20 Years Ago Today…

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20 Years Ago Today…

Where were you 20 years ago?

I was in Tokyo, already enjoying my PlayStation as it had launched over nine months earlier in Japan, December 3, 1994, and I am sure I was still chasing the final black racer in Ridge well into 1995. By the time the PlayStation launched in North America on 9/9/95, I was splitting my time between Tekken and Battle Arena Toshinden and trying to get a US copy of ESPN Street Games (incidentally, the first game I worked on at SCEI to localize for the Japanese market.)

Those were exciting and pioneering times for all of us: new technology, the arcade experience in the home, and no guarantee that we would still be around come the turn of the century –- or sooner. Exciting times indeed.


But we did make it. And thanks to the dedication and passion of the greatest gaming community of all time, the PlayStation Nation, we are celebrating the twentieth birthday of the original PlayStation system, which officially launched in North America on September 9th, 1995. At its launch, PlayStation was a stylish, powerful, developer-friendly game console that popularized polygonal 3D graphics and CD playback of games and music.


Will you be playing any classic PlayStation games today to celebrate? I’m going to fire up my PS3 and see if I have retained any of my wipEout anti-grav skills. Damn that game was rock hard, and it still has the best soundtrack ever.

If you want to share your celebration of the twentieth anniversary with your fellow gamers, I’m also pleased to announce the launch of a 20th Anniversary SHAREfactory theme which will be available today for free on PlayStation Store in North America.

ShareFactory PlayStation 20th Anniversary themeShareFactory PlayStation 20th Anniversary theme

Before I go, I wanted to point out that PlayStation.Blog is celebrating PlayStation’s big 2-0 today and tomorrow, so keep your eyes peeled. Look out for a tough-as-nails trivia quiz, a video unboxing of the original PlayStation, and a chance for PlayStation fans to officially name the best PlayStation game of all time.



20th Anniversary DualShock 4 20th Anniversary Wireless Headset
20th Anniversary DualShock 4
20th Anniversary Wireless Headset

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  • Congrats Shawn and the rest of the PlayStation team!

    20 years ago I was probably browsing through my local KB Toys when I happened upon a PS1 demo station. Blown away by the graphics at the time and the freedom of movement in games like Battle Arena Toshinden I knew this was the start of a new era of gaming. Glad you’ve come this far and can’t wait to see what’s next :-)

    • I believe it was KMart for me. :p

    • The PS1 is so amazing I can’t believe we still can’t play it on PS4.

    • I remember being at EPCOT Center’s Innovations and playing with the PS1 for a while. I played Spyro and was pretty confused about the freedom of the map. I remember I couldn’t understand that concept of “not having to always move forward” yet… I ended up going with a Dreamcast and then eventually Shenmue and Phantasy Star Online changed my point of view. After the Dreamcast imploded I bought a PS2 and from that moment on I kept purchasing ever Sony system until today. Congratulations on making Video Game history for 20 years.

    • Yes Paulogy, it was amazing for it’s time and is still amazing today–then came PS2 and the famed ‘backward compatibility’ which was a big selling point. The first PS3, of which I own 2, was likewise backward compatible–then came the news that Sony was stopping that feature hence my 2nd PS3 was not backwards compatible! What’s going on?
      NOW the competition, Microsoft X-box, is coming out with–you guessed it–BACKWARD COMPATIBLIITY!! Which was once the sole provenance of Sony is now being picked up by X-box and this feature will sell them a LOT of units. Why did Sony drop the ball on this feature only to have it shoved in their face today by the competition? In the console wars this is a big win for X-box and it comes, very sadly, at Sony’s expense.
      So as much as I loved the PS1 which drew me into the PS2 whose backward compatibility sold me as I didn’t have to give up my PS1 games, then they drop it. Why? Bring it back so we can enjoy ALL games on the PS4–and when you do then I’ll be first in line to buy one.

  • I can say that two games that pushed the art to the limits and made it great were Metal Gear Solid & Final Fantasy VII.

  • It has been 20 awesome years and I’m glad I was around to experience it all. Here’s to the future of PlayStation! 2016 is going to be another pivotal year, I can feel it.

    Thanks for all the great memories!

