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Sony Playstation

The first conceptions of the Playstation console date back to 1988. Nintendo had been attempting to work with disk technology since the Famicom, but the medium had problems. Its rewritable magnetic nature could be easily erased (thus leading to a lack of durability), and the disks were a piracy danger. Thus, when word came out of a new optical storage technology being developed by Sony and Philips, Nintendo was interested. Nintendo approached Sony to develop a CD-ROM add-on, tentatively titled the "SNES-CD". A contract was struck, and work began.

In 1991, the SNES-CD (now titled the Play Station) was to be announced at the June CES. However, when Hiroshi Yamauchi read the original 1988 contract between Sony and Nintendo and learned that it allowed Sony 25% of the profits from the machine, he was furious. He deemed the contract totally unacceptable, and secretly cancelled all plans for a joint Nintendo-Sony SNES CD attachment.

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Indeed, instead of announcing their partnership, at 9AM the day of the CES, Nintendo chairman Howard Lincoln stepped onto the stage and revealed that they were now allied with Philips, and were planning on abandoning all the previous work Nintendo and Sony had accomplished. Lincoln and Minoru Arakawa had (unbeknownst to Sony) flown to Philips headquarters in Europe and formed an alliance of a decidedly different nature- one that would give Nintendo total control over its licenses on Philips machines.

The 9am CES announcement was a huge shock. Not only was it a complete surprise to the showgoers (Sony had only just the previous night been optimistically showing off the joint project), but it was seen by many in the Japanese community as a massive betrayal- a Japanese company snubbing another Japan-based company in favour of a European one was considered unthinkable in Japanese business.

Initially, Nintendo's abandonment of the joint project caused Sony to consider halting their research, but ultimately the company decided to use what they had developed so far and make it into a complete, stand alone console. This led to Nintendo filing a lawsuit claiming breach of contract and attempted, in U.S. federal court, to obtain an injunction against the release of the PlayStation, on the grounds that Nintendo owned the name. The federal judge presiding over the case denied the injunction. Thus, in October 1991, the first incarnation of the new Sony Playstation was revealed. As for the deal between Philips and Nintendo, it fell through as well. However, because of the deal, Philips was able to create games for its CD-i computer based on Nintendo licenses. The games were terrible, and seen as another attempt by Philips to market the ill-fated computer.

The PlayStation was officially launched in Japan on December 3, 1994, the USA on September 9, 1995 and Europe on September 29, 1995. In America, Sony enjoyed a very successful launch with titles of almost every genre including Toshinden, Twisted Metal, Warhawk, Philosoma, Wipeout and Ridge Racer. Almost all of Sony's and Namco's launch titles went on to produce numerous sequels.

The PlayStation was also able to generate interest with a unique slew of ad campaigns. Many of the ads released at the time of launch were full of ambiguous content which had many gamers rabidly debating their meanings. The most well-known launch ads include the "Enos Lives" campaign, and the "You Are Not E" ads (the "E" in "You Are Not E" was always coloured in red, to symbolize the word "ready", and the "Enos" meant "ready Ninth Of September", the U.S. launch date). It is believed that these ads were an attempt to play off the gaming public's suspicion towards Sony as an unknown, untested quantity in the video game market.

The first new version was actually a revision in early 1996, produced in response to complaints that PlayStations were overheating. Sony did not change the technical aspects or the cosmetics but did remove the RCA ports left over from the Japanese release. The parallel port (which was mostly unused by Sony) was also removed to reduce production costs. Sony also slightly improved the laser assembly. Many gamers experienced skipping full-motion video or dreaded physical "ticking" noises coming from their PlayStations. The seemingly universal fix for this was to turn one's PlayStation sideways or upside-down—although some gamers smacked the lid of the PlayStation to make a game load or work. This problem was carried over to many first-generation PlayStation 2s in the form of the very well known Disc Read Error message.

