The Sony PlayStation is the first of the 5th generation consoles that I am highlighting as my console of the month. It’s also the only 5th generation console I owned during it’s initial run, which explains why I have a bit more of an affection for it than others from the same era. Sony’s first foray into creating video game hardware was a somewhat risky one as other recent new guys to the console party (NEC, 3DO, Phillips) had either failed or were failing by the time Sony threw their hat into the ring. Galvanized by their aborted partnership with Nintendo, the PlayStation looks sleek and modern while providing gameplay that truly felt next level upon its North American launch in the fall of 1995.
My personal experience with the PlayStation started in college. I had a roommate that bought one around 1996 and I would join him in mostly sports titles but never had a strong feeling towards it either way. As a poor college student, I was content to continue playing my SNES, my roommate’s PlayStation and the occasional PC version of Doom. Due to its massive success and ubiquity, I conceded that the PlayStation was the console to own, not the N64 or Saturn. I bought my very own PlayStation in 1998 shortly after graduation and getting my first full time job. As far as the games I bought, I didn’t branch out much in those days as I wasn’t reading any of the video gaming magazines available at the time nor did I use the fledgling internet to form my selections. My experiences with the PS were primarily sports titles but I was aware that the console had much more to offer so I focused on franchises I knew from my past such as Castlevania, Final Fantasy and Metal Gear. Boy am I glad I did and those three franchises pumped out some of the best games not only on the PlayStation but best of the 90’s and all-time.
The console, box and controller I have in my collection today is the same from when I purchased it new in 1998. Since I owned it while an adult, everything is still in pretty good shape and I’m looking forward to spending more time with some of the games I picked up used in the early ’00s after the PS2 came out and PS games found their way to the bargain bins. I bought a PS late enough in its life to get a Dualshock controller bundled with my console but Sony bucked the trend of including a game with the console and instead I received a Demo Disc. I remember being very confused by the analog sticks the first time I saw and used them. I wasn’t sure exactly how they were meant to be used since the controller had a D-pad already. Also, the 4 buttons and their symbols (triangle, x, circle and square) seemed like odd choices to me at the time but obviously 20 years later it’s a non-issue. Its tough to argue against the choices Sony made considering they are still around and going strong in 2017. The first PlayStation is the console that dominated the second half of the 90’s and ushered in a new player.
Currently in my collection:
- Console with original power cord, A/V composite cable, manual and box.
- 2 controllers (1 dualshock, 1 original)
- Demo Disc
- 3 third party memory cards