Until 1991, Sony had little direct involvement with the video game industry. The company supplied components for other consoles, such as the sound chip for the Super Famicom from Nintendo, and operated a video game studio, Sony Imagesoft. As part of a joint project between Nintendo and Sony that began as early in 1988, the two companies worked to create a CD-ROM version of the Super Famicom, though Nintendo denied the existence of the Sony deal as late as March 1991. At the Consumer Electronics Show in June 1991, Sony revealed a Super Famicom with a built-in CD-ROM drive that incorporated Green Book technology or CD-i, called "Play Station" (also known as SNES-CD). However, a day after the announcement at CES, Nintendo announced that it would be breaking its partnership with Sony, opting to go with Philips instead but using the same technology. The deal was broken by Nintendo after they were unable to come to an agreement on how revenue would be split between the two companies. The breaking of the partnership infuriated Sony President Norio Ohga, who responded by appointing Kutaragi with the responsibility of developing the PlayStation project to rival Nintendo.
At that time, negotiations were still on-going between Nintendo and Sony, with Nintendo offering Sony a "non-gaming role" regarding their new partnership with Philips. This proposal was swiftly rejected by Kutaragi who was facing increasing criticism over his work with regard to entering the video game industry from within Sony. Negotiations officially ended in May 1992 and in order to decide the fate of the PlayStation project, a meeting was held in June 1992, consisting of Sony President Ohga, PlayStation Head Kutaragi and several senior members of Sony's board. At the meeting, Kutaragi unveiled a proprietary CD-ROM-based system he had been working on which involved playing video games with 3D graphics to the board. Eventually, Sony President Ohga decided to retain the project after being reminded by Kutaragi of the humiliation he suffered from Nintendo. Nevertheless, due to strong opposition from a majority present at the meeting as well as widespread internal opposition to the project by the older generation of Sony executives, Kutaragi and his team had to be shifted from Sony's headquarters to Sony Music, a completely separate financial entity owned by Sony, so as to retain the project and maintain relationships with Philips for the MMCD development project (which helped lead to the creation of the DVD).
The PlayStation project, SCEI's first official project, was finally given the green light by Sony executives in 1993 after a few years of development. Also in 1993, Phil Harrison, who later became President of SCE Worldwide Studios, was recruited into SCEI to attract developers and publishers to produce games for their new PlayStation platform.
At Sony Music Entertainment, Kutaragi worked closely with Shigeo Maruyama, the CEO of Sony Music, and with Akira Sato to form Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCEI) on November 16, 1993. A building block of SCEI was its initial partnership with Sony Music which helped SCEI attract creative talent to the company as well as assist SCEI in manufacturing, marketing and producing discs, something that Sony Music had been doing with Music Discs. The final two key members of SCEI were Terry Tokunaka, the President of SCEI from Sony's headquarters, and Olaf Olafsson. Olafsson was CEO and president of New York-based Sony Interactive Entertainment which was the parent company for the 1994-founded Sony Computer Entertainment of America (SCEA).
Computer Gaming World in March 1994 reported a rumor that the "Sony PS-X" would be released in Japan "before the end of this year and will retail for less than $400". After a demonstration of Sony's distribution plan as well as tech demos of its new console to game publishers and developers in a hotel in Tokyo in 1994, numerous developers began to approach PlayStation. Two of whom later became major partners were Electronic Arts in the West and Namco in Japan. One of the factors which attracted developers to the platform was the use of a 3D-capable, CD-ROM-based console which was much cheaper and easier to manufacture for in comparison to Nintendo's rival console, which used cartridge systems. The project eventually hit Japanese stores in December 1994 and gained massive sales due to its lower price point than its competitor, the Sega Saturn. The popularity of the console spread after its release worldwide in North America and Europe.
Released in 1994, the PlayStation control pad was the first controller made for the original PlayStation. It featured a basic design of a D-pad, 4 main select buttons ( ('Green Triangle'), ('Red Circle/Red O')), ('Blue Cross/Blue X') and ('Pink Square'), and start and select buttons on the face. 'Shoulder buttons' are also featured on the top [L1, L2, R1, R2] (named by the side [L=Left, R=Right] and 1 and 2 [top and bottom]). In 1996, Sony released the PlayStation Analog Joystick for use with flight simulation games. The original digital controller was then replaced by the Dual Analog in 1997, which added two analog sticks based on the same potentiometer technology as the Analog Joystick. This controller was then also succeeded by the DualShock controller.
PlayStation (Japanese: プレイステーション, Hepburn: Pureisutēshon, officially abbreviated as PS) is a video game brand that consists of five home video game consoles, two handhelds, a media center, and a smartphone, as well as an online service and multiple magazines. The brand is produced by Sony Interactive Entertainment, a division of Sony; the first PlayStation console was released in Japan in December 1994, and worldwide the following year.
