The Sony PlayStation: A 2×12-Year Retrospective

Well, it's September 9th, 2019, which means its time for another 12/12 console anniversary. Yes, today makes 24 years since Sony's very first PlayStation console was first released in North America. Though Sega and Nintendo pretty much owned the home console landscape at the time they decided to enter the frey, a combination of smart business decisions and key partnerships, in addition to some pretty massive missteps by the competition helped Sony to quickly become the dominant force in the industry. A position they have continued to enjoy for the majority of their console-making career.

​Sony first began their foray into game consoles in the late 1980s when they entered into a partnership with Nintendo to create a CD-ROM add-on called the Play Station for the upcoming Super Nintendo console. The partnership was rocky though, particularly when Nintendo went behind their back to form another partnership with Sony's competitor Philips. At one point Sony even approached Sega with a proposal to a similar partnership to the one they had with Nintendo, but Sega, unfortunately, declined. Eventually, Sony decided to abandon the project altogether in favor of creating their very own gaming system for the next console generation. This, of course, is what would go on to become the PlayStation.

After settling on engineering the console to specialize in handling three-dimensional polygonal graphics, Sony then had to figure out how to get games made for its system. For this, they mainly relied on securing hundreds of deals for third-party games, both exclusive and multi-platform. In addition, they also acquired the British video game company Psygnosis which, along with creating the fantastic wipEout series for them (one particularly excellent entry of which appears on our list below), also had the unintended benefit of resulting in a more economical, dedicated game development system for their new console.

Finally, Sony needed to figure out how to get a jump on the already long-established competition. They accomplished this in two ways. With Nintendo, they primarily did this simply by beating them to market, since their next generation Nintendo 64 console wasn't even ready for release until the following year. And with Sega, they simply found a way to capitalize on their blunders, particularly by undercutting them on pricing. By selling the PlayStation for $100 less than Sega's Saturn, they made it a lot more attractive to otherwise undecided console shoppers who couldn't quite see the additional cost benefit of Sega's offering.

Even with a leg up though, without the right games, the PlayStation brand wouldn't have lasted for very long. But great games are something that every PlayStation console has always had in spades. Read on for our list of 12 of the best ones the original PlayStation had to offer.

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Games Are WRUP

Well this week is more interesting than last. Gears 5 is out on Monday and I have to say I think it looks pretty good. It's the first Gears since the... first Gears, that I've been interested in and I'll probably pick it up. Supposedly it plays somewhat similarly to a non-linear over world title that has a slight similarity to something like Zelda or Darksiders, where the player will use the world map to travel to "dungeons" and play through those. I may have that analogy a little mixed up but it sounds like a bit of a change. And It's bound to be a pretty good sized title since the download is 80GB and the system requirements still recommend a Ryzen 3 and an RX580 to run well. So I don't imagine the level of detail has been vastly improved from previous titles. Either that or it's being given with uncompressed audio or something like that. And the videos I've seen of game play seem to look pretty cool. Read more

Rebel Galaxy Outlaw – Reaching For a Red Star

When I played the first Rebel Galaxy I really enjoyed it. The big capital ships and the cool naval style combat, even the lack of a "Z" axis was cool because of how the game played. Even though it was a 2D plane it still felt big and open and limitless. In fact I always meant to write about it here. I even started at one point but I never finished and since then, Rebel Galaxy Outlaw has been released and... wow what a great space combat game. Double Damage is a team of something like five people and what they've managed to accomplish is one of the best full 3D space games I've played in a long time. Stick with me and I'll tell you about my experience. Read more

WRUPPING Again

Hey everyone. WRUP time again. Soon there should be some actual content as well so don't give up on us yet.

I don't have much new to talk about this week, however. Have a quick look at this cool trailer for Wasteland 3. I also did read something about Cyberpunk 2077 having a slightly smaller map than Witcher 3, yet it will be much more dense. Which is awesome. Plus it makes sense. Everything I've seen suggests that we'll be able to explore virtually every floor on every structure. I would assume that means underground stuff like sewers and such as well. Read more

Hot Space WRUP

Rebel Galaxy Outlaw is awesome, you really should play it. Great character controller, lots of good music including the option to drop your own tracks in and listen to them, a story that doesn't totally suck and the biggest most exaggerated explosions since Just Cause. But for me one of the coolest features is the built in paint program that allows you to make your own skins for your ships. That's like some old school flight sim stuff right there. I put a cool tusky face on the front of my current ship and I don't think it turned out bad for a guy who doesn't know to draw in Photoshop. Read more

AIB GPU NCIS SVU CSI WRUP

So the AIB partners are releasing the custom Navi GPU's this month and it seems they're not being light-handed about it. MSI is going to release four versions of both the 5700 and the XT making for eight total versions of two graphics cards. That's just one company. I really wish there was just one or two versions because all this research and study on behalf of the consumer to buy a GPU is getting to be a headache. The line-up is like this: 5700 Gaming X, the Mech OC, the Evoke OC and the Air Boost. The same line-up will be for the 5700XT. All will use much better and bigger fan coolers and at least the higher end of the line will take up 2.7 slots of your motherboard. They're going to start at $399, if I understand correctly, and they'll be out around the middle of the month. So if you've been holding out for a new middle range GPU this might be the time to check it out.

AMD has said they've got plans for the high end Navi cards to come along at some point as well. Speculation seems to point toward 2021. Seems like a ways off yet but who knows really, it's all just conjecture at this point. And Intel is getting into the market soonish with it's own GPU line. Starting with entry and mid level cards using HBM at a supposedly competitive price point. It could be an interesting thing to follow since that will bring Intel to a more similar position as AMD and start fighting the war on two fronts as they'll have to continue development in both CPU and GPU to stay on target. Nvidia will likely still come out as the winner in the graphics sector as, besides the Shield, they essentially only make GPU's. But adding another option to the mix can only be a good thing as it will provide us, consumers another separate choice. Read more

Super Weekend WRUP

Well The 2080 Super is out from Nvidia and it sure is a 2080. Every reviewer I've seen talk about it has mentioned around a four to seven percent performance hike for the same price, which is probably worth it if you're coming from a much older GPU. But if you're replacing your 1080ti, don't do it with the 2080 Super.

The water cooling solutions are starting to come around for the new Navi cards as well and that's great because holy butts those things are a hot and loud. Just don't expect to gain much in terms of performance just because you're going to be running cooler. It seems the memory clocks don't really appreciate being raised very high and quickly become unstable leading to some pretty nominal gains. Somewhere in the five percent region. But at least it won't be running at 100c and sound like a small vacuum in your tower. Read more