15 Years of PlayStation

29Dec09

This is a bit late, but earlier this month Sony celebrated 15 years of the PlayStation brand. Before the PlayStation, the only two real contenders making home consoles with any real market share was Nintendo and Sega. Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis ruled the living room. Sonic and Mario.

Then in 1995 after breaking up from a partnership with Nintendo that would have given birth to a CD-based Nintendo console, Sony launched the original PlayStation and took the world by storm ushering in the 3D gaming as the new standard. Nintendo launched the N64 the following year in Japan, refusing to go the CD route and the rest is history. They continued to lag behind in the PS1, and then the Gamecube’s kiddy image prevented it from fending off the PS2. Microsoft launched their Xbox and became the third real player in the video game industry. Since then all three companies have launched consoles that make up the current generation, with Nintendo and their Wii still dominating worldwide sales despite slowing momentum, and the Xbox 360 taking all the hardcore gamers away from Sony. The release of Final Fantasy XIII in Japan in Japan recently has significantly bolstered PS3 sales, but whether that small uptick can be maintained is still anyone’s guess.

Let’s not forget Sony also released several iterations of their PlayStation Portable to keep Nintendo from completely owning the handheld market. The world is a lot different now, Sony is no longer the number one electronics producer in the world, that title now belongs to Samsung. Apple is taking the world by storm with innovative hardware and software that work extremely well in tandem. Sony can no longer keep ripping off competitors ideas and changing designs just ever so slightly.

The last 15 years have been great for Sony, but what about the next 15? The PlayStation 3 isn’t the holy grail that the PS1 was. With competitors who are really stepping up and innovating, Sony is lagging. Sony has long stated that the life-cycle for its PlayStation consoles will last 10 years. Only time will tell.

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