The original PlayStation, released in Japan on December 3, 1994, was the first of the ubiquitous PlayStation series of console and hand-held game devices. It has included successor consoles and upgrades including the Net Yaroze (a special black PlayStation with tools and instructions to program PlayStation games and applications), "PS one" (a smaller version of the original) and the PocketStation (a handheld which enhances PlayStation games and also acts as a memory card). It was part of the fifth generation of video game consoles competing against the Sega Saturn and the Nintendo 64. By December 2003, the PlayStation and PS one had shipped a combined total of 102.49 million units, eventually becoming the first video game console to sell 120 million units.
Released in 1998, the DualShock controller for the PlayStation succeeded its predecessor, the Dual Analog, and became the longest running series of controllers for the PlayStation brand. In addition to the inputs of the original, digital, controller (, , , , L1, L2, R1, R2, Start, Select and a D-pad), the DualShock featured two analog sticks in a similar fashion to the previous Dual Analog controller, which can also be depressed to activate the L3 and R3 buttons.
The PocketStation was a miniature game console created by SCE as a peripheral for the original PlayStation. Released exclusively in Japan on December 23, 1999, it featured a monochrome LCD, a speaker, a real-time clock and infrared communication capability. It could also be used as a standard PlayStation memory card by connecting it to a PlayStation memory card slot. It was extremely popular in Japan and Sony originally had plans to release it in the United States but the plan was ultimately scrapped due to various manufacturing and supply-and-demand problems.
Released in 2000, 15 months after the Dreamcast and a year before its other competitors, the Xbox and the Nintendo GameCube, the PlayStation 2 is part of the sixth generation of video game consoles, and is backwards-compatible with most original PlayStation games. Like its predecessor, it has received a slimmer redesign. It is the most successful console in the world, having sold over 155 million units as of December 28, 2012. On November 29, 2005, the PS2 became the fastest game console to reach 100 million units shipped, accomplishing the feat within 5 years and 9 months from its launch. This achievement occurred faster than its predecessor, the PlayStation, which took "9 years and 6 months since launch" to reach the same figure. PlayStation 2 shipments in Japan ended on December 28, 2012. The Guardian reported on January 4, 2013 that PS2 production had ended worldwide, but studies showed that many people all around the world still own one even if it is no longer in use. PlayStation 2 has been ranked as the best selling console of all time as of 2015.
The original console in the series was the first console of any type to ship over 100 million units, doing so in under a decade. Its successor, the PlayStation 2, was released in 2000. The PlayStation 2 is the best-selling home console to date, having reached over 155 million units sold by the end of 2012. Sony's next console, the PlayStation 3, was released in 2006, selling over 87.4 million units by March 2017. Sony's next console, the PlayStation 4, was released in 2013, selling a million units within a day, becoming the fastest selling console in history. The latest console in the series, the PlayStation 5, was released in 2020.
Released on July 7, 2000, concurrently with its successor the PlayStation 2, the PS One (stylized as PS one) was a considerably smaller, redesigned version of the original PlayStation video game console. The PS one went on to outsell all other consoles, including its successor, throughout the remainder of the year. It featured two main changes from its predecessor, the first being a cosmetic change to the console and the second being the home menu's Graphical User Interface; a variation of the GUI previously used only on PAL consoles up to that point.
Online gaming on PlayStation consoles first started in July 2001 with the release of PlayStation 2's unnamed online service in Japan. Later in August 2002 saw its release in North America, followed by the European release in June 2003. This service was shut down on March 31, 2016.
In 2002, Sony released the first useful and fully functioning operating system for a video game console, after the Net Yaroze experiment for the original PlayStation. The kit, which included an internal hard disk drive and the necessary software tools, turned the PlayStation 2 into a full-fledged computer system running Linux. Users can utilize a network adapter to connect the PlayStation 2 to the internet, a monitor cable adaptor to connect the PlayStation 2 to computer monitors as well as a USB Keyboard and Mouse which can be used to control Linux on the PlayStation 2.
Released solely in Japan in 2003, the Sony PSX was a fully integrated DVR and PlayStation 2 video game console. It was the first Sony product to utilize the XrossMediaBar (XMB) and can be linked with a PlayStation Portable to transfer videos and music via USB. It also features software for video, photo and audio editing. PSX supports online game compatibility using an internal broadband adapter. Games that utilize the PS2 HDD (for example, Final Fantasy XI) are supported as well. It was the first product released by Sony under the PlayStation brand that did not include a controller with the device itself.
