History Of PlayStation: PS1, PS2, PS3, PS4, PS5 – Prices, Specs, Games

Recent articles

History of PlayStation: PS1, PS2, PS3, PS4, and PS5

The PlayStation brand has been around since 1994. With the recent launch of Sony’s latest console, the PlayStation 5, let’s take a trip down memory lane and explore the history of PlayStation. In this article, we will discuss the beginnings of the brand, and delve into the history of each Sony platform, from the PS1 to the PS5. We’ll cover the console’s most popular games, its sales figures, its impact on the entertainment industry, and provide a comparison of each system’s specifications, launch price, and more. Let’s get started!

Nintendo PlayStation

In 1988, Nintendo and Sony collaborated to create the Super NES CD-ROM System, also known as Nintendo PlayStation. Initially, Sony wasn’t interested in the video game market, but a man named Ken Kutaragi took on the project as a passion and convinced the Sony board to go ahead with it. About 200 models were created, and the system was designed to play both SNES cartridges and Super Disc format.

Nintendo PlayStation - Super NES CD-ROM

Fortunately, the system was never released. Nintendo not only backed out of the agreement with Sony, but also made a side deal with Sony’s main competitor, Philips. This act of betrayal motivated Sony to utilize the technology they had developed for a CD-based video game console and unveil the PlayStation at the 1991 Consumer Electronics Show. The rest, as they say, is history.

History of PlayStation (PS1)

The first PlayStation console was released on December 3, 1994, in Japan and on September 9, 1995, in the US. The console was a huge success, selling over 102 million units worldwide during its lifespan. One of the significant reasons for Sony’s success was due to the support of third-party developers who had left Nintendo over disputes on expensive licensing fees and minimal memory storage on cartridges.

Compared to the SNES cartridge that could hold a maximum of 6MB in games like Tales of Phantasia and Star Ocean, a PS1 disc could hold up to 660MB. Even the N64 cartridge had memory limitations of 64MB and was expensive to produce. These restrictions were some of the leading factors that led Square to move the development of Final Fantasy VII from N64 to PS1, eventually becoming the second-best selling PS1 game of all time, behind Gran Turismo.

Final Fantasy VII - PS1 - Square

Sony released the PSOne, a smaller and more compact version of PlayStation, in July 2000. The console removed the parallel and serial ports and combined the reset button with the power button. Sony also offered a combination pack of the PSOne that included a 5″ LCD screen built onto the console with an adaptor for power. The PSOne was a huge success, selling 28.15 million systems during its lifespan.

In 2018, Sony launched the PlayStation Classic, marketed as a contender in the newly formed “mini” console trend. However, the console failed to live up to the expectations as it was a poor emulator and had only a handful of good games installed. The console was designed primarily for appearance rather than performance, and it did not support playing original PS1 discs. Additionally, the use of an original PlayStation design controller meant that it lacked the DualShock abilities, which have now become standard. Overall, it was a significant missed opportunity.

Some of the other renowned games that were released during the PS1 generation include Metal Gear Solid, Tekken 3, Crash Bandicoot, Tomb Raider, Resident Evil 2, Spyro The Dragon, Twisted Metal 2, Parasite Eve, and Syphon Filter.

History of PlayStation 2

The PlayStation 2 was announced in 1999 and released in Japan on March 4, 2000, and in the United States and Canada on October 26, 2000. Over its lifespan, the PS2 sold over 155 million systems, making Sony a dominant force in the gaming market. It beat not only Nintendo’s N64 and Gamecube but also SEGA’s Saturn and Dreamcast consoles. Despite Microsoft entering the competition with the more powerful Xbox, Sony maintained its market supremacy.

