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    Sony’s PlayStation brand was introduced on December 3, 1994, and since then, four major PlayStation consoles have been released, all of which have received slim versions, and refreshed designs. The latest console, PlayStation 4, broke a sales record of selling over 100 million units this year, keeping the number one position on the gaming industry.

    From the original PlayStation’s 3D polygon graphics to PlayStation 4’s 4K resolution, the brand has made an amazing journey with some of the best titles ever released, changing the way gaming used to be. In this list, we are going through each generation and model, taking a close look at their specs, and what made each one unique!

    Playstation (1994)

    CPU: RISC MIPS R3000A (32-bit) – 33 MHz
    GPU: R800A (32-bit) – 33 MHz
    Memory: 2 MB EDO DRAM
    Storage: Memory Cards of 1 MB
    Optical Drive: CD-ROM
    Video Output: S-Video, SCART (RGB)
    Resolution: 256×224, 640×480 (SD)
    Audio: 16-bit, 24 Channel ADPCM, Stereo

    Release Date: December 3, 1994
    Code Name: PSX
    Generation: Fifth
    Status: Discontinued, March 23, 2006
    Release Price: $299
    Units Sold: 102.49 million
    Best-selling Game: Gran Turismo, 10.85 million

    Sony entered the market of consoles back in 1994 with the release of PlayStation. The product was announced under the name “Play Station” in May 1991 at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in a corporation with Nintendo. After that partnership fell apart, Sony went on to release a console of its own. PlayStation launched in Japan after the release of its rival Sega Saturn and the sales began with a stunning success with long lines in stores, selling 100,000 units on the first day, and then two million units after six months on the market.

    Sony’s approach to third-party developers was a big part of the PlayStation success. By the end of 1996, almost 400 games were being developed for the PlayStation, while 200 and 60 games for the Saturn and the Nintendo 64. A wild variety of games were offered for the original PlayStation over its 11-year run and some of the best-selling games of PlayStation are Gran Turismo, Final Fantasy VII, Crash Bandicoot, and Tekken 3.

    The PlayStation controller is the first controller released by Sony using geometric shapes of a green triangle, a red circle, a blue cross, and a pink square. The original version was released alongside the console on December 3, 1994. Besides the console and controller, the memory cards were valuable back then for saving your game progress, and they came out in a total of 1 megabyte. Sony released a few peripherals for the console such as a PlayStation mouse, an Analog Joystick and a Link Cable to connect two consoles to play compatible multiplayer games on separate consoles.

    As of March 2006, PlayStation sold 102.49 million units worldwide. Games for the PlayStation continued to sell until 23 of March 2006, were Sony ended the production of both PlayStation console and games.

    PS One (2000)

    CPU: RISC MIPS R3000A (32-bit) – 33 MHz
    GPU: R800A (32-bit) – 33 MHz
    Memory: 2 MB EDO DRAM
    Memory Cards: 1 MB
    Optical Drive: CD-ROM
    Video Output: S-Video, SCART (RGB)
    Resolution: 256×224, 640×480 (SD)
    Audio: 16-bit, 24 Channel ADPCM, Stereo

    Release Date: July 7, 2000
    Generation: Fifth
    Status: Discontinued March 26, 2006
    Release Price: $299
    Units Sold: 28.15 million

    Six years later, a redesigned, slim version was released under the name PS One, having the same hardware specifications. They replaced the original grey color with white and named it appropriately to avoid confusion with its successor, PlayStation 2. It was the highest-selling console through the end of the year, outselling all other consoles, including Sony’s own PlayStation 2.

    The PS One is fully compatible with all PlayStation software, but compatibility with peripherals may vary. The PS One model also had additional changes, including the removal of the parallel and serial ports from the rear of the console, and the removal of the reset button. Sony also released a version with a 5″ LCD screen compatible with the console, calling it a Combo pack.

    The last PS One consoles were sold at the end of 2006 shortly after it was officially discontinued, for a total of 102 million units shipped since its launch eleven years earlier and less than a year before the debut of the PlayStation 3.

