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    Default Why did the PlayStation completely obliterate everything in its path?

    It's weird if you think about it. a company that never produced video game hardware and with no established franchises under its belt (Sonic/Mario/etc) absolutely destroyed its competition. All the consoles that came out between 1992 and September 1995 (PS1's launch month) were dead as soon as the PS1 launched.

    I mean granted, the 3rd-party support was great, and I think that is usually what determines a console's fate but looking at a list of PS1 North American launch titles, it wasnt anything spectacular.

    Was it brand recognition? It couldnt just be that it played CDs. there were numerous consoles that played CDs by this point.

    So was anyone old enough in 95 to remember the PS1 hype?

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    Quote Originally Posted by gbpxl View Post
    It's weird if you think about it. a company that never produced video game hardware and with no established franchises under its belt (Sonic/Mario/etc) absolutely destroyed its competition. All the consoles that came out between 1992 and September 1995 (PS1's launch month) were dead as soon as the PS1 launched.

    I mean granted, the 3rd-party support was great, and I think that is usually what determines a console's fate but looking at a list of PS1 North American launch titles, it wasnt anything spectacular.

    Was it brand recognition? It couldnt just be that it played CDs. there were numerous consoles that played CDs by this point.

    So was anyone old enough in 95 to remember the PS1 hype?
    I am old enough. To me, I believe it was a couple of things (though I personally went with 3DO then Saturn back then). First off, Nintendo did not have a 32 bit system in the ring. Yes the N64 was being produced during the PS1 lifespan, but not till a bit later. Secondly, Sega had lost a lot of it's market share from that whole story.

    What hyped me back then was that it was a new console, by a well known company, that had never put a console out before. Couple that with how popular things like a close-to-arcade quality port of MK3 were. Then you had all these new franchises that looked great in the magazines (Resident Evil). I believe it just intrigued a lot of people early on and had the games and pricing to be super competitive.

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    I think it was a perfect blend of events. From an American perspective, the past CD based systems were pretty much a lit of FMV or mild enhancements of what existed on 16 bit consoles. 3DO was impressive until you looked at the price tag. Wasn't it like $700 for the Panasonic version and a little less for the Goldstar? Had to justify in the mid 90's for parents and even young adults like me at the time kinda scoffed at it. The Saturn looked neat but there again-$400 for a console from a company that made lots of promises and stretched itself thin (Genesis, Sega CD, 32 X and now Saturn).

    Sony had the name, reputation, the marketing machine (ENOS- URNot red E) and the bombshell price of $299. All the 32 bit power but less than the competition. They truly proved to the mass market what CD could do affordably.

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    The reason for the $699 MSRP on the 3DO was because Hawkins wanted to keep royalty prices low on the software, so he had to make up for it by charging more for the console

    and yeah I think people were done with Sega by the time the Saturn rolled around. People felt duped with all the dumb add-ons and then the surprise early 1995 (May?) launch. I think people saw Sony as a reputable company with good business sense

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    Sony used its name as a very powerful company and managed to get a strong third party support, I bought Sega Saturn at that time and I never bought any Sony consoles .. here's what I bought after that Dreamcast, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One. I just can't forgive Sony for what they did to Sega ...
    Last edited by guile_mrd; 01-01-2021 at 09:24 PM.

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    Full disclosure: this is how I understand the time period, I was still only 2 years old when the PlayStation launched.

    The PlayStation was the only piece of hardware of its generation that did pretty much everything right, everyone else made some major mistake somewhere.

    Let's look at what was available on September 9, 1995:
    -The 16-bit leaders, SNES and Sega Genesis/CD. These are aging, people might still be buying them as first systems (for kids or other new entrants to video gaming) or replacement systems, but their heyday is past.
    -The 3DO. It's been out for two years, it has a significant software library, and it's the same price as the PlayStation at $299 by this point. Its two-year-old hardware design is showing, it's underpowered compared to the PlayStation and Saturn.
    -The Atari Jaguar. It's dying by 1995, it couldn't even compete with the 3DO. The raft of games launched in late '95 make it look like a pathetic joke next to the PlayStation and Saturn. The Jag CD launched two days later, this was an obvious last-ditch attempt by Atari just to stay in the market.
    -The Sega 32X. It was dying almost on arrival, seen as pointless next to the Saturn, Sega's true 32-bit system.
    -The Sega Saturn. This was the best 32-bit system out at the time. It's $399, so you pay for the privilege, and the software library is still small. Sega made a major mistake launching this thing early, it didn't make a good first impression with consumers, and with limited supply, retailers got pissed off.

    Realistically, only the Saturn was a meaningful competitor. The Jag and 32X were dying already even without the PlayStation to worry about. The 3DO launched too early and once the PlayStation came out, its games looked woefully inadequate. Sony had their shit together, they emphasized third-party development, their system was easy to develop for and strong on the 3D graphics in high demand in the era, and at only $299 was far cheaper than the Saturn and the same price as the aging 3DO. Sony's biggest threat was still a year away from launching: the Nintendo Ultra 64.

