Today marks 15 years since the PlayStation was first launched in Japan. Although the west didn’t get the hardware until almost a year later, today is the system’s actual birthday. The PlayStation (and PSOne) was the first console to reach the 100 million sales mark, achieving a total of 102.49 million units on March 31, 2005. Sony ceased production of the PlayStation on March 23, 2006, over 11 years after it was first produced.
It was back in the late 80’s, after Sony and Phillips had developed the CD-ROM XA, that Nintendo approached Sony to create a CD-ROM add-on to their already popular system – SNES. The deal was struck thanks to previous joint ventures set up by Ken Kutaragi and the new console – SNES CD (or SNES CD-ROM) – was due to be revealed in 1991. Things turned sour before this unveiling, however. It’s fair to say that what Sony had included in the contract between the two companies was a bit greedy. In short, the deal meant that Sony would have had full control over all titles that were developed for the SNES CD-ROM format. Nintendo didn’t like this idea and pulled out of all dealings with Sony at the last minute before revealing a new relationship with Phillips.
This was the point in history when the PlayStation began. Rather than abandonning their work, Sony decided to release the hardware as its own; the Play Station…that is not a writing error, we’ll come back to that. Nintendo tried to stop Sony’s plans by filing an injunction against the rival company due to the fact that they owned the rights to the name ‘Play Station’. This was not successful and everything began to gather speed. In 1992 Nintendo and Sony struck another deal; this time, Sony’s console was to include a cartridge port for the SNES with Nintendo still taking the majority of revenue. But, as we all know, this was not to be.
In 1993, Sony decided to aim its console at new hardware and software; a decision that left no room for Nintendo. The SNES cartridge slot was one of the first things to go and Nintendo were cut out of the loop entirely by the simplest of changes; the Play Station became the PlayStation.
So began…well everything.
[Quote via: TheSixthAxis]