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Thread: Why did the PlayStation completely obliterate everything in its path?

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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 08:24 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 WelcomeToTheNextLevel View Post
    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.
    I agree with most of that but also remember that the Dreamcast competed with the PS1 from 1999 to the PS2 launch (Oct 2000). And Nintendo really didnt release much for the 64 after Xmas 2000. Dr. Mario, Mario Party 3, a couple others. They were focused on the GameCube at that point.

    If you look at the number of games released for the 64 versus the PS1, the PS1 had around 4x-5x the amount of games. It didn't really have many more titles than the Dreamcast, Saturn, Wii U, consoles that are considered "failures"
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    Quote Originally Posted by gbpxl View Post
    I agree with most of that but also remember that the Dreamcast competed with the PS1 from 1999 to the PS2 launch (Oct 2000). And Nintendo really didnt release much for the 64 after Xmas 2000. Dr. Mario, Mario Party 3, a couple others. They were focused on the GameCube at that point.

    If you look at the number of games released for the 64 versus the PS1, the PS1 had around 4x-5x the amount of games. It didn't really have many more titles than the Dreamcast, Saturn, Wii U, consoles that are considered "failures"
    While the Dreamcast technically competed directly with the PS1, the consensus at the time with gamers were that many were waiting for the PS2 to come out, giving them not only access to the new PS2 games BUT the ability to play their PS1 games as well. On top of that, the PS2 was also the cheapest DVD player on the market at the time, given the total capability of the system (PS2 + PS1 + DVD=WIN!). I remember reading an article (IGN?) where someone asked a room full of Japanese gamers if they had a PS2. Then they asked how many played games on it-and not many raised their hand. Finally they asked how many used it as a DVD player and a majority, if not all, raised their hands.

    Dreamcast was very capable and had a stable of awesome games from the get-go. However it also didn't help that it was a Sega system (people burned by them before, at least in the States) AND the PS2 release was very close. I bet if the PS2 launched earlier in the US, the Dreamcast would probably might not have had the impact it had here.

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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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    I thought it was pretty obvious. Sony cut a deal wtih Nintendo to make a PlayStation CD-ROM attachment for the SNES, but when Sony was about to announce it, Nintendo announced they were skipping Sony and going with Philips. Everybody at Sony was furious and they thought that Nintendo had publically humiliated them and were determined to do anything it could to destroy Nintendo. They spent 2 billion dollars bringing the PlayStation to market, all of Sony's management were dedicated to dominating Nintendo in the video game market and they did everything they could to generate hype. Nintendo made Sony "lose face" and they were determined to get back at them, no matter what the cost.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg2600 View Post
    That said, most "gamers" chose the N64 or Saturn instead but PS1 bagged the ordinary consumer.
    Really? Most "gamers" chose the kid oriented N64 over the PS1 with Resident Evil, Twisted Metal 2, Tomb Raider, and various other mature oriented games? Silent Hill wasn't out yet or Metal Gear Solid, but numerous great games were already available before the N64 launched. If we're talking about games published after the N64 was available then the N64 just gets buried.

    I can see the Saturn as there's plenty of fighters and RPGs, and ports of arcade games. It really depends on when people chose to upgrade to a new console.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gameguy View Post
    Really? Most "gamers" chose the kid oriented N64 over the PS1 with Resident Evil, Twisted Metal 2, Tomb Raider, and various other mature oriented games? Silent Hill wasn't out yet or Metal Gear Solid, but numerous great games were already available before the N64 launched. If we're talking about games published after the N64 was available then the N64 just gets buried.

    I can see the Saturn as there's plenty of fighters and RPGs, and ports of arcade games. It really depends on when people chose to upgrade to a new console.
    The N64 had a good following but when FF7 hit, that's what everyone seemed to be talking about. That game, whether you liked it or not, showed Sony did what Nintendidn't.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gameguy View Post
    Really? Most "gamers" chose the kid oriented N64 over the PS1 with Resident Evil, Twisted Metal 2, Tomb Raider, and various other mature oriented games? Silent Hill wasn't out yet or Metal Gear Solid, but numerous great games were already available before the N64 launched. If we're talking about games published after the N64 was available then the N64 just gets buried.

    I can see the Saturn as there's plenty of fighters and RPGs, and ports of arcade games. It really depends on when people chose to upgrade to a new console.
    My memory was that most folks jumped from SNES to Playstation in North America due to next generation availability at a decent price. Sega blew most of their good will on the 32x (and to a lesser extent, Sega CD). The Playstation also just looked more impressive out of the gate than the Saturn. I don't personally recall anyone I know having a Saturn.

    Folks got N64's eventually, but it felt like that was an eternity after the Playstation was available. That's what did in Nintendo - the significant delay in availability (combined with Sony's anti-cartridge campaign). It wasn't "gamers" that chose the N64. Gamers chose the Playstation and the masses followed. Brand loyalists bought N64 and Saturn.
    Last edited by Pr3tty F1y; 01-05-2021 at 01:06 PM.

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    I only knew 1 kid who had a Saturn. and they were rich. everyone else had an N64 for the most part and some had PS1s
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