The Sony PlayStation has become synonymous with gaming and still ranks as one of the biggest selling games consoles. You’ll even find that the latest and greatest games are usually released on PlayStations before everything else, as it’s just such a huge target market.
But where did this popularity come from?
It all started in 1994 when Sony ran a huge marketing campaign in Japan and then Europe and America announcing the PlayStation. The original version has become known as PS One and it was sold with some enhancements until 2000.
At that stage, it was replaced by the PS 2 which has since gone through multiple enhancements right up to the current PS4. It’s amazing to think that it has been around for 23 years now and any gamer who grew up in the 80s and 90s will have fond memories of the original version.
Some people even still have the original model sitting in a basement. If it still works then you can easily hook it up to a TV and enjoy some gaming from the 90s. But if you don’t have you console anymore then it might be a fun idea to spend a few bucks to buy an original version.
They can still be bought online with many sellers offering them on Amazon. And the cool thing is that the games are also still available. On this page, you’ll find out more about the console and how it became so popular. And what to look out for when trying to source one.
What Is The PlayStation One System?
The Sony PlayStation One was the first major step forward n the home gaming systems in the 90s. It was one of the first to be entirely based on CD games rather than cartridges. Or at least it was one of the first to successfully create a system that worked really well.
This meant two things. First of all, graphics in games could be hugely improved because of the increased storage size that comes with a CD. Compared to competing games consoles that could be 3 or even 4 times more than was common in the day.
Secondly, that increased amount of data could be loaded a lot faster than ever before. So, you no longer had long waiting times to get started. And the technology was able to load large amounts of video graphics whenever they were needed.
At the time the PS1 was up against the Sega Saturn and Nintendo 64 which had already been successful for a few years. But Sony really created something great and the PS1 quickly became a huge seller with gamers all over the world.
Part of the success came within the first year when some clever people figured out how to modify the console so that it would load copied games. CD burners had become very cheap at this time but Sony had anticipated this. Out of the box you were not able to play copied games.
Unless you had a simple chip added which would then allow you to cop all your friends’ games. While this was not legal to do it likely that it did contribute a huge amount to the sales of the consoles themselves.
Hundreds of games quickly became available and the gaming world has been in love with the newer versions ever since. To this day it is still the most popular console.
Is The PS1 Still Available?
For some consoles, like the original Atari and Nintendo NES, some replicas have been released. These essentially look exactly like the original, but they have some more modern technology built in. For example, the NES version available now has over 50 games available on a built-in memory storage.
This allows you to play some of the great games of the 80s, without having to source the game cartridges as well. You can quickly switch between games and have no shortage of them to end up getting bored.
The downside with these replica systems is that you can’t play other games that are not included. If you still have some old games hidden in a basement, then they will not work with these modern devices.
As far the first PlayStation goes, there is no replica available. If you want to have some 90s-gaming fun then you have to try and source a used original one that is still in working order. The good news is that because so many of them were sold there are still a lot of them out there.
We take a look at the popularity and sales figures below. But with millions sold there is still a good chance that you can get a working one. The other good news is that the PlayStations have always been built to very high quality standards. And Japanese engineers spent a lot of time to make sure that it would not easily break down.
Parts have also been readily available, and there are people out there who buy up old faulty PS1s and salvage the working parts to create functioning models. Many of them are available on Amazon and come with all the accessories you need. You can then dig out those old games you have or buy some second-hand ones on Ebay and Amazon.
How Popular Was It?
In the 11 years from 1994 that the PS One was available a whopping 102 million consoles were sold. That is a staggering number! And the only non-handheld console that sold more units was the PlayStation 2. This just goes to show how popular and amazingly great this product really was.
When you consider that at the time Nintendo 64 and Sega Saturn had a huge head start. Those two combined barely sold 40 million units. Sony had obviously stumbled on the fact that gamers wanted very graphic intense game play with video sequences built in as well.
When this was delivered, it exceeded all expectations. What really added to the experience was a completely overhauled game controller that had so many buttons that people were at first confused.