Sony produced a redesigned version of the original console, called the PSone, in a smaller (and more ergonomic) case which was introduced in September 2000. The original PlayStation was abbreviated in Japan to "PS" and was often abbreviated as "PSX" by American gamers, as this was Sony's internal code name for the system while it was under development (PlayStation Xperimental). This led to some confusion in 2003, when Sony introduced a PS2-derived system in Japan actually called the PSX. The PlayStation is now officially abbreviated as the "PS1" or "PSone," although many people still abbreviate it "PS" or "PSX". There were only 2 differences between the "PSone" and the original, the first one being cosmetic change to the console, and the second one was the home menu's Graphical User Interface.

A version of the PlayStation called the Net Yaroze was also produced. It was more expensive than the original PlayStation, coloured black instead of the usual gray, and most importantly, came with tools and instructions that allowed a user to be able to program PlayStation games and applications without the need for a full developer suite, which cost many times the amount of a PlayStation and was only available to approved video game developers. Naturally, the Net Yaroze lacked many of the features the full developer suite provided. Programmers were also limited by the 2MB of total game space that Net Yaroze allowed. That means, your whole game had to be crammed into the 2MB of system RAM. You couldn't officially make actual game discs. The amount of space may seem small, but games like Ridge Racer, ran entirely from the system RAM (except for the streamed music tracks of course). It was unique in that it was the only officially retailed Sony PlayStation with no regional lockout; it would play games from any territory.

Another version that was coloured blue (as opposed to regular console units that were grey in colour) was available to game developers and select press. Later versions of this were coloured green. Contrary to popular belief, the RAM was not 4 megabytes but instead the standard 2 megabytes. The console included a CD-ROM emulator board connected to a PC. It was also able to run in-development games which lacked region coding (which would be rejected by a normal PlayStation as though they were pirated copies). A few of these units eventually appeared for sale through somewhat dubious channels at high prices.

The installation of a modchip allows the PlayStation's capabilities to be expanded. This allows unauthorized copies of games to be played, but it also allows the playing of games from other regions, such as PAL titles on a NTSC console. Since modchips allow playing games recorded on a regular CD-ROM, it created a wave of games developed without official Sony approval, using free GNU compiler tools.

The console was extremely popular, spawning the so-called "PlayStation Generation". Well known titles on the PlayStation include Tomb Raider, Final Fantasy 7, Resident Evil, Tekken, Wipeout, Gran Turismo, Crash Bandicoot, Spyro, Parasite Eve, Silent Hill, and Metal Gear Solid. As of May 18, 2004, Sony has shipped 100 million PlayStation and PSone consoles throughout the world. As of March 2004, there were 7,300 software titles available with cumulative software shipment of 949 million. The PlayStation logo was designed by Manabu Sakamoto, who also designed the logo for Sony's VAIO computer products.

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Actua Soccer 2

Box: 
yes
£4.00
Manual: 
yes
£4.00

Actua Soccer 2 features Alan Shearer, the England soccer captain who picks up his All Star Eleven to pit your side against. Unique motion capture sequences are provided by Liverpool striker, Michael Owen featuring live interactive commentary from Barry Davies and Trevor Brooking, Actua Soccer 2 is as close to real soccer action as you will get.

Actua Golf 3

Box: 
yes
£4.00
Manual: 
yes
£4.00

Combining the three essential ingredients necessary for a round of golf at home – style, accuracy and realism – Actua Golf 3 delivers the most complete Playstation golfing experience to date. Unique real-time Analogue Controller interface system. Eight new dynamic and dynamic course to take on. Four new game types: Pro Tour+, Quick Golf, Clock Golf and Flag Golf. Real-time 3D vision control system that provides a wide range of camera angles.