  • Congratz for the level up :)

  • At the time, I was a teenager…During the original console wars, I was really getting burned out…then when I heard of the Playstation, I was like really…Sony wanted to join in and make games…Being a hardcore gamer then (and now) I decided to be open minded to give the Playstation a try…now 20 years later, I haven’t even considered another console or even PC gaming. It won over my heart and gave me many hours of enjoyment. Now being a tad bit older and having kids and seeing them enjoying the many games that I enjoyed when I was there age just puts a smile on my face. I just wanted to stop by and say thank you for the last 20 years and for the many years to come…

  • Yes!!! Shawn layden plays wipEout!!!

  • Loving the subtle “U R NOT (red) e” there. It’s been a while since I’ve seen that :)

  • I bought a PSone with my first paycheck from my first job.

  • Congratulations Playstation!

  • I got my PS1 at the Babbage’s Software in the local mall, but I never bothered with a PS2. I did recently own a PS3 for about a year and have since moved on to a PS4. Really hoping the game catalog on the PS4 expands a quicker, as I recently got rid of the PS3 about six months ago. I am not buying games for a outdated system, after seeing the quality of the PS4. LOL.

  • FFVII was such an amazing game and experience for me on PS1, although Ultimate MK3 definitely got the most played at college! Probably the original Resident Evil was my all time fave; never experienced anything like that before. And of course, the start up logo and sound will always sound brilliant.

  • best game for PS 1 has to be ape escape. its the game that made the dual shock controller what it is today.

  • GET IN, PLAYSTATION! Here’s to 20 more years! <3 #ForThePlayers

  • I was busy thinking “Who does Sony think they are getting into my hobby?”. Ah, to be a naive 15 year old. Two years later I’d buy my PS1 and never look back. With over 650 physical games in my collection across 6 platforms it’s safe to say I’m a fan.

    Happy anniversary!

  • I started off with a PS1 in 1999, then a PS2 in 2001, PSP in 2010, and most recently a PS3 in 2011.

    I’ll buy a Vita and PS4 eventually, just waiting until I have enough money set aside.

  • My friend and I still reference U R NOT [red] e.

    I balked when I first heard of the PlayStation. Didn’t like the name, and I think the first picture of it I saw the controller had multi-colored buttons, which the teenage me found silly.

    But I rented the console from Blockbuster a bunch of times, and was impressed by the games — Twisted Metal and ESPN Street Games were early stand-outs. When I played Resident Evil sometime later at a friend’s house, I knew I needed to have one of my own.

  • Happy 20 years. I Love Playstation!!! Had a friend that bought an original playstation. I loved it so much I had to get one myself and have owned everything since. Congrats!!

    Please make ps4 backwards compatible, my library is huge. I have spent lots of $ on psn over the years and will continue to do so.
    Please make ps2 classics playable on Vita and please bundle 3D, HD & SD movies so I can stop buying blu rays.

    • I’m no programmer, but I would think there’s a way to make an app for the ps4 or something that can play psone games. Seems like pretty simply hardware to emulate compared to ps4. This would make my day as well.

    • They definitely should’ve nade the PS4 Backwards Compatible. Somehow someone already managed to get a Gameboy Emulator on the PS4 so I don’t know what is it with SONY not doing it for PSOne/2.

  • Going to boot up my Vita and play some FF7 and Tekken 2. Would be nice if my PS4 could share in the joy ><

    Remember when Backward Compatibility was important to sony?

  • Happy anniversary, I’ve been a user since the very beggining. It’s funny that when I bought the PSX (used to call it that way) I was 14 I guess and I thought it was a Nintendo console, I asked for Killent Instinc and the vendor said to me “I don’t think that’s going to happen because is a Nintendo game” and I was “Well… isn’t the PSX a Nintendo system?” I ended up buying Tomb Raider and it blew my mind.

    PS2 was the first system I bought with my own money, so many memories (although I did save close to $100 to buy the first PSX but it was mostly a gift from my mother).

  • I received my psx as a a Christmas gift in 1999 with final fantasy viii. That open cinematic is still one of my favorite video game moments. I didn’t think that games would ever look better than thay

  • Breath of Fire III and Final Fantasy VII…the two games that made me want a PlayStation SO BADLY. Happy 20th! Has one of the greatest game libraries in console history!

