For more than two decades the PlayStation has become synonymous with entertainment for millions of people worldwide. With more than half a billion units sold and countless games released, the device is one of Sony’s most prominent products to date and perhaps the most visible.
Since its emergence in 1995 with PSOne, until the arrival of the ninth generation of consoles, with PS5 in 2020, the brand has hit a lot and also made mistakes, sometimes, during its evolution from the time of the CD until reaching a powerful SSD.
How about going back in time and getting to know all the versions, accessories and some remarkable games in PlayStation history? Come on!
The PlayStation story on video
It all started back in 1995 with the launch of the first PlayStation or PSOne. The console was elegantly designed and its games played via CDs, which allowed 3D processing and improved sound. PSOne has sold more than 100 million units worldwide in a decade.
The 1994 PlayStation Controller gained four buttons on the shoulders (instead of just two) and gave players more gameplay possibilities. The accessory was succeeded by the Dual Analog Controller in 1997, and later by the original DualShock, also in 97.
Most players have always liked multiplayer, but it was much more complicated to play online at the time of PSOne. As the Internet was not yet so popular, Sony’s solution was to create the PlayStation Link Cable in 1995. The cable allowed players to connect two consoles, through two TVs, to play multiplayer in some games that supported it.
In 1998 PocketStation arrived with an external memory card with a built-in LCD screen, in addition to basic controls for mini-games. PSOne was one of the first consoles to use an external memory card.
Some outstanding games:
Ridge Racer, by Namco, was launched in 1994 and became a hit for combining 3D graphics and good skidding mechanics for the time. 1996 marked the debut of one of the PlayStation icons: Naughty Dog’s Crash Bandicoot. Crash became an instant hit on the console, with a colourful look, fun characters and 3D ambience.
Also in 96, Lara Croft debuted on PSOne with Tomb Raider, from Core Design. Agile and armed with her classic pistols, the archaeologist starred in a game that mixed action, exploration and puzzles.
Konami was also present in this generation 1 of the PlayStation with the first game in the Metal Gear Solid series, in 1998. Director Hideo Kojima, who popularized the 3D action, adventure and stealth genre, brought a game rich in dubbing and innovative in its gameplay mechanics.
PlayStation 2 (PS2)
The PlayStation 2 arrives in the year 2000 and has taken a leap forward from the PSOne. With better-defined 3D visuals, the PS2 brought the possibility of playing online and an integrated DVD driver, that is, in addition to the games, it was now also possible to enjoy movies on the same device.
And along with the new console, new control has also arrived. The DualShock 2 brought two novelty analog buttons that, in addition to increasing the degree of movement, could also detect the level of pressure made on them.
The PS2 sold over 155 million units worldwide, making it the best-selling console in history. There were almost 4 thousand games launched for the platform.
Taking advantage of the PS2’s USB ports, Sony launched EyeToy in 2003. The accessory was a digital camera that projected the player’s image on the TV and also tracked movements.
In 2004, SingStar mics arrived, with two custom microphones for the PS2, making it possible to play music titles. The following year, it was Buzz! buzzers appear. The accessory came to bring more realism to the game Buzz! The Music Quiz of Questions and Answers.
Some outstanding games:
Grand Theft Auto III or GTA 3, marked the debut of Rockstar Games on PlayStation. The series, which was already popular, arrived on the PS2 in 2001 bringing its 3D open-world sandbox gameplay.
Insomniac Games’ Ratchet & Clank is yet another game that has become the face of the PlayStation. Released in 2002, the action and adventure title was very popular on the console.
And speaking of becoming an icon of popularity, you can’t talk about outstanding PS2 games without mentioning God of War. The first game in the franchise, from Santa Monica studio, was released in 2005 and became an immediate success and its anti-hero Kratos, a synonym of the brand.
The PSP was Sony’s first laptop and the most successful. Launched in 2004, in Japan, and in 2005, in the United States and Europe, the pocket PlayStation allowed, in addition to playing games, to watch videos, listen to music and surf the Internet.
Altogether, the notebook had five models launched during its 10 years of commercialization, one of them was the PSP Go, from 2009, and its sliding screen. Later, the PSP would also gain support to play selected PS3 games via Remote Play.
The only accessory launched for Sony’s laptop was the Go! Cam in 2006. It gave the PSP the ability to take pictures and record videos with audio, which allowed the development of games based on augmented reality.
Some outstanding games:
Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories, by Rockstar, implemented (in 2005) the concept of a fully 3D game for the PSP, with a customizable soundtrack and multiplayer mode.
In 2006 LocoRoco, from Japan Studio, brought a classic puzzle game with platforms that combined a very colourful look with a fun soundtrack.
Also from Japan Studio, the rhythm game Patapon, debuted on the PSP in 2007, in Japan, and in 2008 in the rest of the world. The game is always remembered by former owners of the laptop for its cartoonish look and the friendly musical soldiers.
PlayStation 3 (PS3)
Leaving the DVD and entering the era of Blu-ray with the PlayStation 3, released in 2006, in Japan and the United States, and in 2007, in Europe. The DualShock 3 controller also debuted with the platform, which was able to give a vibratory return of the actions in the games and delivered an initial form of movement control.
The console brought an improved online system, compared to the PS2, and also marked the debut of the PlayStation Network and PlayStation Store. The arrival of PSN introduced a new user interface that allowed you to play online, access music, videos, TV, communicate and so on. On the PlayStation Store, the player had faster access to purchase and download games.
Still in service, PlayStation Home (which arrived in 2008) allowed players to decorate their own digital apartment, watch trailers and participate in special events.
In 2010, PS3 owners were given the opportunity to subscribe to PlayStation Plus, which would guarantee subscribers access to premium console content, such as free monthly games and discounts.
