally, after giving both Nintendo and Sega all the chances in the world to get in on a good thing and being rebuffed, Sony threw their hands up and decided to make the PlayStation themselves.
Sony rejected dozens of designs before settling on the iconic PlayStation logo.
The original PlayStation logo is one of the best in gaming history, as evidenced by the fact that Sony is still using it today, two decades later. Well, Sony designed dozens of variations on the iconic logo before landing on the right one, some of which you can check out above.