How was the greatest game console in PlayStation history born?

On December 3, 1994, the PlayStation console hit the shelves in Japan. To celebrate its 25th anniversary, the Guinness Book of Records has just recognized the PlayStation as the world’s best-selling gaming console with total sales of more than 450 million units as of November.

After 25 years, PlayStation ‘s influence on the gaming industry and popular culture is still immense. The birth story of this machine is quite interesting when it is associated with arrogance, greed and betrayal.

On International Children’s Day 1991, Nintendo held a press conference at the CES Electronics Show in Las Vegas (USA). As planned, President Hiroshi Yamauchi will announce the details of the console production agreement between Nintendo and Sony, which was revealed a few days ago.

How was the greatest game console in PlayStation history born?
The first generation PlayStation console. (Image: Wikipedia).

But that did not happen. Instead, Yamauchi announced Nintendo would cooperate with Philips Company (Netherlands) – Sony’s biggest rival at the time.

“Under the agreement, Philips technology will appear on accessories that help Nintendo users play games with CDs “, quoted an article in the New York Times in 1991. Just a few days before, Sony announced “agreement” partnered with Nintendo for a product called Game Player “.

At that time, Nintendo continuously wanted to cooperate with Sony to produce game consoles that used CDs instead of traditional tape boxes. The contract was signed, the two sides embarked on product development according to the terms.

The contradictory statements of Nintendo and Sony confused many people, even Sony executives did not understand what was happening. When hearing Nintendo’s announcement of a partnership with Philips, former Sony President Olaf Olaffson insisted that he did not know it.

How was the greatest game console in PlayStation history born?
The console model produced by Sony in partnership with Nintendo was never released. (Photo: Metro).

“This is a serious incident,” Olaffson told stunned reporters after the news conference. He left open the question of whether Nintendo was in breach of contract.

It was reported that Nintendo had suddenly stopped communicating with Sony before CES 1991. Speaking to Wired after Yamauchi’s death, his close friend recalled that Sony engineers had developed the game console but without any instructions from Nintendo. .

After further investigation, he discovered in the contract that there was a clause that allowed Sony to directly produce and sell game discs without buying from Nintendo, but Nintendo wanted to monopolize the production of game discs. Instead of discussing a solution, Nintendo arbitrarily terminated the contract, pushing Sony out to find another partner.

Nintendo doesn’t want to lose its monopoly on game publishing. At the time, Nintendo was dominant when it first overcame rival Sega, whose arrogance gave them the power to decide without fear of anyone.

Perhaps Nintendo did not anticipate the possibility that the friend it had betrayed was the one who pushed them down.

After being abandoned at CES, Sony had a game console that took shape but could not be released. The product that cost millions of dollars to develop was used to create a completely independent gaming console under the Sony brand.

How was the greatest game console in PlayStation history born?
If Nintendo had not left Sony at that time, it would not have been possible to have a successful PlayStation as it is today. (Photo: Polygon)

To pursue the plan, the Japanese company quickly cooperated with many famous game companies such as Electronic Arts, Konami and Namco, looking for ways to reduce production costs so that the model was reasonably priced when sold on the market.

Three years after being “insulted” at CES, Sony attacked its treacherous friend with a console called PlayStation . After its launch, PlayStation made a huge splash, beating all competitors to become the most popular game console in the world.

For comparison, the Nintendo 64 released in 1996 sold just over 30 million units over its lifetime, while the PlayStation over 100 million – becoming the first home console to pass this milestone. To this day, PlayStation is still the number one console in terms of sales while Nintendo, despite its efforts, is still just a follower.

If Nintendo hadn’t betrayed Sony back then, perhaps the gaming world wouldn’t have had the successful PlayStation it has today.