History of PS2

The PS2 was a groundbreaking gaming console that brought the new DVD format to the masses and revolutionized gaming for a new generation. Upon its introduction, the PS2 was by far the most affordable DVD player and game console. Not only could you play second-generation movies on it, but you could also watch them with crisp 480p sound on your CRTV with 3 to 5 channel Dolby. Although the PS2 had online capabilities, they were significantly limited compared to Xbox Live’s service. You had to purchase a PlayStation 2 Network Adaptor and a broadband internet connection to connect to your party, which ran on third-party servers. Eventually, Sony released the PS2 Slim console in 2004, which included networking ports. Games like Burnout 3: Takedown, Call of Duty 3, Resident Evil Outbreak, SOCOM 2: U.S. Navy Seals, and Twisted Metal: Black Online were popular due to the console’s abilities at the time. It was during this age that rhythm games started to take off, with games like Guitar Hero, Rock Band, Dance Dance Revolution, and SingStar becoming popular on the platform. Not only did players spend money on purchasing the games, but they would also spend hundreds of dollars on devices like microphones, dance pads, guitars, and electronic drum kits.

Some of the most popular games released on the PS2 include Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Gran Turismo 4, Final Fantasy X, Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, Kingdom Hearts, God of War, and Ratchet & Clank.

History of PlayStation 3

The PlayStation 3 was released on November 11, 2006, in Japan and November 17, 2006, in North America. It was Sony’s most expensive console, launching at a price tag of $499 for the 20GB model and $599 for the 60GB model, due to the system’s Blu-ray format. The price was heavily criticized early on due to its high tag, Sixaxis controller, and poorly developed multi-platform exclusive games.

The PS3’s Cell architecture was a significant challenge for developers at the start, but over time they were able to unlock the console’s potential. Despite its early difficulties, the PS3 would ultimately become one of the best-selling consoles of the seventh generation, selling 87.4 million units.

The PS3 was Sony’s most ambitious online effort to date. Although the PS2 technically had online capabilities through a Network Adaptor, the PS3 took things even further with features like the PlayStation Store, PlayStation Home, and the ultimate PlayStation Plus membership service.

History of the PS3

The PlayStation Network was introduced in 2006, allowing friends to connect and play games online for free. One of its key features, the trophy system, was presented in July 2008. Initially, Sony made prizes optional, however, by January 2009, they made them necessary. The trophy system was introduced in response to Xbox’s Accomplishments feature, which had been available for game developers for years prior. Super Stardust HD was the first game to offer trophies, thanks to an update. The first game to launch with physical prizes was PixelJunk Eden, and Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune became the first game to offer a platinum trophy for players.

The virtual world of PlayStation Home was enjoyable while it lasted, allowing users to meet in areas with their own custom-made avatars. It was introduced as an open beta in December of 2008 and was ultimately closed in March 2013. Each user was provided with an individual space that they could furnish with virtual items that users could either offer for free or purchase with virtual currency. Users could explore Home’s various areas, from The Center to districts such as Launch Action District, Sportswalk, Pier Park, and Shopping Center.


Each district often hosted events by Sony and its partners, showcasing games, streaming services, mini-games, and other features. One of the notable features was the ability for players to meet up with friends in a virtual space, called PlayStation Home, and launch games together. Although PlayStation Home did not last long on the PS3, it would be interesting if Sony brought it back as a PSVR app.

Popular titles released on the PS3 included The Last of Us, Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception, Warhawk, MotorStorm, LittleBigPlanet, Resistance: Fall of Man, Killzone 2, Demon’s Souls, and Heavenly Sword.

History of PlayStation 4

The PlayStation 4 was the next console generation by Sony, building upon everything they had learned from the PS3. It was the first of Sony’s consoles to launch in North America before Japan, with an online release on November 15, 2013.

The PS4 offered better hardware specifications and an improved console architecture that made it easier to develop for and launch games than its predecessor. The PS4 was also the first console by Sony to offer virtual reality, with the PSVR headset. The PSVR headset has a 5.7″ OLED display with a resolution of up to 1080p, and supports refresh rates of up to 120hz/90hz. The headset also includes a processor unit that supports Social Screen video output, 3D audio, and Cinematic mode, enabling 4K or HDR content on non-PSVR games on a PS4 Pro.

There are currently over 500 games and experiences available for PSVR, and the library is continuing to grow. While the PS4’s optical drive does not support 4K UHD discs, it is still an improvement over the PS3. The PS4 Blu-ray drive has a maximum read speed of 27MB/s, which is about three times faster than the PS3’s drive, which was capped at 9MB/s. As the PS4 ages, it has become common to install games to the console’s hard drive in order to play them.