    Playstation 2 (2000)

    CPU: MIPS R5900 (64-bit) – 294 MHz
    GPU: Graphics Synthesizer – 147 MHz
    Memory: 32 MB RDRAM
    Hard Drive: 40 GB HDD (Released on July 19, 2001)
    Memory Cards: 8 MB
    Optical Drive: CD-ROM, DVD-ROM
    Video Output: AV Multi Out
    Resolution: 720×480 (SD), 1280×720 (HD)
    Network: PlayStation 2 Network Adapter
    Audio: 5.1 Surround Sound, Stereo

    Release Date: March 4, 2000
    Generation: Sixth
    Status: January 4, 2013
    Release Price: $299
    Units Sold: 155 million (as of March 31, 2012)
    Best-selling Game: Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, 17.33 million

    Soon after the first sixth-generation console to be released, Sega’s Dreamcast, Sony unveiled the PlayStation 2 at the Tokyo Game Show on September 20, 1999, and released in July 2011. Sales of the console, games, and accessories pulled in $250 million on the first day, beating the $97 million made on the first day of the Dreamcast.

    The hardware uses the Emotion Engine CPU, a custom-designed processor based on the MIPS architecture with a floating-point performance of 6.2 GFLOPS, and the custom-designed Graphics Synthesizer GPU, with a fillrate of 2.4 gigapixels/second, capable of rendering up to 75 million polygons per second.

    Software for the PlayStation 2 was distributed primarily on DVD-ROM, with some titles being published on CD-ROM. Also, the console can play audio CDs and DVD movies and is backward compatible with almost all original PlayStation games. The PlayStation 2 also supports PlayStation memory cards and controllers, although original PlayStation memory cards will only work with original PlayStation games and the controllers may not support all functions, such as analog buttons, for PlayStation 2 games.

    Some of the following titles were released exclusively for the console, Grand Theft Auto, Final Fantasy, and Metal Gear Solid. Some of the most popular series started from PlayStation 2, such as Kingdom Hearts, God of War, and Devil May Cry. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas was the best-selling game on the console. Some games on the PlayStation 2 support online multiplayer gaming through the use of a broadband internet connection and a PlayStation 2 Network Adapter.

    The PlayStation 2 initially sold well and making a great success based on the PlayStation brand and the console’s feature of backward compatibility. Announced in 1999, the PlayStation 2 offered backward compatibility for its predecessor’s DualShock controller, as well as for its games. The PlayStation 2 is the best-selling video game console of all time, having sold over 155 million units worldwide. Over 3,800 game titles have been released for the console, with over 1.5 billion copies sold.

    Playstation 2 Slim (2004)

    CPU: MIPS R5900 (64-bit) – 294 MHz
    GPU:
    Graphics Synthesizer – 147 MHz
    Memory:
    32 MB RDRAM
    Hard Drive:
    40 GB HDD (Released on July 19, 2001)
    Memory
    Cards: 8 MB
    Optical Drive:
    CD-ROM, DVD-ROM
    Video Output:
    AV Multi Out
    Resolution:
    720×480 (SD), 1280×720 (HD)
    Network:
     Ethernet
    Audio:
    5.1 Surround Sound, Stereo

    Release Date: October 29, 2004
    Generation: Sixth
    Status: Discontinued January 4, 2013
    Release Price: $299

    In September 2004, Sony unveiled its third major hardware revision. In late October 2004, a smaller, thinner, and quieter slim version of the PlayStation 2 was released, including a built-in Ethernet port. Due to its thinner, the slim version does not support the internal hard disk drive. It also lacks an internal power supply and has a modified Multitap expansion.

    At the beginning of 2005, it was found that some black slimline console power transformers manufactured between August and December 2004 were defective and could overheat. The units were recalled by Sony and replaced by a 2005 model.

    In July 2007, Sony started shipping a revision of the slimline PlayStation 2 featuring a reduced weight of 600 grams compared to 900 grams of the previous slim version, achieved through a reduction in parts. The unit also uses a smaller motherboard as well as a custom ASIC which houses the Emotion Engine, Graphics Synthesizer, and the RDRAM. The AC adaptor’s weight was also reduced to 250 grams from the 350 grams in the previous revision.

