Can you believe that PlayStation is 25 years old. They grow up so fast don’t they? No one deserves to celebrate more than Sony’s flagship console. It pioneered an exceptional slew of franchises, challenging the established loyalty of its rivals fans, including handing SEGA enough rope to hang themselves from. Selling an estimated 104 million units worldwide, 71 million more than its most fierce competitor, Nintendo’s N64, the PS1 revolutionised the industry by proving that the future of gaming was on CD-ROM, not the traditional gaming cartridges that was the accepted conformity. Whereas SEGA’s painful deficiencies where all too evident with the Saturn, PlayStation strolled into the mire with a confident swagger you’d expect from a well established company like Nintendo. Whether it was Crash Bandicoot, Metal Gear Solid, Tomb Raider, Resident Evil or Final Fantasy VII, PlayStation always had a game that catered to any proclivity. My own PlayStation, long since lapsed into an eternal slumber, nestled securely amongst other vestiges of gaming nostalgia was the first games console I exclusively owned. Up until that point ownership of a games consoles like the Sega Mega-Drive and SNES were shared equally with my sister, with the added proviso that we’d begrudgingly relinquish control over to our parents when the inclination suited them.
This perpendicular little unit, with its boomerang controller and grey aesthetic was my muse as an adolescent. I’d buy accessories, peripherals as well as memory cards in a variety of iridescent designs, like a penguin gathering finely coloured pebbles for a potential suiter. It was something that relatively speaking was mine and mine alone. Sheltered from the prying intrusion of my inquisitive sister behind my locked bedroom, my PlayStation did admittedly promote the social emancipation that has become a defining attribute of my life, but also gave me great comfort at a time that couldn’t have been less enjoyable. Whatever I was going through, however apprehensive I felt, the PlayStation was always there to placate any anxieties I had, supplying a remedial solace I so desperately needed. Something I’m particularly greatful for now.
PlayStation as a brand, as well as an institution has left an indelible mark on so many. An influence that has only flourished with each successive generation. Sony have made many mistakes, most of which can be attributed to their own burgeoning hubris. But even their most eminent blunders can be excused by the years of joy created by its most prestigious progeny. So let’s raise a glass of your favourite libation and toast a games console that deserves not only recognition for its committed exultation but our indebted respect. Cheers!