The story of the birth of the PlayStation is not a boring production drama, but an action-packed thriller with betrayal, risk and secrets. The main characters in it were two. The first is the long-standing leader of the entire video game company, Nintendo. The second – by the beginning of the 90s, the fifth talented Sony engineer by the name of Ken Kutaragi, who had already exchanged for the fifth decade.
At that time in the company Sony, which was primarily engaged in the production of audio equipment and CDs, no one even thought about entering the video game entertainment market, which posed considerable risks and severe competition, not to mention the creation of its own set-top box. None but one person.
When Nintendo turned to Sony with the proposal to create a sound chip for the new 16-bit set-top box SNES, this deal did not arouse much interest among the management Sony and was rejected. But Kutaragi saw in video games the potential of the future mass cult and a multi-million dollar industry. He was introduced to popular entertainment by his own daughter, who spent hours playing the predecessor SNES8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System. Secret from the leadership Ken signed with Nintendo contract and personally developed a sound chip for the new set-top box. By the standards of Japanese corporate culture, with its strict conservative rules, it was professional suicide.
Ken Kutaragi is a real technosamurai that the PlayStation owes to everyone
When the authorities found out about what had happened, almost all managers Sony demanded the immediate dismissal of the presumptuous insolent. Only the then president of the company Norio Oge managed to defend the fate of a talented protege. It was not necessary to regret it: soon Nintendo suggested Sony contract to produce millions created Kutaragi chips. The next joint project of two future competitors was to become a CD addon for SNES and a separate version of the console, supporting modern digital media. The device has received a name that today seems to be sheer surrealism: Nintendo play station.
But to enter the market this version of the console was not destined. And the reason for this was perhaps the most treacherous betrayal in the history of the video game business.
Bye in Sony preparing for the announcement Play stationdissatisfied with contract details Nintendo secretly led his own game. Thunder struck in the summer of 1991 at the Chicago Electronics Show, from which Sony solemnly announced a partnership with Nintendo and presented to the public a joint development.
The once ambitious device today is represented by a couple of copies worldwide
The next day, the head rose to the same scene. Nintendo of America Howard Lincoln and no less solemnly announced the creation of a CD add-on for SNES in collaboration with… Philips! Representatives Sony sat in the hall and saw everything with their own eyes. It was a real humiliation. Philips was not just a competitor: it was in collaboration with a Dutch company Sony developed CDs in the early 80s. And now the former partners are paired with Nintendo thrust a knife into her back. It seemed to everyone that history Sony in the gaming industry ended before it started.
“Don’t underestimate the power of the PlayStation.”
But u Ken Kutaragi there were other considerations in this regard. At a management meeting Sonywhere fate was to be decided PlaystationHe insisted on additional investment in the project. And he had a solid argument. Again acting in secret from his superiors, with the support of several other engineers, he developed a revolutionary technology for applying 3D textures in real time, codenamed System G. Together with the possibilities Sony in the field of equipment, this system could revolutionize the field of video games. Ken again was on the verge of being fired. And again vouched for him Norio Oga. The project was given a green light, the space in the name of the prefix was removed, and Kutaragi allocated a solid team and funding. But that was not enough.
5 years after the release of the PlayStation, PS One was released – an early prototype of Slim versions of consoles. The usual PlayStaion began to be called “fatty”
Main lesson which Sony managed to extract by watching the video game market – even the most technologically advanced console is doomed to failure without the support of third-party developers. And thanks to the individual approach and willingness to assist in the development, creators Playstation managed to attract the best of the best. Konami, Squaresoft, Ubisoft, Electronic arts, Capcom, Namco, Activision – here is a far from complete list of companies that we managed to get Sony.
It is simply impossible to list all the noteworthy games from the first PlayStation within the framework of such a text. The transition to full 3D graphics, as a new standard, marked the emergence of new game genres and pushed the boundaries of the old.
Let be SNES was a storehouse of Japanese RPGs, but only on Playstation With its revolutionary technology and roomy CDs, this genre has flourished in all its glory and scale. Horror games existed long before the console from Sonybut the real face of horror was first shown to the players Resident evil and Silent hill. Hideo kojima invented stealth as a genre and practiced postmodern things on Msxbut precisely Metal gear solid secured him the status of the Creator with a capital letter and showed the whole world what A hideo kojima game. With regard to video games, they first started talking seriously about things such as staging and directing.
In addition, the romantic era was still standing in the yard, when even large gaming companies could afford bold experiments, unthinkable by modern standards. Overturned to Sony from Nintendo company Squaresoft in between large budget license plates Final fantasy released an unlike elder brothers gameplay deep spin-offs Final fantasy tacticstextcentric Xenogears and hardcore Vagrant story. Under the direction of Sony the first modern rhythm game was created – PaRappa the Rapper.
Even perceived today as a soulless corporation stamping conveyor sports simulators, Electronic arts acted as the publisher of unusual projects like a plasticine platformer Skullmonkeys. But not all games had to pave new roads in order to become world hits. For example, the creators Gran turismo and Tekken 3 did not do anything fundamentally new. They just did what they could, better than everyone else.
Relevance of Heritage Playstation easy to appreciate by looking at the modern gaming industry. Adventure Game Bestsellers Uncharted largely go back to the good old Tomb raider. Exiting now almost every day, “metro-diving” would have been impossible without Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. A Dark souls and her many imitators owe their appearance to the action-RPG forgotten by many King’s field. Finally, it’s enough to pay attention to the number of recent and future remakes and remasters of games with Playstation: Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy, Spyro Reignited Trilogy, Grandia hd, Final Fantasy 8 Remastered, Final Fantasy 7: Remake, Resident evil 2, Medievil…
It seems the request for games of the era PS1 it only gets stronger with time. And it’s not just nostalgia. The success of the updated versions of these games showed that many of their gameplay elements are not out of date at all, and things like graphics, controls and the interface easily fix the notorious updates.
Remembering the first Playstationimpossible to ignore the revolutionary controller Dualshock. The reverse feedback that first appeared in it, provided by two built-in vibration motors, further enhanced immersion in virtual worlds. And the gamepad form factor from Sony and its button configuration with four shifters and two analog sticks has been the standard for the gaming industry for the third decade. Now it’s hard to imagine that everything could have been otherwise. But look at the gamepads Nintendo 64 or Dreamcast and try to imagine a world in which Dualshock It never happened. Creepy, isn’t it?
Playstation lived for 12 years by the standards of the industry, became the founder of a whole family of home and portable set-top boxes and forever remained in the hearts of gamers around the world. It’s hard to say whether any other console had such an impact on the development of video game technologies as the brainchild Ken Kutaragi.