Released in 2004, four years after the launch of the original PlayStation 2, the PlayStation 2 Slimline was the first major redesign of the PlayStation 2. Compared to its predecessor, the Slimline was smaller, thinner, quieter and also included a built-in Ethernet port (in some markets it also has an integrated modem). In 2007, Sony began shipping a revision of the Slimline which was lighter than the original Slimline together with a lighter AC adapter. In 2008, Sony released yet another revision of the Slimline which had an overhauled internal design incorporating the power supply into the console itself like the original PlayStation 2 resulting in a further reduced total weight of the console.
The PlayStation Portable (PSP) was Sony's first handheld console to compete with Nintendo's DS console. The original model (PSP-1000) was released in December 2004 and March 2005, The console is the first to utilize a new proprietary optical storage medium known as Universal Media Disc (UMD), which can store both games and movies. It contains 32 MB of internal flash memory storage, expandable via Memory Stick PRO Duo cards. It has a similar control layout to the PS3 with its PlayStation logo button and its ('Triangle'), ('Circle/O'), ('Cross/X') and ('Square') buttons in their white-colored forms.
In 2005, Australian newspaper The Age wrote an article about the PlayStation brand. Among the numerous interviews conducted with various people in the industry was an interview with Dr Jeffrey Brand, associate professor in communication and media at Bond University who said, "PlayStation re-ignited our imagination with video games". Game designers Yoshiki Okamoto called the brand "revolutionary — PlayStation has changed gaming, distribution, sales, image and more", while Evan Wells of Naughty Dog said "PlayStation is responsible for making playing games cool."
Released in 2006, the PlayStation Network is an online service focusing on online multiplayer gaming and digital media delivery. The service is provided and run by Sony Computer Entertainment for use with the PlayStation 3, and was later implemented on the PlayStation Portable, PlayStation Vita, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 video game consoles. The service has over 103 million active users monthly (as of December 2019). The Sony Entertainment Network provides other features for users like PlayStation Home, PlayStation Store, and Trophies.
In July 2006, an advertising campaign in the Netherlands was released in which a white model dressed entirely in white and a black model dressed entirely in black was used to compare Sony's new Ceramic White PSP and the original Piano Black PSP. This series of ads depicted both models fighting with each other and drew criticism from the media for being racist, though Sony maintains that the ad did not feature any racist message.
In November 2006, a marketing company employed by Sony's American division created a website entitled "All I want for Xmas is a PSP", designed to promote the PSP virally. The site contained a blog which was purportedly written by "Charlie", a teenage boy attempting to get his friend Jeremy's parents to buy him a PSP, and providing a "music video" of either Charlie or Jeremy "rapping" about the PSP. Visitors to the website quickly recognized that the domain name was registered to a marketing company, exposing the campaign on sites such as YouTube and digg. Sony was forced to admit that the site was in fact a marketing campaign and in an interview with next-gen.biz, Sony admitted that the idea was "poorly executed".
Released on November 11, 2006 in Japan, the PlayStation 3 (PS3) is a seventh generation game console from Sony. It competes with the Microsoft Xbox 360 and the Nintendo Wii. The PS3 is the first console in the series to introduce the use of motion-sensing technology through its Sixaxis wireless controller. The console also incorporates a Blu-ray Disc player and features high-definition resolution. The PS3 was originally offered with either a 20 GB or 60 GB hard drive, but over the years its capacity increased in increments available up to 500 GB. The PlayStation 3 has sold over 80 million consoles worldwide as of November 2013.
PlayStation Blog (stylized as PlayStation.Blog) is an online PlayStation focused gaming blog, part of the PlayStation Network. It was launched on June 11, 2007 and has featured in numerous interviews with third-party companies such as Square Enix. It also has posts from high-ranking Sony Computer Entertainment executives such as Jack Tretton, former President and Chief Executive Officer of Sony Computer Entertainment, and Shawn Layden, current President, SIEA, and Chairman, SIE Worldwide Studios. A sub-site of the blog called PlayStation Blog Share was launched on March 17, 2010 and allowed readers of the blog as well as users of the PlayStation Blog to submit ideas to the PlayStation team about anything PlayStation-related and vote on the ideas of other submissions.
The PSP-2000 (also known as the Slim & Lite in PAL territories) was the first major hardware revision of the PlayStation Portable, released in September 2007. The 2000 series was 33% lighter and 19% slimmer than the original PlayStation Portable. The capacity of the battery was also reduced by ⅓ but the run time remained the same as the previous model due to lower power consumption. Older model batteries will still work and they extend the amount of playing time. The PSP Slim & Lite has a new gloss finish. Its serial port was also modified in order to accommodate a new video-out feature (while rendering older PSP remote controls incompatible). On a PSP-2000, PSP games will only output to external monitors or TVs in progressive scan mode, so that televisions incapable of supporting progressive scan will not display PSP games; non-game video will output in either progressive or interlaced mode. USB charging was also made possible. Buttons are also reportedly more responsive on the PSP-2000. In 2008, Sony released a second hardware revision called the PSP-3000 which included several features that were not present in the PSP-2000, such as a built-in microphone and upgraded screen, as well as the ability to output PSP games in interlaced mode.
