Sunday 1 February 2015

Sony's console history in pictures


Sony finally announced the next generation PlayStation 4 console in New York last night. Here, we take a look back at the previous versions of the console and the impact they had on the industry.
The original PlayStation launched on 29 September 1995 for a recommended retail price of £299. Sony finally discontinued production of the original PlayStation, and its smaller sibling the PSone, in 2006 after the console's 11 years on shop shelves.
Sony launched the PSone on 29 September 2000, well into the lifecycle of the PlayStation. This redesigned console was a huge hit with its £79 price tag, and went on to outsell Sony's new PlayStation 2 in 2000, which had launched at the same time. The pattern of shrinking and redesigning consoles late in their lifecycles was a trend which would continue with the PlayStation 2 and 3.
Gran Turismo, released on 8 May 1998, was the highest selling game of the original PlayStation's generation, totalling 10.85 million copies sold worldwide.
The PlayStation 2, launched on 24 November 2000, went head-to-head with competition from Nintendo, Sega and Microsoft's new console, the Xbox. Despite the competition, the PlayStation 2 was the highest-selling console in the marketplace until 2010, outselling competitors and even its successor, the PlayStation 3, for its first three years on sale.
Sony's PlayStation 2 Slimline launched on 1 November 2004, and copied the PSone's stategy of combining a rockbottom price, £99, with redesigned hardware, to take advantage of cost-saving manufacturing processes available later in the console's generation.
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, released on 29 October 2004, was the highest selling game of the PlayStation 2's generation, with 17.33 million copies sold worldwide.
The PlayStation 3 had the highest recommended retail price of any Sony games console to date when it launched on 23 March 2007 in the UK with a price tag of £425. Sales of the PlayStation 3 were surpassed by the previous generation of PlayStation 2s until 2010, as Sony struggled to reduce the recommended retail price of the console.
The PlayStation 3 Slim launched on on 1 September 2009 for a recommended price of £249.99, but lost a number of features present in the original PlayStation 3, most significantly, backwards compatibility with PlayStation 2 games was dropped.
Sony took the decision to redesign the PlayStation 3 not once, but twice with the recent release of the PlayStation 3 Super Slim on 28 September 2012. Again this move reduced the price of the console further to £240, but still short of the Xbox 360's price of £140.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, released on 11 November 2011 is the highest selling game of the current generation of Sony's consoles with 12.61 million copies sold worldwide to date.
Sony entered the portable gaming market with the PlayStation Portable on 1 September 2005 to compete with Nintendo's GameBoy and new Nintendo DS handheld consoles. Sony's recommended price for the PlayStation Portable was significantly higher than other portable gaming consoles of the time, at £179.
The PSP Go, launched on 1 October 2009, had a difficult entrace to the market as retailers abandoned its £225 price a week into its launch, dropping it to a more reasonable £199.99. Importantly the PSP Go dropped support for physical games, using digital downloads rather than the Universal Media Discs of the previous PlayStation Portable.
Grand Theft Auto Liberty City Stories, released on 28 October 2005, was the highest selling game of the original PlayStation Portable's generation, with 7.47 million copies sold worldwide.
The PlayStation Vita is Sony's latest portable games console which launched on 22 February 2012 for £229.99. The Vita returned to a physical game medium with PlayStation Vita game cards, flash drives similar to those found in digital cameras, abandoning the digital-only strategy of the PSP Go.
Uncharted Golden Abyss, released on 22 February 2012, is the highest-selling game of the current generation of PlayStation Vita, with 0.87 million copies sold worldwide to date.

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