Sony launched it’s first console in 1994, and from that date on they have been refreshing the designs – and upgraded the components. With the new Playstation 4 Pro coming out this november, let’s reminisce with all the consoles this company have made over the years.
The original PlayStation launched in Japan on December 3, 1994. It went on to become the first video game console to ship more than 100 million units. It’s considered to be a part of the fifth generation of game consoles and competed against the Sega Saturn and Nintendo 64 in the mid-’90s.
The PlayStation would go on to feature a dual-speed CD-ROM drive, a one-core CPU that had 2MB of RAM along with 1MB of video RAM with graphics that could deliver up to 360,000 polygons per second. Also, it didn’t feature an internal hard drive. Instead, game saves required the use of memory cards, which were a measly 128KB in size.
The PS one is a smaller, redesigned version of the original PlayStation platform. It was released on July 7, 2000, and went on to outsell all other consoles throughout the remainder of the year—including Sony’s own PlayStation 2 (yet the PlayStation 2 overtook this eventually). The PS one is fully compatible with all PlayStation software. This also serves as the final model/revision for the entire PlayStation lineage.
Released on 2000, it’s the best-selling console to date, with 155 million units sold over a 12 years timeframe. It featured 32MB of system RAM and 4MB of video RAM. The console was backward compatible with most PS1 games, which was a rare feature at the time. It was also the first console to support DVDs–which, in addition to enabling games with larger assets, allowed the PS2 to play DVD movies.
While the original console allowed users to install an optional 40GB hard drive, it still used memory cards. Unlike the PS1, however, which used 128KB cards, storage here was bumped up to 8MBs. The PS2 also introduced the DualShock 2. While still wired, this controller featured a new black finish and tighter sticks.
Playstation 2 Slim
Released in 2004, Sony launched a slim version of the Playstation 2, with the additions of a quieter console and a built-in Ethernet port.
Released in 2006, the PS3 sold more than 80 million units worlwide. It was the most expensive console of them all – $599.99 – but it was the first one to have a Blu-ray drive and it was cheapers than the Blu-ray players at that time.
Sony designed the chip in partnership with Toshiba and IBM. However, the CPU became controversial among developers due to how difficult it was to program. The PS3’s graphics used Nvidia’s RSX Reality Synthesizer GPU, which featured 256GB of VRAM and clocked in at 550MHz. The PS3 was also the first PlayStation system to support HDMI and 1080p output. It also introduced Wi-Fi connectivity and came with a 20GB internal hard drive. It allowed users to install their own HDD as well.
Playstation 3 Slim
Released in 1009, it was a third smaller and lighter than the original. The console also featured a new PS3 logo, with Sony moving away from the original model’s font (also famously featured in Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man films).
Playstation 3 Super Slim
With this second revision of the Playstation 3 console, Sony removed the front slot-loading disc tray. In its place, the chassis was redesigned to incorporate a sliding lid that covered the optical drive, which had to be accessed from the top of the console. Not only was the console slimmer than the previous model, but at 4.3 pounds, it was also three pounds lighter.
Sony released the PlayStation 4 in 2013, and it sold one million units within its first day, making it the fastest-selling console in a 24-hour period to date. The PS4 marked the first time Sony would release a console with a CPU based on the x86 instruction set, which is the same processor architecture that gaming PCs use. Specifically, it uses an 8-core AMD x86-64 Jaguar CPU clocked at 1.6GHz along with 8GB of GDDR5 memory, which it shares with its integrated AMD Radeon GPU.
Playstation 4 Slim
The PS4 slim continues Sony’s tradition of releasing smaller, lighter variants–and this console does away with the PS4’s sharp edges in favor of rounded corners. Some upgrades under the hood include the addition of 5GHz Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, and USB 3.1 support.
The system is also more power efficient and runs a bit cooler and quieter than the original model. The one big drawback? It removes the PS4’s S/PDIF optical port.
Playstation 4 Pro
The PS4 Pro is scheduled to launch on November 10, 2016.
Unlike traditional design refreshes, the PS4 Pro offers a notable bump in specs. The console will be based on AMD’s Polaris graphics and feature 4.2 teraflops of GPU performance, more than double the original PS4’s 1.84. In addition, Sony purports that the Pro will support 4K gaming capabilities. The console will also be completely backward compatible with the PS4, and Sony says that developers can use the extra processing power to bolster the graphical fidelity of existing titles at 1080p.