  • Was I really only five when the original PlayStation came out? That’s pretty nuts… thanks for a lifetime of memories, PlayStation! <3

  • Ah I remember the first time I played the PS1. It was Christmas of 1998. There were three games for it:

    Ridge Racer
    Independence Day
    Street Fighter EX Plus Alpha

    And this was the start of my love for the console and brand itself. Then here come the Crash games. And then Rival Schools. Then my favorite game of all time: Threads of Fate.

    Sony thank you for creating the console that gave me so many memories in my favorite hobby.

  • Absolutely pathetic we have to fire up our PS3s to celebrate. This would have been the perfect time to enable PS1 emulation on the PS4.

  • Crash Bandicoot 2 was my very first game by the begging of my journey on the PlayStation :) and has since then always remained as my number 1 fave game of all that i have played XD

    I Seriously hope Sony considers buying the Rights of Crash from Activision to make the franchise once again become Sony exclusive

  • The system that started it all for me!

    Went from my Sega Genesis/32X/CD amalgamation to a PS1 and never looked back.
    I was lucky enough to score a 20th Anniversary PS4 as well.

    Good time to roll out PS1 backward compatibility on PS4?

  • Wow has it really been that long! I remember that in anticipation of using my Christmas money to buy an original PlayStation back in 1995, I actually bought a game (Mortal Kombat 3) for it a month before I got the system itself! Reading this post I had to go pull that game out and reflect on that memory. Those original PS1 boxes were HUGE and actually still had a meaningful instruction booklet in it! I still own my PS1,2,3,4, PSP, and Vita along with hundreds of games that I have gotten over the years. Thank you Sony for the memories and congratulations on your anniversary :)

    PS I think I’m going to fire up a little MK3 right now to celebrate the occasion!

    • Ok that was interesting. In celebration of today’s 20 year anniversary, I booted up MK3 (my first PS1 game) for the first time probably over a decade. I was crushing it with Nightwolf, thinking that none of my skills had left me over the years…. Then Motaro absolutely destroyed me :/

  • I remember I was in college when the ps1 was released. I ended up selling my entire comic collection in order to get me one.
    Every night, my entire dorm floor would crowd into my room, and we’d all play Battle Arena Toshinden for hours. Killer memories.

  • I didnt come into the PS family until sometime in 1999. I was going thru a lot of things between 1995 and 1999 that kept me from being able to own my own ps system. However, i did play a little PS1 here and there when i had a chance.

    However finally in 1999 when i was able to get my first PlayStation the very first game i got was FFVII. Was always a FF fan since NES days.

    Since 1999 tho i have been apart of the PS Nation and hope to always be apart of PS Nation for as long as im alive and that Sony and PlayStation are still around.

    Us gamers may go thru things in life that take us away from gaming, but that gaming part of us will always be there, even if for that moment in time we personally cant be there to enjoy it.

  • 20 Years Ago Today…I wasn’t born lol.

  • Castlevania: SOTN, Intelligent Qube and Techmo’s Deception are just a few of my favorites from the original PlayStation. Long live PlayStation!

  • Happy birthday PlayStation!!! It’s been a great 20 years. Here’s to 20 more and beyond!!!

  • My OG PlayStation is still kicking it, even after being dropped a few times and vomited on! Although I occasionally have to position it vertically for it to work. Still fondly remember my Dad taking me to Toys R Us to buy it, along with Mortal Kombat Trilogy.

  • Debbie Downer here, I used to love the PlayStation brand, spent thousands of dollars from the PS1 all the way to PS3 if you count the consoles and the countless games I bought on the PS1, PS2, PSP, and PS3. From a nostalgia standpoint, congrats on 20 years. Some of them were really rocky, like almost the entire lifespan of the PS3 from the poor sales, steep price, and the hacking. . .

  • Congratulations on the milestone. I have a lot of good memories going over my cousins house to play PS1. Cheers!

  • Yeah… Family took me and my brother to Orlando… brother and I polled our savings to get a psOne and Pandemonium!
    Man, that game was fuuun!
    Choose Playstation and never looked back since.

  • For me it was Funcoland. That is where I first played the OG Playstation

  • 20 years ago, I was a silly infant but I’ve still grown up with PlayStation. Around age 4 my parents bought me a PSOne, I spent every night I could just playing games on the demo disc the PS came with, it was happiness. PS2 was fun but PS3 was the first thing I worked my butt off to earn, and that was where I turned hardcore gamer. I bought a PS4 on release but there wasn’t much keeping me there; I bought another one nearly a year ago and it’s had a couple of worthy gems, BUT PS4’s upcoming releases have me feeling like a kid again. Well, anyways, thank you Sony for helping raise me, I appreciate all of our years together. <3

  • It would be nice to pile up the existing sale with a flash one with deals under a dollar, so I could grab a few more PS1 Classics.