    The Saturn put up a fight for a while but ultimately folded halfway through the generation to Sony's juggernaut. Nintendo's system was even cheaper and more powerful than the PlayStation, plus it had the long-established Nintendo name and Nintendo IPs. One would have thought that once it did finally launch, Sony would be relegated to second place. In fact, they were - for a few months after the N64 launched. Super Mario 64 was something better than anything you could get on the PlayStation at the time. But Nintendo's paranoia about piracy ended up costing them untold numbers of sales. Cartridges may have been nearly unpirateable, but 16 megabyte cartridges that cost 20 bucks to make weren't going to cut it when even Bubsy 3D came on a 700 megabyte disk that cost pennies to make. Third parties did the math, and the CD was the format of choice.
    As the cartridge's limitations became apparent, especially after 1997, the PlayStation was able to provide longer, richer games than the N64. Even the graphics caught up to the N64, as, you know, 700 megabytes of storage space meant that more complex graphical assets could be stored. Sound also could be better on PlayStation because it could be full CD quality because, you know, 700 megabytes of storage space. The scale of the space available was literally like moving from a Tiny House to a mansion.
    Nintendo provided triple-A games on those tiny cartridges, and the N64 was the only console that wasn't Sony that survived to see the PS2 launch. But after the 2000 holiday season, the N64 died fast and Sony nearly had a monopoly during 2001 until the Xbox and GameCube launched late that year.
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    Quote Originally Posted by guile_mrd View Post
    Sony used its name as a very powerful company and managed to get a strong third party support, I bought Sega Saturn at that time and I never bought any Sony consoles .. here's what I bought after that Dreamcast, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One. I just can't forgive Sony for what they did to Sega ...
    Really the simplest answer, and most obvious. That said, I would never discount the work that Sony's leadership did, in Japan, in the United States, Canada, and Europe. They went directly to a multitude of developers with support, both technical and monetary. They provided a platform which publishers could rely on for being successful. Kalinske did many of these things with SEGA, and Nintendo did them for years as well. Sony just did more of it, and had more to work with. They had one vision and no one got out of line. Perfectly executed business plan.

    That said, most "gamers" chose the N64 or Saturn instead but PS1 bagged the ordinary consumer.
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    Because someone decided the Playstation needed both a mid-air Hadouken AND a high-priority shoryuken. It was so OP they had to nerf it in the next patch.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gbpxl View Post
    I mean granted, the 3rd-party support was great, and I think that is usually what determines a console's fate but looking at a list of PS1 North American launch titles, it wasnt anything spectacular.
    Yeah...it kind of was spectacular, considering what else was around at the time. Final Fantasy 7's advertising blitz helped - that game just looked incredible. PCs were were still for nerds, and not everyone had one (or had one good enough to run games).

    Most of the good franchises that were on the Super Nintendo, that already had a bunch of brand recognition, jumped to the PlayStation rather than going to the N64. Mega Man X, Castlevania, Final Fantasy, Metal Gear - these might not have been quite as big as Mario or Zelda but they were mainstays of the video game scene since the NES. They were the first franchises to be ported to the SNES when it came out, and the Genesis' lack of those franchises hurt it. Once the PlayStation had them (and the N64 didn't), it was a major coup. Suddenly Nintendo was not the best platform for games - it was only the best platform for Nintendo's games, and everyone else was on a different platform.

    Then it started having all sorts of other smash hits, from action games (Tony Hawk's Pro Skater) to fighting games (Tekken) to platformers (Tomb Raider, Spyro) to horror / survival (Resident Evil). The N64 just could not compete, not at all. They had one real Mario game and one Zelda game and some not-really-part-of-the-franchise Pokemon games, GoldenEye, Banjo-Kazooie...and then some of the things that were already on PlayStation. If I recall, Mario Kart, Paper Mario, Perfect Dark, Super Smash Bros., and Majora's Mask came later (1999-ish, rather than the 1996 when the N64 launched) - and by then it was too late.
    Last edited by calthaer; 10-12-2021 at 12:03 PM. Reason: Brevity
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    Mario Kart 64 was there almost from launch. It was out in Japan in time for the N64's first holiday season in 1996, so people knew it was coming soon to American shores, which it did on February 10, 1997 (still a little over 4 months after the system launch). The other four games you mentioned, yes they were from 1999-2001. Hell, Majora's Mask and Paper Mario didn't come out until the PS2 was already out.

    Truth be told, third parties saw the N64 as an afterthought in 1998-2001. There really was no reason to buy it except for the Nintendo exclusives. The third party stuff was compressed and often 20 bucks more expensive than the PS1 version.

    I wonder if those game prices played a part in my parents getting rid of my N64 after I'd had it only a few months (Christmas 1998 - summer 1999) and getting me a PS1 instead. We weren't the most well off people in the world in the late '90s and a PS1 provided graphics, sound, and a controller that was just as good as N64 at a lower price with a larger game library. And Crash Bandicoot 2 and 3 were just as good as Super Mario 64, which itself was a masterpiece.
    Last edited by WelcomeToTheNextLevel; 12-23-2021 at 05:55 AM.
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    Majora's Mask came out the same day of the PS2. I know because it was my birthday

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    "That said, most "gamers" chose the N64 or Saturn instead but PS1 bagged the ordinary consumer".

    , what? Sorry, but that is not how I remember it at all. Actually the N64 was bought by kids and casual gamers.

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