    Playstation 3 (2006)

    CPU: Cell Broadband Engine 6-core – 3.2 GHz
    GPU: Nvidia/SCEI RSX – 550 MHz
    Memory: 256 MB XDR
    Hard Drive: 2.5” Serial ATA 80 GB HDD
    Optical Drive: Blue-ray, CD-ROM, DVD-ROM
    Video Output: HDMI (Up to 1080p), AV Multi Out
    Resolution: 720×480 (SD), 1280×720 (HD), 1920×1080 (Full HD)
    Network: Ethernet, Wireless
    Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound

    Release Date: November 11, 2006
    Generation: Seventh
    Status: Discontinued October 2016
    Release Price: $499
    Units Sold: 87.4 million (as of March 31, 2017)
    Best-selling Game: Grand Theft Auto V, 21.3 million

    The console was first officially announced at E3 2005 and was released at the end of 2006. It was the first console to use Blu-ray Disc as its primary storage medium. The console was the first PlayStation to integrate social gaming services, including the PlayStation Network, as well as the first to be controllable from a handheld console, through its remote connectivity with PlayStation Portable and PlayStation Vita.

    The PlayStation 3 development began in 2001 when Sony announced a collaboration with Toshiba and IBM to the Cell microprocessor. Sony officially unveiled the PlayStation 3 console to the public on May 16, 2005, at E3 2005.

    PlayStation 3 launched with 14 titles. After the first week of sales, it was confirmed that Resistance: Fall of Man from Insomniac Games was the top-selling launch game in North America. As of March 31, 2012, there have been 595 million games sold for PlayStation 3. The best selling games are Grand Theft Auto V, The Last of Us, Gran Turismo 5, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves and Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception.

    During its early years, the system was receiving negative reviews, due to its high price, $599 for a 60-gigabyte model and $499 for a 20 GB model. A big problem was also the complex processor architecture, and the lack of quality games, but that was praised for its Blu-ray capabilities and “untapped potential”. The system had a slow start in the market but managed to recover, particularly after the introduction of the Slim model.

    Playstation 3 Slim (2009)

    CPU: Cell Broadband Engine 8-core – 3.2 GHz
    GPU: Nvidia/SCEI RSX – 550 MHz
    Memory: 256 MB
    Hard Drive: 120 GB HDD
    Optical Drive: Blue-ray, CD-ROM, DVD-ROM
    Video Output: HDMI (Up to 1080p), AV Multi Out
    Resolution: 720×480 (SD), 1280×720 (HD), 1920×1080 (Full HD)
    Network: Ethernet, Wireless
    Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound

    Release Date: September 1, 2009
    Generation: Seventh
    Status: Discontinued October 2016
    Release Price: $299

    The slim version of PlayStation 3 no longer provided the hardware ability to run PlayStation 2 games. It was lighter and thinner than the original console and featured a redesigned logo and marketing design.

    The slimmer version of the PlayStation 3 features an upgradeable 120 GB, 160 GB, 250 GB or 320 GB hard drive and is 32% smaller, 36% lighter and consumes 34% less power than the previous model.

    The Cell microprocessor has moved to a 45 nm manufacturing process, which makes it cooler and quieter than any previous model, redesigning the cooling system too. The RSX moved to a 40 nm process in the latest revision.

    The PlayStation 3 Slim no longer had the ‘main power’ button like the original console, similar to the PlayStation 2 Slim version. After the backward compatibility was not featured on the Slim version, Sony announced a new series of PlayStation 2 remasters, called Classics HD, including PS2 and PSP titles remastered in HD.

    Playstation 3 Super Slim (2012)

    CPU: Cell Broadband Engine 8-core – 3.2 GHz
    GPU: Nvidia/SCEI RSX – 550 MHz
    Memory: 256 MB
    Hard Drive: 250 GB HDD
    Optical Drive: Blue-ray, CD-ROM, DVD-ROM
    Video Output: HDMI (Up to 1080p), AV Multi Out
    Resolution: 720×480 (SD), 1280×720 (HD), 1920×1080 (Full HD)
    Network: Ethernet, Wireless
    Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound

    Release Date: September 1, 2009
    Generation: Seventh
    Status: Discontinued October 2016
    Release Price: $299

    The Super Slim version of PlayStation 3 was released in late 2012, refined and redesigned. The console came out on the market with the availability of either a 250 GB or 500 GB hard drive. One of the obvious changes was the sliding disc cover, instead of the traditional slot-loading drive.

