The History of PlayStation: How the Game Console Has Evolved

Sony launched its PlayStation brand back in 1994. From the original PlayStation to now the PlayStation 5, the brand has had an amazing journey, changing the way gaming used to be. In this article, we are going through each generation and model, taking a close look at their specs and what made each one unique:

playstation history

PlayStation (1994)

We start with the first one – the OG PlayStation

Launched in 1994, PlayStation launched in Japan after the release of its rival Sega Saturn and the sales began with a stunning success with long lines in stores, selling 100,000 units on the first day, and then two million units after six months on the market.

Specifications:

CPU  RISC MIPS R3000A (32-bit) – 33 MHz
GPU  R800A (32-bit) – 33 MHz
Memory  2 MB EDO DRAM
Storage  Memory Cards of 1 MB
Optical Drive  CD-ROM
Video Output  S-Video, SCART (RGB)
Resolution  256×224, 640×480 (SD)
Audio  16-bit, 24 Channel ADPCM, Stereo
Release Date  December 3, 1994
Status  Discontinued, March 23, 2006
Release Price  $299

 

PS One (2000)

In the millennium year, PlayStation released a redesigned, slim version was released under the name PS One, having the same hardware specifications. It was the highest-selling console through the end of the year, outselling all other consoles. Sony also released a version with a 5″ LCD screen compatible with the console, calling it a Combo pack.

Specifications:

CPU  RISC MIPS R3000A (32-bit) – 33 MHz
GPU  R800A (32-bit) – 33 MHz
Memory  2 MB EDO DRAM
Memory Cards  1 MB
Optical Drive  CD-ROM
Video Output  S-Video, SCART (RGB)
Resolution  256×224, 640×480 (SD)
Audio  16-bit, 24 Channel ADPCM, Stereo
Release Date  July 7, 2000
Status  Discontinued March 26, 2006
Release Price  $299

 

PlayStation 2 (2002)

Announced in 1999, the PlayStation 2 offered backward compatibility for its predecessor’s DualShock controller, as well as for its games. There were many games that were released exclusively for the console, such as Grand Theft Auto, Final Fantasy, Metal Gear Solid, PlayStation 2, Kingdom Hearts, God of War, and Devil May Cry.

Specifications:

CPU  MIPS R5900 (64-bit) – 294 MHz
GPU  Graphics Synthesizer – 147 MHz
Memory  32 MB RDRAM
Hard Drive  40 GB HDD (Released on July 19, 2001)
Memory Cards  8 MB
Optical Drive  CD-ROM, DVD-ROM
Video Output  AV Multi Out
Resolution  720×480 (SD), 1280×720 (HD)
Network  PlayStation 2 Network Adapter
Audio  5.1 Surround Sound, Stereo
Release Date  March 4, 2000
Status  January 4, 2013
Release Price  $299
Units Sold  155 million

 

PS2 Slim (2004)

In late October 2004, a smaller, thinner, and quieter slim version of the PlayStation 2 was released with a built-in Ethernet port. Due to its thinner, this version did not support the internal hard disk drive.

Specifications:

CPU  MIPS R5900 (64-bit) – 294 MHz
GPU  Graphics Synthesizer – 147 MHz
Memory  32 MB RDRAM
Hard Drive  40 GB HDD (Released on July 19, 2001)
Memory Cards  8 MB
Optical Drive  CD-ROM, DVD-ROM
Video Output  AV Multi Out
Resolution  720×480 (SD), 1280×720 (HD)
Network  Ethernet
Audio  5.1 Surround Sound, Stereo
Release Date  October 29, 2004
Status  Discontinued January 4, 2013
Release Price  $299

 

PlayStation 3 (2006)

PS 3 was the first console to use Blu-ray Disc as its primary storage medium, integrate social gaming services, and to be controllable from a handheld console, through its remote connectivity with PlayStation Portable and PlayStation Vita.

Specifications:

CPU  Cell Broadband Engine 6-core – 3.2 GHz
GPU  Nvidia/SCEI RSX – 550 MHz
Memory  256 MB XDR
Hard Drive  2.5” Serial ATA 80 GB HDD
Optical Drive  Blue-ray, CD-ROM, DVD-ROM
Video Output  HDMI (Up to 1080p), AV Multi Out
Resolution  720×480 (SD), 1280×720 (HD), 1920×1080 (Full HD)
Network  Ethernet, Wireless
Audio  Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
Release Date  November 11, 2006
Status  Discontinued October 2016
Release Price  $499
Units Sold  87.4 million

 

PlayStation 3 Slim (2009)

The slim version of PlayStation 3 did not provide the hardware ability to run PlayStation 2 games. It was, however, lighter and thinner than the original console and featured a redesigned logo and marketing design. It had an upgradeable 120 GB, 160 GB, 250 GB or 320 GB hard drive.