  • Bought my first PSX in its middle of its life cycle @ Toys “R” Us. My first games was Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee & Castlevania: Symphony of the Night.
    The one thing that really stood out for me at the time was when I turned one of the game cds over. i said to myself, “Why are the bellies on these cds black?!? Weird…”

    • I remember thinking they were black at first, too, but, they’re actually dark blue/purple-ish. You can see the color when you hold them up to a light. The “film” appeared black from being so tightly wrapped around the disc.

  • 20 years ago today, I picked up my PlayStation at Electronics Boutique in Holyoke, MA– along with a memory card, Ridge Racer, and NBA Jam: T.E. Unfortunately, the Zenith television set that I used for gaming in my bedroom wound up being incompatible (which I found out after returning one console, and then repeated phone calls to Customer Service). After setting it up on my living room TV, though, the fun began. I spent the rest of the weekend playing my new games, and haven’t looked back since.

    My library of PlayStation games passed the 300 mark last month, and it continues to rise. Popping in games like Ace Combat 2, PaRappa the Rapper, Jumping Flash! 2, Spyro the Dragon, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, and others each recalls to mind certain memories, and each is a trip back in time that I enjoy taking.

    It’s been one heck of a 20-year span for SCEA. My sincerest congratulations to all, and best wishes for continued success over the next 20 years… and beyond.

  • Thanks for the shoutout!

    PlayStation Nation


  • Still have my PS1, PS2, PS3, PSP 1000, PSP 3000, PS Vita, and of course my PS4. The first game I got for my PS1 was Wrestlemania. Kind of cheesy today but me and my friends had a blast playing it in my first apartment. It also had a couple of characters that the SNES didn’t. After that it was NFL Gameday and NCAA Gamebreaker and much beer.

  • Happy anniversary! Really wish ps1/ps2 games from the PlayStation store were available on ps4. Either stream or purchase. I love the ps4 but it does feel disconnected in that sense. Playing ps1 games on ps3 just feels so right.

  • 20 years ago today… Kutaragi brought his band to play!

    I still have the first game I bought for my Playstation (Blast Chamber) and the first game I ever played (Space Griffon VF-9). Here’s to another 20 and more Play Beyond!

  • I rented a PlayStation from Blockbuster 3 times before buying my own. Rented Tomb Raider, NBA Shootout, and a horrible game called Silverload (from the same people that brought us the legendary Clash At Demonhead?!? No way!).

    Tomb Raider sold me on the PlayStation. Finally bought one along with Tobal No.1, True Pinball, and Project Overkill as my first crop of games. Ended with 73 games before moving on to PS2.

  • Happy Anniversary!
    First time I tried ps was when my neighbor’s aunt bought him one and we would always play every weekends.
    Took me long before I got my own system, bought a ps3 2 years ago lol, I’ll get a ps4 some time next year.

  • Congrats on 20 years! I recently re-acquired a PS1 and I have to admit those early first-gen 3D polygonal graphics are tough to look at these days and don’t really hold up all that well. In fact I’ll be honest I was a much bigger N64 fan back then. However at the same time I appreciated and respected what the PS1 represented in terms of a shift or revolution for the industry – it really was the start of the modern era we have today. Kudos!

  • Man, Gran Turismo 2 was my favorite PS1 game during my childhood days. It only not get me into racing games, but it also got me into cars overall.

    Happy Anniversary Playstation 1

  • I thought we’d exchange presents on this anniversary PlayStation :( I know that if I gave my wife a quiz, a video unboxing of a 20 year old relic, and a chance for her to pick the best moment of our time together, she would 100% leave me lol.

    As for memories, I got my PS1 for Christmas about a year or 2 or 3 after it came out (I forget). I got Crash Bandicoot Warped, played it for like 5 hours or more on Christmas Day with people around, and found out I couldn’t save it because I didn’t have a memory card.

    And that’s how my love affair with a company that charged me to save games happened 20 or so years ago. And they still do ;D (for Vita) But soon it shall be over as I won’t be buying a PS4 ever. It was good while it lasted :)

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