In 2014, Sony launched PlayStation Now, a cloud-based streaming membership service that allowed users to access classic games from previous generations. As of 2020, there are over 800 games available, with around 300 of them available for download. Having the games installed on your hard drive is preferable for those who want fast and reliable access to games, and may not always rely on web streaming. In 2017, Sony discontinued the service for PS3, PS Vita, and PlayStation TV, making the service only available to PS4 owners. PlayStation Now will continue to be available on PS5, although details about how it will work within the “Neo” environment have been scarce.

The PS4 Pro, also known as codename “Neo”, was released in November 2016 as a mid-generation upgrade. It improved the clock speed of the CPU to 2.1 GHz and the GPU to 911MHz, enabling it to output 4K resolution or boost improved performance for certain features. The console also received 1GB of DDR3 RAM for non-gaming performance, freeing up the faster GDDR5 RAM for gaming apps. In addition to the improved CPU and GPU, the Pro also features improved connectivity options such as an additional USB port, HDMI 2.0 instead of HDMI 1.4, and an optical audio port.


Improved framerates have been released for popular PS4 games such as Marvel’s Spider-Man, God of War, Horizon Zero Dawn, Final Fantasy VII Remake, Persona 5, Ghost of Tsushima, Bloodborne, Driveclub, Killzone Shadow Fall, and Infamous Second Son. And there are still many more to come, including Cyberpunk 2077, Elden Ring, Dying Light 2, Immortals: Fenyx Rising, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, and Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War. This release comes in the lead-up to the PlayStation 5 launch and beyond. The PlayStation 5 was released on November 12, 2020 in North America and Japan, and on November 19 for the rest of the world. The hype around the online store is unmatched, with every seller selling out of PS5s within minutes. In Japan, 118,000 PS5 units were sold in just four days. The only thing holding the PS5 back from making more sales is supply, which has been limited due to COVID-related production constraints.

History of PlayStation 5

When Mark Cerny revealed the console’s architecture at GDC previously, he spoke about making it easier for developers to create their worlds without facing traffic jams. The addition of compression allows developers to create a custom SSD and use game data Oodle Kraken, resulting in faster loading and streaming never before seen in gaming. Sony’s Jim Ryan, backed by developers, has said that the PlayStation 5 is the best experience developers have ever had with any PlayStation. “One thing that makes me particularly optimistic is what we’re hearing from developers and publishers, which is that the ease in which they are able to get code running on PlayStation 5 is way beyond any experience they’ve had on any other PlayStation platform,” he said.

The PlayStation 5 hardware features a customized 8-core AMD Zen 2 processor clocked at 3.5 GHz, along with a customized GPU based on AMD’s RDNA 2 architecture. The GPU consists of 36 compute units clocked at 2.23 GHz, delivering a massive 10.28 teraflops of power. The console includes 16GB of speedy GDDR6 RAM and a customized 825GB SSD that can provide 5.5 GB/sec (uncompressed) and 9GB/sec (compressed). This translates to game boot times of just one second with no load screens. Fast-travel is instant, and reloading is seamless. Additionally, the console includes a customized 3D audio chip called the Tempest Engine. The chip processes 3D audio based on your ear shape, delivering unmatched audio quality through your headset. Sony has also enhanced the console’s audio capabilities with cutting-edge TV speakers, soundbars, and surround sound systems.

Perhaps the most innovative feature of the PlayStation 5 is its DualSense controller, which includes haptic feedback and adaptive triggers. This means that players will feel the tension of pulling a bowstring or the effect of a best hook in the game. The PlayStation 5 is as much about feeling the game as it is about seeing and hearing it.

Aside from its hardware, Sony has made numerous enhancements to PlayStation Plus, including the PS Plus Collection, which offers a selection of top PS4 exclusives at no additional cost to PS Plus subscribers. This means that new PlayStation users can enjoy enhanced versions of games like Days Gone, God of War, and more.

The PlayStation 5 is compatible with existing PSVR devices and headsets with the use of an adapter. Sony’s PlayStation VR set offers cutting-edge technology such as all-new headset and gaming space with Valve Index design controllers, making it a popular choice for VR enthusiasts.