Specifications:

CPU  Cell Broadband Engine 8-core – 3.2 GHz
GPU  Nvidia/SCEI RSX – 550 MHz
Memory  256 MB
Hard Drive  120 GB HDD
Optical Drive  Blue-ray, CD-ROM, DVD-ROM
Video Output  HDMI (Up to 1080p), AV Multi Out
Resolution  720×480 (SD), 1280×720 (HD), 1920×1080 (Full HD)
Network  Ethernet, Wireless
Audio  Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
Release Date  September 1, 2009
Status  Discontinued October 2016
Release Price  $299

 

PlayStation 3 Super Slim (2012)

The Super Slim version of PlayStation 3 was released in late 2012, refined and redesigned. One of the obvious changes was the sliding disc cover, instead of the traditional slot-loading drive.

Specifications:

CPU  Cell Broadband Engine 8-core – 3.2 GHz
GPU  Nvidia/SCEI RSX – 550 MHz
Memory  256 MB
Hard Drive  250 GB HDD
Optical Drive  Blue-ray, CD-ROM, DVD-ROM
Video Output  HDMI (Up to 1080p), AV Multi Out
Resolution  720×480 (SD), 1280×720 (HD), 1920×1080 (Full HD)
Network  Ethernet, Wireless
Audio  Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
Release Date  September 1, 2009
Status  Discontinued October 2016
Release Price  $299

 

PlayStation 4 (2013)

The PlayStation 4 was the eighth-generation console developed by Sony Interactive Entertainment. It was the most powerful APU developed to date, capable of reading Blu-ray Discs at speeds of up to three times that of its predecessor.

Specifications:

CPU  AMD Jaguar 8-core – 1.6 GHz
GPU  AMD Radeon, 1.84 TFLOPS – 800 MHz
Memory  8 GB GDDR5
Hard Drive  500 GB HDD
Optical Drive  Blu-Ray, DVD
Video Output  HDMI
Resolution  720×480 (SD), 1280×720 (HD), 1920×1080 (Full HD)
Network  Ethernet, Wireless
Audio  7,1 Surround Sound
Release Date  November 15, 2013
Status  Discontinued
Release Price  $399
Units Sold  102.8 million

 

PlayStation 4 Slim (2016)

The PlayStation 4 Slim is the smaller version of the original console, which features an upgraded GPU and a higher CPU clock rate to support enhanced performance and 4K resolution in supported games. The addition of 5GHz Wi-Fi was added, and a UHD Blu-ray drive.

Specifications:

CPU  AMD Jaguar 8-core – 1.6 GHz
GPU  AMD Radeon, 1.84 TFLOPS – 800 MHz
Memory  8 GB GDDR5
Hard Drive  500 GB HDD, 1 TB HDD
Optical Drive  Blu-Ray, DVD
Video Output  HDMI
Resolution  720×480 (SD), 1280×720 (HD), 1920×1080 (Full HD)
Network  Ethernet, Wireless
Release Date  September 16, 2016
Status  Released
Release Price  $299

 

PlayStation 4 Pro (2016)

The Pro design is a complete copy of the original PS4 console, there are a lot of similarities such as the flat parallelogram. Although, the Pro version is a little wider and a little taller than the original, and a bit heavier, too.

Specifications:

CPU  AMD Jaguar 8-core – 2.1 GHz
GPU  AMD Radeon, 4.2 TFLOPS – 911 MHz
Memory  8GB GDDR5, 1 GB GDDR3
Hard Drive  1 TB HDD
Optical Drive  Blu-Ray (UHD), DVD
Video Output  HDMI, 4K support
Resolution  720×480 (SD), 1280×720 (HD), 1920×1080 (Full HD)
Network  Ethernet, Wireless
Audio  7.1 Surround Sound
Release Date  November 10, 2016
Status  Released
Release Price  $399

 

PlayStation Classic (2018)

The PlayStation Classic was a deliberate model of the original PlayStation console for the system’s 24th anniversary. It was announced in September 2018.

Specifications:

CPU  ARM Cortex-A35 8-core – 1.5 GHz
GPU  Power VR GE8300
Memory  1 GB DDR3
Hard Drive  16 GB eMMC Flash
Video Output  HDMI
Release Date  December 3, 2018
Status  Released
Release Price  $99.99

 

PlayStation 5 (2020)

In August 2020, Jim Ryan, President & CEO of PlayStation, announced that the next console will be called PlayStation 5, sharing also some exciting details such as that it features a Haptic feedback that simulates touch, meaning the controller will output vibrations or movements to replicate a real-life touch experience. This aims to improve the controller’s feedback and the player’s immersion.

Specifications:

CPU  AMD Zen 8-core – 3.5GHz
GPU  Custom RDNA 2 – 2.23GHz, 36 CUs, 10.28 TFLOPs
Memory  16 GB GDDR6 – 256-bit
Hard Drive  Custom 825GB SSD
Video Output  HDMI 2.1
Release Date  TBA 2020
Status  TBA
Release Price  TBA

 

If you are looking to play some old-school arcade games, consider taking your family, friends, or co-workers to one of the places that still have these available, whether it’s online or in person. Take some time in your busy schedule to reignite your inner child, play some games and have some fun.