The PlayStation 3 also won two new models, smaller than the original – known as “Fat”, called PS3 Slim (in 2009) and PS3 Super Slim (in 2012). Both brought improvements, mainly, in the cooling system of the devices.
The PlayStation Eye hit the market in 2007 as an evolution of the EyeToy (on the PS2), with four times the resolution and twice the frame rates.
The camera became an indispensable accessory, in case you wanted to invest in a PlayStation Move Motion Controller, or PS Move, which would arrive in 2010. With functions similar to the Nintendo Wii controller, PS Move was used in very specific games, especially more casual and sports.
In 2010, trying to take advantage of the trend of 3D TVs, Sony launched Stereoscopic 3D movies and games, 3D glasses that only worked on 3D TVs and games and movies that support the technology.
Some outstanding games:
The first game in the Media Molecule’s LittleBigPlanet series arrived in 2008 and introduced players to the world of Sackboy. The game adds up to today more than 10 million levels created.
The Last of Us, by Naughty Dog, was launched in 2013 and showed the consequences of a post-apocalyptic world well centred on human relations. The game, winner of several awards, was presented for the first time to the captivating duo Joel and Ellie.
Grand Theft Auto V (or GTA V ), was launched by Rockstar in 2013 and innovated in its own mechanics, allowing the exchange of characters in real-time, in addition to implementing an unprecedented multiplayer mode, with GTA Online.
PS Vita arrived in 2011, in Japan, and in 2012, in the United States and Europe, with a great responsibility: to replace, at the same time, the success of the PSP.
Even though it was a powerful notebook for the time, with a five-inch OLED touchscreen, two analog controls and a rear touch pad … Well … The success was not as great as Sony expected.
Still, almost 1,500 games were released for the laptop by 2018. PS Vita also had Remote Play support, making it possible to play some PS3 and PS4 games, compatible with the feature, on the Vita screen.
Some outstanding games:
Uncharted: Golden Abyss, released in 2011 by Bend Studio, is perhaps one of the main titles of the notebook. In Nathan Drake’s control, it was possible to make good use of Vita’s features, such as the rear touch pad.
Killzone Mercenary, from Guerrilla Cambridge, made good use in 2013 of the notebook’s analog controls by putting a first-person shooter on Vita, as well as an online multiplayer mode.
Going against the grain of action and shots, Tearaway (from Media Molecule) debuted in the same year with a playful footprint very similar to LittleBigPlanet, allowing players to use the rear touch pad to touch the game world itself.
PlayStation 4 (PS4)
The eighth generation of consoles jolted the hardware itself and brought to the PlayStation 4 (in 2013 in the United States and Europe, and in 2014 in Japan) a much more powerful system with HDR support, bringing more vibrant colours, in addition to streaming integrated features for social media with the ability to share the gameplay and more.
The Dualshock 4 controller gained a new design and, in addition to being more comfortable to use, it also added a light bar, a built-in mini speaker, a Share button, and a touchpad. Improvements have also been made to your gyroscope.
Both PlayStation Network and PlayStation Store also received upgrades. In 2014, Sony launched a new cloud service: PlayStation Now. With it, you can access hundreds of PS3 and PS4 games. It is even possible to play on a Windows PC using the app and a Dualshock 4.
Like the PS3, the PS4 also gained some new models over time. The more compact PS4 Slim was launched in 2016 and the PS4 Pro, a more powerful version than the original console with 4K and HDR support, arrived in the same year.
PlayStation Camera was launched in 2013 as a successor to PlayStation Eye and, in addition to helping with streaming from the console, it is also capable of facial recognition and voice commands.
The equipment has two cameras and is essential to use in conjunction with the PlayStation VR, launched in 2016. The virtual reality glasses are compatible with some games and have not yet been fully graced by the public. Perhaps because of the price.
Some outstanding games:
The difficult task now, huh? But here we go: highlighting just a few of the games that marked the PS4, you can’t miss talking about titles like Bloodborne (released in 2015 by FromSoftware), Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End (which arrived in 2016 by Naughty Dog), Horizon Zero Dawn (from Guerrilla in 2017), God of War (from Santa Monica studio in 2018), Death Stranding (Kojima Productions, which arrived in 2019) and many others.
PlayStation 5 (PS5)
And finally, we come to the ninth generation of video games with PlayStation 5. The console launched in 2020 brings a ray tracking system, for sharper lights and shadows, supports 4K, HDR and up to 120 frames per second – if the game is supported, it is clear.
The PS5 also comes with an 8K output, for those who can afford to play at 4320p resolution and an SSD for storage – which promises much faster uploads.
The device also brings backwards compatibility to most PS4 games and integration with PlayStation VR. The DualSense controller for the PS5 has had a new design change and now offers immersive tactile feedback, in addition to accompanying dynamic and adaptive triggers, and having an integrated microphone.
Taking advantage of the PlayStation 5 announcement itself, Sony also introduced accessories compatible with the console, such as:
- A charging cradle for up to two Dual Sense wireless controllers;
- The Pulse 3D wireless headset (with USB type C charging and two noise-cancelling microphones);
- Media control for movies, streaming services and etc;
- An HD camera, an evolution of the PlayStation Camera, with capture in Full HD.
Games available at launch:
Some games are already confirmed on the PS5 debut and those who buy the console will be able to play the titles: Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Marvel’s Spider-Man: Remastered, the remake of Demon’s Souls, Devil May Cry 5: Special Edition, Sackboy: The Great Adventure and others.
Let the ninth generation begin!
Well, that’s it! Did you like our PlayStation timeline? And what are your expectations for the ninth generation of consoles? Tell us!