There were even joystick type buttons on the controller that really allowed for some new and innovative game interaction. The great thing was that you didn’t have to use all the button. You could pick any combination you preferred and then use game settings to modify them. A later edition of the controller then also included vibrations which directly interacted with the games. The more action that happened the more it would vibrate.
Basically, if you grew up in the 90s and you didn’t have a PlayStation then you were missing out. It was the console to use and people first started creating gamin clubs and meet ups. Each console could have two players simultaneously playing with or against each other and with multiple TVs you could have competition running. The only thing that was not yet included was interlinking consoles. Mainly because the Internet was still in such an early stage that it really wasn’t capable of such connections.
Was It Really That Great?
The best way to get a real answer to that is to ask someone who was a gamer in the 90s. I was one of them and the PlayStation was the must have console. People queued to get it, and when new games came out the same happened.
If you also get a chance to look at a Nintendo 64 or Sega Saturn games, then try and compare them to the PS1. Even today you can see a huge difference and the graphics are so much slicker. There is detail in faces and cars and the responses are just amazing. Nothing like today’s gaming world but there was definitely a huge improvement.
According to PCMag the PS1 is firmly in the top 5 of the all-time best games consoles. And 102 million people cannot be that far wrong really. What is also great abut it is that it has led to 3 more absolutely amazing Sony consoles, with all of them bringing huge improvements.
The console also introduced split screen gaming for multi players. Some attempts at this had been done before, but they really didn’t work that well. So, if you were playing a car racing game one half of the TV screen would be player one and the other half would be player two. This worked really well and meant that games like this took a huge step forward.
The improved graphics processing also meant that games developers were given a huge opportunity. Until then, they were limited in what they could do because the consoles could handle high end resolutions. As a result, many old games were updated and improved with amazing video quality for the time.
What PlayStation Games Are Still Available?
Now, you can still get the original version used on EBay and Amazon. But most of the time it’s for the console, cables and a PlayStation one controller. So, what about games? If you grew up in 90s, then check your basement to see if you still have your games stashed away.
If you do then the good news is that the CDs should still work perfectly fine. Unless they were exposed to water or heat. Or you can check online to see who selling some. Hundreds of millions of games were sold, which means many are still being horded somewhere.
If you’re lucky enough then you can get your hands on a PlayStation one for sale that has already been chipped. Then you could look for some downloads to burn onto a CD. That would open up a whole new level of gaming with all the great characters coming back on screen.
It all comes down to finding your favorite games of the 90s. And if you’re too young to have experienced 90s gaming, then you can just get your hands on some of the original ones that are still around today.
Fortunately, it’s pretty easy to find a PS1 for sale and games to go with it.
What To Look Out For?
When you want to buy the original console or games online then you want to look out for a few things. It shouldn’t just be: how much does a PS1 cost? The first question should be what condition is it in and how much testing has it gone through. Often times it’s best to get a refurbished one made out of parts from multiple devices.
That can ensure that it’s actually made of fully functioning parts and that all parts have been tested.
It’s also important to check with the seller whether all cables are included. You should be getting the console, at least one controller, power cable and TV connection cable. If possible you also want a memory stick included to save your game progress.
For the games, it’s a bit trickier. If they are original games then you want to mainly focus on the condition of the CD. If the box is damaged that might be an indication of how well, or not well, it was looked after. But it’s much more important to get a clear picture of the CD.
Always ask the seller to send some good quality photos of the front and back of the CD. Check for scratches and other damage. Also ask if the seller can confirm that it still works. One way to do this is to ask them to load the CD on a computer to check if you can at least open it up.
There is a bit of a chance to be taking. And sometimes you might end up with a dud. Overall though, you can get them cheap enough to not have to worry too much.
The PS One was a huge hit and many people still love it today. If you or someone you know had this console in the 90s, then it might be a great idea to get an original working one. It’s still a lot of fun and great entertainment. It’s also a great way to show young kids how gaming has changed in the last 20 plus years.