One of the many great things about knowing everything and always being right is that it gives you free rein to poke fun at other people when they make predictions that turn out to be way off the mark. C&VG’s initial assessment of the Sony PlayStation found amongst the magazine’s run-down of Japan’s world-storming upcoming developments in CD-based gaming technology (April 1992) has to be one of the prime – and most embarrassing – examples in the field. Ever. Of all time. Full dot. The Sony what-now? Get out of here! …and take your telly boxes with you.
As history teaches us, the PlayStation was born out of a union between Sony and Nintendo, who, beginning in 1988 initiated a venture to devise a CD-ROM drive for the Super Nintendo. A working prototype known as the SNES-CD was manufactured and demonstrated at the Consumer Electronics Show in June 1991, and Sony was all set to trail the blaze, unleashing the world’s Next Big Thing. However, before the dust had settled, out of the blue Nintendo decided to sever their ties with Sony, choosing instead to partner with Philips who had agreed to a more favourable revenue-sharing model.
Enraged by the betrayal, Sony decided to go it alone; a humble little device known as the ‘PlayStation’ was the upshot. You may have heard of it, by all accounts the 3D, CD-based console was rather successful. Launching in Japan in December 1994, the next-gen games system went on to shift 100 million units within the space of nine and a half years, spawning a massively prosperous successor in the meantime. Curiously enough this was known as the PlayStation 2, sales of which eclipsed the inaugural model to become the best-selling home console in the universe’s history of ever! Two more desktop overhauls followed, along with several portable gaming devices. I hear on the grapevine they did OK too.