It’s only January, but Christmas 2020 is already sorted: the PS5 is coming. However, can you recall every PlayStation console?
Sony has been a titan of the gaming world ever since the mid-90s, when the first PlayStation hit homes across the world. MediEvil, Tomb Raider, Final Fantasy VII, Metal Gear Solid, Resident Evil – it was much adored, selling more than 102 million units in its lifespan.
PlayStation’s evolution, like Nintendo’s and Xbox’s, is staggering: from the block-tastic, loveable graphics of old, we’re through the looking glass to a new age of high-definition gaming. But it’s been a rocky road to where we are now, with a couple of oddities along the way.
Just yesterday, January 7, the PS5 logo was unveiled. It’s completely unsurprising, continuing the stylistic choices in place since the PS3’s release in 2006.
As people shared it, entertainment outlet Fandom shared a picture going through each Playstation release’s logo, showing how they’ve changed – even slightly – over the years.
Since the PlayStation 2 – the highest-selling games console of all time – the logos haven’t undergone many changes. However, two releases are sticking out, not just for their logos, but for the fact people don’t have a clue what they are: the PocketStation and PSX.
Firstly, you may not be familiar with them for a big reason: both were sold exclusively in Japan, with moderate-to-pitiful success.
The PocketStation is essentially a 15-block memory card with a visual display for the PSone (the slim version of the first console) – however, beyond a memory peripheral, it had its own software capabilities.
The PS3 Developer Wiki explains further:
Software for the PocketStation was typically distributed as extras for PlayStation games, included in the CD-ROM, enhancing the games with added features. Stand-alone software could also be downloaded through the PlayStation console. The software is then transferred to the PocketStation for use.
A few games, such as Final Fantasy VIII and Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers, were able to send special data to the gizmo, allowing you to play mini-games on the PocketStation itself, as per Push Square.
Dokodemo Issho, the PocketStation’s most popular game, allowed you to take Sony’s then mascot, Toro, away from the game without much interruption (like a Tamagotchi but less dependent).
However, while three PlayStation 2 titles supported the PocketStation, it was discontinued in July 2002 (later it was revived as an app for Japanese PS Vita consoles).
Now for a true anomaly: the PSX. Again, a Japan-exclusive release, this wasn’t your standard games console. In fact, it wasn’t really primarily a games console at all – that bit was just a bonus.
The PSX, released in December 2003, was a Sony digital video recorder with a fully integrated PS2. It packed some whopping tech, shipped with either 160GB or 250GB hard drives, and allowed users to record the likes of television shows and DVDs as well as storing and viewing digital photos and MP3 playback via USB.
It was promoted more as a home media centre than a straight-up gaming machine, ergo omitting the usual Playstation branding.
However, due to its extraordinarily high price (the models were insanely priced at roughly £560 and £700 respectively, as per Video Game Console Library), it flopped and was never released outside of Japan.
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