PlayStation was the brainchild of Ken Kutaragi, a Sony executive who had just come out of his hardware engineering division at that time and would later be dubbed as "The Father of the PlayStation".
The PlayStation made its debut at the Consumer Electronics Show in June 1991 when Sony revealed its console, a Super Famicom/SNES with a built-in CD-ROM drive (that incorporated Green Book technology or CDi). However, a day after the announcement at CES, Nintendo announced that it would be breaking its partnership with Sony, opting to go with Philips instead but using the same technology.
The deal was broken by Nintendo after they were unable to come to an agreement on how revenue would be split between the two companies.
At that time, negotiations were still on-going between Nintendo and Sony, with Nintendo offering Sony a "non-gaming role" regarding their new partnership with Philips. This proposal was swiftly rejected by Kutaragi who was facing increasing criticism over his work with regard to entering the video game industry from within Sony. Negotiations officially ended in May 1992 and in order to decide the fate of the PlayStation project, a meeting was held in June 1992, consisting of Sony President Ohga, PlayStation Head Kutaragi and several senior members of Sony's board. At the meeting, Kutaragi unveiled a proprietary CD-ROM-based system he had been working on which involved playing video games with 3D graphics to the board. Eventually, Sony President Ohga decided to retain the project after being reminded by Kutaragi of the humiliation he suffered from Nintendo. Nevertheless, due to strong opposition from a majority present at the meeting as well as widespread internal opposition to the project by the older generation of Sony executives, Kutaragi and his team had to be shifted from Sony's headquarters to Sony Music, a completely separate financial entity owned by Sony, so as to retain the project and maintain relationships with Philips for the MMCD development project (which helped lead to the creation of the DVD).
ConsolesEditThe original PlayStationMain article: PlayStation (console)
The original PlayStation released in December 1994 was the first of the ubiquitous PlayStation series of console and hand-held game devices. It has included successor consoles and upgrades including the Net Yaroze (a special black PlayStation with tools and instructions to program PlayStation games and applications), "PSone" (a smaller version of the original) and the PocketStation (a handheld which enhances PlayStation games and also acts as a memory card). It was part of the fifth generation of video game consoles competing against the Sega Saturn and the Nintendo 64. By March 31, 2005, the PlayStation and PSone had shipped a combined total of 102.49 million units, becoming the first video game console to sell 100 million units.The redesigned PS One with optional LCD ScreenMain article: PS One
Released on July 7, 2000, concurrently with its successor the PlayStation 2, the PS One was a considerably smaller, redesigned version of the original PlayStation video game console. The PS One went on to outsell all-other consoles, including its successor, throughout the remainder of the year. It featured two main changes from its predecessor, the first being a cosmetic change to the console and the second being home menu's Graphical User Interface.Slimline PlayStation 2 console (left) and original PlayStation 2 console with 8 MB Memory Card and DualShock 2 controller. (right)Main article: PlayStation 2
Released in 2000, 15 months after the Dreamcast and a year before its other competitors, the Xbox and the Nintendo GameCube, the PlayStation 2 is part of the sixth generation of video game consoles, and is backwards-compatible with most original PlayStation games (an original PlayStation (not PlayStation 2) memory card is required to save games). Like its predecessor, it has received a slimmer redesign, and was also released built-in to the PSX DVR and the Sony BRAVIA KDL22PX300 HDTV. It is the most successful console in the world, having sold over 150 million units as of January 31, 2011. On November 29, 2005, the PS2 became the fastest game console to reach 100 million units shipped, accomplishing the feat within 5 years and 9 months from its launch. This achievement occurred faster than its predecessor, the PlayStation, which took "9 years and 6 months since launch" to reach the same figure.PlayStation 2 Slimline
Released in 2004, four years after the launch of the original PlayStation 2, the PlayStation 2 Slimline was the first major redesign of the PlayStation 2. Compared to its predecessor, the Slimline was smaller, thinner, quieter and also included a built-in Ethernet port (in some markets it also has an integrated modem). In 2007, Sony began shipping a revision of the Slimline which was lighter than the original Slimline together with a lighter AC adapter. In 2008, Sony released yet another revision of the Slimline which had an overhauled internal design incorporating the power supply into the console itself like the original PlayStation 2 resulting in a further reduced total weight of the console.Original (left) and slim (right) PlayStation 3 consolesMain article: PlayStation 3
Released on November 11, 2006, the PlayStation 3 is the third and current iteration in the series. It competes with the Xbox 360 and the Wii in the seventh generation of video game consoles. It is the first console in the series to introduce the use of motion controls in games through the use of the SIXAXIS Wireless Controller along with other features, such as Blu-ray Disc (BD) and Full High-definition resolution graphics capability. The PlayStation 3 comes in 20 GB, 40 GB, 60 GB, 80 GB, 160 GB, 120 GB, 250 GB, and 320 GB, with only the 160, and 320 being the current models. Like its predecessors, a slimmer redesigned model of the console has been released. As of December 25, 2010, the PlayStation 3 has sold 41.5 million units worldwide according to Sony Computer Entertainment.PlayStation 3 Slim
Released in 2009, the redesigned model of the PlayStation 3 is the only model in production. The redesigned model is 33% smaller, 36% lighter, and consumes 34% to 45% less power than previous models. In addition, it features a redesigned cooling system and a smaller Cell processor which was moved to a 45nm manufacturing process. It sold in excess of a million units within its first 3 weeks on sale. The redesign also features support for CEC (more commonly referred to by its manufacturer brandings of BraviaSync, VIERA Link, EasyLink and others) which allows control of the console over HDMI by using the remote control as the controller. The PS3 slim also runs quieter and is cooler than previous models due to its 45 nm Cell. The PS3 Slim no longer has the "main power" switch (similar to PlayStation 2 slim), like the previous PS3 models, which was located at the back of the console. It was officially released on September 1, 2009 in North America and Europe and on September 3, 2009 in Japan, Australia and New Zealand.