    In look, shape, and design, the Super Slim version resembles something of a hybrid between the Slim and the original PlayStation 3. The console is much smaller, measuring 11.4 inches wide by 2.36 inches tall by 9.05 inches deep, 20% smaller and 25% lighter than the previous Slim console.

    Beyond its smaller size and storage capacities, the Super Slim model doesn’t feature anything else. A vertical stand was also available for these models and launched on the same day as the consoles in their respective regions.

    Playstation 4 (2013)

    CPU: AMD Jaguar 8-core – 1.6 GHz
    GPU: AMD Radeon, 1.84 TFLOPS – 800 MHz
    Memory: 8 GB GDDR5
    Hard Drive: 500 GB HDD
    Optical Drive: Blu-Ray, DVD
    Video Output: HDMI
    Resolution: 720×480 (SD), 1280×720 (HD), 1920×1080 (Full HD)
    Network: Ethernet, Wireless
    Audio: 7,1 Surround Sound

    Release Date: November 15, 2013
    Generation: Eighth
    Status: Discontinued
    Release Price: $399
    Units Sold: 102.8 million (as of September 30, 2019)
    Best-selling Game: Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, 16 million

    The PlayStation 4 is the eighth-generation console developed by Sony Interactive Entertainment. Announced in February 2013 the critics were praising Sony for acknowledging its consumers’ needs, embracing independent game development, and not imposing the restrictive digital rights management schemes like those originally announced by Microsoft for the Xbox One.

    The console features an AMD Accelerated Processing Unit built upon the x86-64 architecture, which can peak at 1.84 teraflops. AMD stated that it was the most powerful APU it had developed to date. Its optical drive is capable of reading Blu-ray Discs at speeds of up to three times that of its predecessor. The original PS4 console can output in 4K and play multimedia in the format but does not play games in 4K resolution. The console includes a 500 GB hard drive for additional storage, which can be upgraded by the user.

    The console’s controller was also redesigned and improved over the PlayStation 3, with improved buttons and analog sticks, and an integrated touchpad among other changes. The console also supports High-dynamic-range video and playback of 4K resolution multimedia. The shape of the triggers and shoulder buttons were refined, the D-pad buttons were given a steeper downward angle to provide a resting space in the center for the user’s thumb, and the handgrips were made thicker and given micro texturing to improve their feel.

    Sadly, the PlayStation 4 is not compatible with any game of the older PlayStation consoles. PlayStation 4 games are distributed at retail on Blu-ray Disc, and digitally as downloads through the PlayStation Store.

    PS4 allows users to access a variety of free and premium PlayStation Network services, to play online on multiplayer games, including the PlayStation Store acces, giving to its player up to three games per month for a limited time to play.

    By the end of September 2019, over 102 million PlayStation 4 consoles had been shipped worldwide, surpassing lifetime sales of the PlayStation 3.

    Playstation 4 Slim (2016)

    CPU: AMD Jaguar 8-core – 1.6 GHz
    GPU:
    AMD Radeon, 1.84 TFLOPS – 800 MHz
    Memory:
    8 GB GDDR5
    Hard Drive: 500 GB HDD, 1 TB HDD
    Optical Drive: Blu-Ray, DVD
    Video Output: HDMI
    Resolution: 720×480 (SD), 1280×720 (HD), 1920×1080 (Full HD)
    Network: Ethernet, Wireless
    Audio:

    Release Date: September 16, 2016
    Generation: Eighth
    Status: Released
    Release Price: $299

    The Playstation 4 Slim is the smaller version of the original console, which features an upgraded GPU and a higher CPU clock rate to support enhanced performance and 4K resolution in supported games. The addition of 5GHz WiFi was added, and a UHD Blu-ray drive.

