Much like myself…
Greetings everyone, Captain Pain here! I was currently sitting down, enjoying my third glass of Whiskey, when I get a direct message from The Chairman telling me to put the glass down, and get to work writing about Sony. Sometimes, I really hate that guy! Fuck him! Besides, what can I tell you guys about Sony that you don’t already know. Well, anyway let’s take a deep dive into how Sony, became a company that wasn’t even in the video game industry, to the top guys in the industry.
Let’s jump into the way back machine, and head to the year 1988. At this time, Sony and Nintendo were working on a joint project to create a CD-ROM drive for the Super Famicon. The idea was that the console would be able to play both cartridge and CD games. In 1991, at the Consumer Electronic Show, Sony revealed the Super Famicon with the built in CD-ROM drive with what they called “Play Station” technology. The next day, either due to cold feet, or because Nintendo feared that people would buy more of Sony’s CD based games, instead of their cartridge based games, either way, they pulled the plugged on the joint project, and made a deal with Phillips. This is why you had Mario and Zelda games on that God awful Phillips CD-I. So what did this mean for Sony? They said fuck it, they made their own system.
So after a few years of R&D and deciding that the system should focus on 3D polygon graphics, the PlayStation was released in Japan in late 1994, and in North America in the fall of 1995. The use of CD-ROMs and 3D polygon graphics, made it cheaper and easier for publishers to make games for the PlayStation, than it did for the Nintendo’s cartridge based systems at the time. This allowed Sony to strike up partnerships with many developer such as Electronic Arts, Namco, Squaresoft, and others. With these deals in place, this gave Sony more exclusive titles, or titles that would be released on the PlayStation first. With it’s launch price of $299, and games and series like Crash Bandicoot, Spyro The Dragon, Final Fantasy, Metal Gear Solid, Grand Turismo, and many more help beat out the competition and to become the first console to sell over 120 million units.
With the sucess of the of the PlayStation, it only seemed natural for Sony to come out with a sequel. Throughout the year 2000, the PlayStation Two was released around the world. This system used a DVD-ROM/CD-ROM drive. This allowed developers to use the latest in graphic technology, and store it on the large storage space that a DVD disk provided. No longer did you have to put large games onto multiple disks like you did with the original PlayStation. With the CD-ROM part of the drive, it allowed loyal PlayStation gamers to play their old PlayStation games on the new PlayStation Two. Hooray for backwards compatibility! Many felt that because of the ability of the laser eye reader inside of the console being able to read DVDs and CDs, which was fairly new at that time, cause strain on the lasers, and caused them to fail faster than normal. Despite this flaw, and with games and series like Grand Theft Auto, Devil May Cry, and God of War, the PlayStation Two sold over 150 million units during its lifespan. Things were looking up for Sony.
And then the PlayStation Three came out. What the fuck happened Sony? Now don’t get me wrong, cause this was not a bad system. This system was using the new Blu-ray technology. Which meant that everything was better. Graphics, sound, picture, everything was better than the last system. It also has a great lineup of games. Besides some old favorites like Grand Theft Auto, Grand Turismo, Final Fantasy, God Of War, and Metal Gear Solid. They have some new titles, such as the Uncharted series. There were no need for memory cards anymore, since the PlayStation Three came with build in hard drives. So what went wrong with this system? Well first off, the release price tag of $499 for the system with 20GB hard drive, and $599 for the one with the 60GB hard drive, at it’s 2006 release scared some people off. Also, it didn’t help matters that it took forever to download anything. It didn’t matter it was a system update, or a day one patch for a game, you might as well have gone out, and get whatever you had to do for the day done, because that updated was going to take a while. With everyone and their mother, and I do mean that literally, going out and buying Nintendo Wiis, and Xbox gamers buying multiple Xbox Ones, due to the red ring of death issue, this left Sony coming in at third place with just under 84 million units sold.
With the release of the PlayStation Four in 2013, things were looking up for Sony. With them being more friendly to the world of gaming, then Microsoft was with their Xbox One. With having a system that didn’t need to be connected to the internet 24/7,not having restrictions on used games, and their $399 price tag helped get them ahead of the pack with the current generation of consoles. With over 81 million units sold, and a few more years left in its lifespan, there is no telling how many more can be sold.
So what does the future holds for Sony? There are talks about the PlayStation Five, and what it might be able to do, but nothing is set in stone. Will this next system be the best selling console of all time? Will it be a complete flop? The future is uncertain, but what I do know is that Sony needs to stay away from handheld systems. The PSP great, the Vita, not so much. Either way, I hope that Sony continues to bring us great systems and games for many years to come. Until next time everyone.
Captain Pain approves this post!!!!!