Handheld systemsEditThe original PlayStation Portable.Main article: PlayStation Portable
Released in March 2005, the PlayStation Portable (PSP) was Sony's first handheld console to compete with Nintendo's DS console. The console is the first to utilize a new proprietary optical storage medium known as Universal Media Disc (UMD), which can store both games and movies. It contains 32 MB of internal flash memory storage, expandable via Memory Stick PRO Duo cards. It has a similar control layout to the PS3 with its PlayStation logo button and its  ('Triangle'), ('Circle/O'),  ('Cross/X') and  ('Square') buttons.A PSP-2000 consoleMain articles: PSP Slim and Lite and PSP-3000
Released in September 2007, the PSP Slim & Lite (also known as the PSP-2000) was the first major hardware revision of the PlayStation Portable. The Slim & Lite was 33% lighter and 19% slimmer than the original PlayStation Portable. The capacity of the battery was also reduced by ⅓ but the run time remained the same as the previous model due to lower power consumption. Older model batteries will still work and they extend the amount of playing time.The PSP Slim & Lite has a new gloss finish. Its serial port was also modified in order to accommodate a new video-out feature (while rendering older PSP remote controls incompatible). On a PSP-2000, PSP games will only output to external monitors or TVs in progressive scan mode, so that televisions incapable of supporting progressive scan will not display PSP games; non-game video will output in either progressive or interlaced mode. USB charging was also made possible. Buttons are also reportedly more responsive on the Slim and Lite. In 2008, Sony released a second hardware revision called the PSP-3000 which included several features that were not present in the Slim & Lite, such as a built-in microphone and upgraded screen. As well as the ability to output PSP games in interlaced mode.Piano Black PSP Go (open position)Main article: PSP Go
Released in October 2009, the PSP Go is the biggest redesign of the PlayStation Portable to date. Unlike previous PSP models, the PSP Go does not feature a UMD drive but instead has 16 GB of internal flash memory to store games, videos and other media. This can be extended by up to 32GB with the use of a Memory Stick Micro (M2) flash card. Also unlike previous PSP models, the PSP Go's rechargeable battery is not removable or replaceable by the user. The unit is 43% lighter and 56% smaller than the original PSP-1000, and 16% lighter and 35% smaller than the PSP-3000. It has a 3.8" 480 ×272 LCD (compared to the larger 4.3" 480 ×272 pixel LCD on previous PSP models). The screen slides up to reveal the main controls. The overall shape and sliding mechanism are similar to that of Sony's mylo COM-2 internet device. The PSP Go is being produced and sold concurrently with its predecessor the PSP-3000 although it will not replace it. All games on the PSP Go must be purchased and downloaded from the PlayStation Store as the handheld is not compatible with the original PSP's physical media, the Universal Media Disc. The handheld also features connectivity with the PlayStation 3's controllers theSixaxis and DualShock 3 via Bluetooth connection.
The PSP-E1000 is a budget-focussed PSP model which, unlike previous PSP models, does not feature Wi-fi or stereo speakers (replaced by a single mono speaker) and has a matte "charcoal black" finish similar to the slim PlayStation 3. The E1000 was announced at Gamescom 2011 and will be available across the PAL region for an RRP of €99.99.The PlayStation VitaMain article: PlayStation Vita
The PlayStation Vita, developed by Sony Computer Entertainment, previously codenamed Next Generation Portable or NGP will be released Q4 of 2011. The device features a 5 inch OLED touchscreen, two analogue sticks, a rear touchpad, Sixaxis motion sensing and a 4 core ARM Cortex-A9 MPCore processor. The PlayStation Vita was officially unveiled by Sony on January 27, 2011 at the PlayStation Meeting 2011.