    Like the original PlayStation 3 and the PS3 Slim model, the PS4 Slim retains the overall shape of the PS4, with a glossy black synthetic and a textured matte finish. This makes it much less prone to collecting dust, fingerprints, and scratches. The sharp corners have changed into softer and rounded.

    The power and eject buttons have been replaced with physical buttons. The power button is larger, while the eject button is in the shape of a circle. The power button also acts as a replacement for the color-changing LED strip that adorned the top of the original PlayStation 4.

    Playstation 4 Pro (2016)

    CPU: AMD Jaguar 8-core – 2.1 GHz
    GPU: AMD Radeon, 4.2 TFLOPS – 911 MHz
    Memory: 8GB GDDR5, 1 GB GDDR3
    Hard Drive: 1 TB HDD
    Optical Drive: Blu-Ray (UHD), DVD
    Video Output: HDMI, 4K support
    Resolution: 720×480 (SD), 1280×720 (HD), 1920×1080 (Full HD)
    Network: Ethernet, Wireless
    Audio: 7.1 Surround Sound

    Release Date: November 10, 2016
    Generation: Eighth
    Status: Released
    Release Price: $399

    Three years have passed since the PlayStation 4 Pro launched, and it still considers to be one of the best consoles out there, especially for its 4K capabilities and premium quality.

    The Pro design is a complete copy of the original PS4 console, there are a lot of similarities such as the flat parallelogram. Although, the Pro version is a little wider and a little taller than the original, and a bit heavier, too.

    DualShock 4 was changed too, adding a light bar built into the touchpad, with a feature where you can see instantly which player you are by the color, but more importantly, the triggers have been tweaked and it feels lighter in the hand.

    This new strategy by Sony, releasing a Pro version of its new console led to increasing the total player base and making another great success on sales, by also releasing exclusive games that would take advantage of the console’s capabilities.

    Playstation Classic (2018)

    CPU: ARM Cortex-A35 8-core – 1.5 GHz
    GPU: Power VR GE8300
    Memory: 1 GB DDR3
    Hard Drive: 16 GB eMMC Flash
    Video Output: HDMI

    Release Date: December 3, 2018
    Status: Released
    Release Price: $99.99
    Units Sold: N/A

    The PlayStation Classic, it’s a deliberate model of the original PlayStation console for the system’s 24th anniversary. It was announced in September 2018, with a full list of games and released a month later in December.

    The PlayStation Classic ships with two PlayStation controllers, the original model without the analog sticks, an HDMI cable, and a USB Micro-A to standard USB-A cable. An AC adapter for the console is sold separately. The console weighs about 170 grams, approximately 80% smaller in volume than the original PlayStation and 45% smaller in width and length. It includes ports for both controllers, HDMI output, and power via USB.

    Internally, the console uses a MediaTek MT8167a Quad A35 system on a chip with four central processing cores clocked at @ 1.5 GHz and a Power VR GE8300 graphics processing unit. It includes 16 GB of eMMC flash storage and 1 GB of DDR3 memory.

    The PlayStation Classic comes preloaded with 20 games, running off the open-source emulator, PCSX ReARMed. Five games were revealed when the console was announced, and the full roster was revealed a month later, such as Tekken 3, Final Fantasy VII, Metal Gear Solid, and Grand Theft Auto. The PlayStation Classic does not feature the PlayStation Network and doesn’t support an adapter. Each game can be suspended in a save state by pressing the console’s reset button.

    PS5 – What We Know So Far

    Last April, Sony unveiled the next-generation console, without any specific details. In August, Jim Ryan, President & CEO, announced that the next console will be called PlayStation 5, sharing also some exciting details about the new controller.

    It features Haptic feedback that simulates touch, meaning the controller will output vibrations or movements to replicate a real-life touch experience. You will be able to even get a sense of a variety with textures when running through fields of grass or plodding through mud. This aims to improve the controller’s feedback and the player’s immersion.

    The new console is expected to be released on the Holidays of 2020 (October – December).

    Rainfelt
    Rainfelt
    Music producer & Sound Designer from Greece. I make electronic music under the name Rainfelt. Competitive games are mostly where I'm spending my free time on. I love playing FPS games like Apex Legends, Overwatch, and also MOBA's, such as League of Legends and Dota.

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