Ace Combat 3

Box: 
yes
£8.00
Manual: 
yes
£8.00

A bogey bustin', G force-pullin', insanity ride! 22 flyable, cutting-edge aircraft - F-16XF Gyrfalcon, Su-37 Super Flanker, Ul-4054 Aurora and more! 36 Furious Missions - Air-to-air, air-to-ground, air-to-sea, even into the stratosphere! 3-D Virtual Cockpit - Look in all directions during combat - lock your eyes on the enemy and never lose sight of the action! Spectacular Visuals - Fully-detailed targets, moving control surfaces, smoke trails, lens flares, and spectacular explosions! More Heated Dogfights - Increase your kills by using real dog fighting manoeuvres! Only in Ace Combat - Thrill to takeoffs and landings, mid-air refuelling, autopilot control, Instrument Landing Systems, and day and night aircraft carrier ops! Force Feedback - Feel every bullet strike and crash impact through the Dual Shock Analog controller! Replay Mode - Cinematic 'smart cam' shows you all the action!

Action Bass

Box: 
yes
£5.00
Manual: 
yes
£5.00

The cheapest way to get your feet wet in the wondrous world of fishing games. After a hard day of fishing under the sun or competing in a tournament, you look with awe at the trophies your angling skills have awarded you. In this action-packed arcade-style fishing game, you can either spend time leisurely casting across lake waters while waiting for a bite on the line or enter an intense fishing competition in which the only fish that matters is the biggest catch of the day. The lakes in Action Bass are teeming with droves of giant bass. You must carefully select from your tackle box various lures to effectively trick the wily bass into biting on its undoing. The fish that you have conquered can be viewed in an Aquarium mode, giving this title a collection aspect that's sure to add to the replay value. Get ready to kick bass!

A Bugs Life

Box: 
yes
£7.00
Manual: 
yes
£7.00

As hopeful hero Flik, you're the colony's last chance against the seed-grubbing grasshoppers. Run, fly, kick, squish, and slide through fifteen challenging levels of 3D animated game play. Outmanoeuvre thirteen types of enemies, including The Bird and his deadly beak. Then throw your weight around with tough antics like the Berry Attack and the Butt-Bounce. Because on this ride, you'll need more than just high-hopes.

4x4 World Trophy

Box: 
yes
£5.00
Manual: 
yes
£5.00

No roads, no rules. The worlds most powerful 4x4s in the worlds most incredible environments. Drive the mighty Hummer. 27 licensed vehicles including the most famous 4x4's by Land Rover, Subaru & Ford. Modifiable vehicles: buy new engines, tyres and other mechanical parts. Two player split screen. Eleven real-world tracks (German Black Forest, Canadian Rockies,  Louisiana Swamps etc).

40 Winks

Facebook
Box: 
yes
£9.00
Manual: 
yes
£9.00

Fight as a Ninja. Transform into a Robot. Or a Monster! Fight skeletons, spiders and aliens. Battle with robots, zombies, giant dinosaurs. In this dangerous, dream filled 3D adventure game, everything is out to get you. Can you beat the evil dream thief, the scheming Nitekap, as you journey through six nightmare worlds? Are you fast enough to gab the winks before something grabs you?

3D Pool

Box: 
yes
£5.00
Manual: 
yes
£5.00

In true 3D and featuring three sets of rules: 8-Ball, UK Coin-OP, 8-Ball and 9-Ball US Pro. You can practice or play a single match against a friend or one of twenty computer controller opponents. Or why not involve yourself in a tournament as one of eight players? You can leave the cue and small change at home, Archer Macleans Pool is all you need.

007 Racing

Box: 
yes
£5.00
Manual: 
yes
£5.00

Bond, James Bond. Take on the role of the world's most famous spy as you drive the most high-tech, high-speed cars from the 007 universe. Armed with a full arsenal of Q-Branch gadgetry, you are equipped to foil famous Bond villains and embark on over 20 missions inspired by thrilling scenes from the greatest 007 films. Stay cool when driving under pressure.

Metal Gear Solid Special Missions

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Notes: 
This requires the original Metal Gear Solid game to play
Box: 
yes
£22.00
Manual: 
yes
£22.00

The legend returns in this additional missions disc for the million selling blockbuster Metal Gear Solid. Three hundred VR training missions. Take control of ninja for the first time! All new secrets and bonus stages! Metal Gear Solid Special Missions is an additional data disc to the original version of Metal Gear Solid.

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