I remember a friend of mine importing the PlayStation in 1995 before it released in the US. I also remember thinking it was a huge waste of time and money, because nobody would ever top Nintendo and Sega.
Yes, well, one of the many times I've been very, very wrong. Today, Sony Computer Entertainment (SCEA) celebrates 15 years of PlayStation in North America; since that time, gamers around the world have "helped the company to revolutionize the video game industry, moving the industry from traditional cartridge-based gaming to disc-based solutions, introducing gamers to in-depth, high-resolution and real time 3D computer graphics, and in later years to technical innovations like Blu-Ray and stereoscopic 3D entertainment for the home." So of course, there's a lot to celebrate. Said SCEA CEO Jack Tretton:
"When you look in the rearview mirror at what was happening in 1995 you see that the video game industry was an entirely different animal. Cartridges were still the preferred medium, and the market was a modest $2.6 billion in sales revenue annually. Many critics thought that a disc-based console with a lot of horse power would shoot over the heads of consumers, but our users proved them wrong. Now, we are seeing a convergence of video games and home entertainment, and a market that is a robust $20 billion in revenue. In the next 15 years and beyond PlayStation will continue to bring new and more immersive experiences, like stereoscopic 3D, augmented reality as well as genre-defying gameplay into consumer living rooms."
The press release goes on to mention classic franchises such as Gran Turismo , along with "building new genres" with the likes of LittleBigPlanet and Heavy Rain . If you've appreciated what Sony has done over the past decade and a half, or you simply want to reap the benefits, check out the following ways the company plans to celebrate:
— Free downloadable PS3 & PSP static themes available for download on the PlayStation®Store starting today.
— Weekly discounts on select PS One® titles within the PlayStation®15th anniversary collection page, available in all SCEA territories on PS3, PSP & Media Go Storefronts. In addition to a 50 percent sale on Super Rub A Dub (Super Rub A Dub offer good from Thursday, September 9, 2010 – through Monday, September 20, 2010).
— A PlayStation®Home commemorative Original PlayStation® (PS One®) ornament for personal spaces available starting today.
So for the next few months, feel free to take advantage. PlayStation has sold over 377 million hardware consoles since 1995 and more than 2 billion software units globally; here in the US alone, Sony has managed to generate over $63 billion in revenue…which equates to 40% of the overall video game market share in this country to date.