In terms of launch games, PlayStation 5 owners can look forward to Returnal, Gran Turismo 7, Horizon Forbidden West, and much more. The console’s launch titles include Demon’s Souls, Sackboy: A Big Adventure, Spider-Man: Miles Morales, and Astro’s Playroom, among others.

Overall, the PlayStation 5 is a powerful console that offers an immersive gaming experience with fast load times, stunning graphics, and unparalleled audio.

Here is a comparison of the specs and prices for the PS1 through PS5 consoles.

Playstation Price:

  • PS1: $299
  • PS2: $299
  • PS3: $499 (20GB) & $599 (60GB)
  • PS4: $325 & $499 (Digital)
  • PS5: $499.99 & $399.99 (Digital)

Tech Specs:

  • PS1: R3000 @ 33.8688 MHz CPU, 2 MB RAM, 1 MB VRAM
  • PS2: MIPS CPU, Graphics Synthesizer at 150 MHz, 32 MB RDRAM (RAM) & 4 MB eDRAM (video RAM)
  • PS3: 3.2 GHz Cell Broadband Engine, 1 PPE and 8 SPEs, 256 MB XDR DRAM and 256 MB GDDR3 video
  • PS4: 8-core AMD x86-64 Jaguar 1.6 GHz CPU, 8x Cores @ 3.5 GHz Customized Zen 2 GPU, 8 GB GDDR5 RAM & 256 MB DDR3 RAM
  • PS5: Customized AMD RDNA 2, 36 CUs @ variable frequency up to 2.23 GHz, 16 GB GDDR6 RAM

PS1 Launch Games:

  • Air Combat
  • Battle Arena Toshinden
  • ESPN Extreme Games
  • Kileak: The DNA Vital
  • NBA JAM Tournament Edition
  • Power Serve 3D Tennis
  • The Raiden Project
  • Rayman
  • Ridge Racer
  • Street Fighter: The Movie
  • Total Eclipse Turbo

PS2 Launch Games:

  • Armored Core 2
  • Dead or Alive 2: Hardcore
  • Dynasty Warriors 2
  • ESPN International Track & Field
  • ESPN Winter X Games Snowboarding
  • Eternal Ring
  • Evergrace
  • FantaVision
  • Gungriffon Blaze
  • Kessen
  • Madden NFL 2001
  • Midnight Club: Street Racing
  • NHL 2001
  • Orphen: Scion of Sorcery
  • Q-Ball: Billiards Master
  • Ready 2 Rumble Boxing: Round 2
  • Ridge Racer V
  • Silent Scope
  • Smuggler’s Run
  • SSX
  • Street Fighter EX3
  • Summoner
  • Surfing H30
  • Swing Away Golf
  • Tekken Tag Tournament
  • TimeSplitters
  • Unreal Tournament
  • Wild Wild Racing

PS3 Launch Games:

  • Blazing Angels: Squadrons of WWII
  • Call of Duty 3
  • Genji: Days of the Blade
  • Madden NFL 07
  • Marvel: Ultimate Alliance
  • Mobile Suit Gundam: Crossfire
  • NBA 2K7
  • NHL 2K7
  • Resistance: Fall of Man
  • Ridge Racer 7
  • Tiger Woods PGA Tour 07
  • Tony Hawk’s Project 8
  • Untold Legends: Dark Kingdom

PS4 Launch Games:

  • Angry Birds Star Wars
  • Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag
  • Battlefield 4
  • Call of Duty: Ghosts
  • FIFA 14
  • Injustice: Gods Among Us – Ultimate Edition
  • Just Dance 2014
  • Killzone: Shadow Fall
  • Knack
  • LEGO Marvel Super Heroes
  • Madden NFL 25
  • NBA 2K14
  • Need for Speed: Rivals
  • Skylanders Swap Force
  • Warframe
  • Zoo Tycoon
  • Zumba Fitness: World Party

PS5 Launch Games:

  • Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla
  • Astro’s Playroom
  • Bugsnax
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War
  • Call of Duty: Warzone
  • Demon’s Souls (Bluepoint)
  • DIRT 5
I am the Editor for Gaming Ideology. I love to play DOTA and many other games. I love to write about games and make others love gaming as much as I do.