The first handheld game console in the series, the PlayStation Portable or PSP, sold a total of 80 million units worldwide by November 2013. Its successor, the PlayStation Vita, which launched in Japan in December 2011 and in most other major territories in February 2012, selling over four million units by January 2013. PlayStation TV is a microconsole and a non-portable variant of the PlayStation Vita handheld game console. Other hardware released as part of the PlayStation series includes the PSX, a digital video recorder which was integrated with the PlayStation and PlayStation 2, though it was short-lived due to its high price and was never released outside Japan, as well as a Sony Bravia television set which has an integrated PlayStation 2. The main series of controllers utilized by the PlayStation series is the DualShock, which is a line of vibration-feedback gamepad having sold 28 million controllers by June 2008.
PlayStation Home is a community-based social gaming networking service for the PlayStation 3 on the PlayStation Network (PSN). It is available directly from the PlayStation 3 XrossMediaBar. Membership is free, and only requires a PSN account. Home has been in development since early 2005 and started an open public beta test on December 11, 2008. Home allows users to create a custom avatar, which can be made to suit the user's preference. Users can decorate their avatar's personal apartment ("HomeSpace") with default, bought, or won items. They can travel throughout the Home world (except cross region), which is constantly updated by Sony and partners. Each part of the world is known as a space. Public spaces can just be for display, fun, or for meeting people. Home features many mini-games which can be single player or multiplayer. Users can shop for new items to express themselves more through their avatars or HomeSpace. Home features video screens in many places for advertising, but the main video content is shown at the theatre for entertainment. Home plays host to a variety of special events which range from prize-giving events to entertaining events. Users can also use Home to connect with friends and customize content. Xi, a once notable feature of Home, is the world's first console based Alternate Reality Game that took place in secret areas in Home and was created by nDreams.
In 2009, ViTrue, Inc. listed the PlayStation brand as number 13 on their "The Vitrue 100: Top Social Brands of 2009". The ranking was based on various aspects mainly dealing with popular social media sites in aspects such as Social Networking, Video Sharing, Photo Sharing and Blogs.
Like its predecessors, the PlayStation 3 was re-released in 2009 as a "slim" model. The redesigned model is 33% smaller, 36% lighter, and consumes 34% to 45% less power than previous models. In addition, it features a redesigned cooling system and a smaller Cell processor which was moved to a 45nm manufacturing process. It sold in excess of a million units within its first 3 weeks on sale. The redesign also features support for CEC (more commonly referred to by its manufacturer brandings of BraviaSync, VIERA Link, EasyLink and others) which allows control of the console over HDMI by using the remote control as the controller. The PS3 slim also runs quieter and is cooler than previous models due to its 45 nm Cell. The PS3 Slim no longer has the "main power" switch (similar to PlayStation 2 slim), like the previous PS3 models, which was located at the back of the console. It was officially released on September 1, 2009 in North America and Europe and on September 3, 2009 in Japan, Australia and New Zealand.
PlayStation Move is a motion-sensing game controller platform for the PlayStation 3 video game console by Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE). Based on the handheld motion controller wand, PlayStation Move uses the PlayStation Eye webcam to track the wand's position and the inertial sensors in the wand to detect its motion. First revealed on June 2, 2009, PlayStation Move was launched in Q3/Q4 2010. Hardware available at launch included the main PlayStation Move motion controller and an optional PlayStation Move sub-controller. Although PlayStation Move is implemented on the existing PlayStation 3 console, Sony states that it is treating Move's debut as its own major "platform launch", planning an aggressive marketing campaign to support it. In addition to selling the controllers individually, Sony also plans to provide several different bundle options for PlayStation Move hardware; including a starter kit with a PS Eye, a Move motion controller, and a demo/sampler disc, priced under US$100; a full console pack with a PS3 console, DualShock 3 gamepad, PS Eye, and Move motion controller; and bundles of a Move motion controller with select games.
The PlayStation Store is an online virtual market available to users of the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5 and PlayStation Portable game consoles via the PlayStation Network. The store uses both physical currency and PlayStation Network Cards. The PlayStation Store's gaming content is updated every Tuesday and offers a range of downloadable content both for purchase and available free of charge. Available content includes full games, add-on content, playable demos, themes and game and movie trailers. The service is accessible through an icon on the XMB on the PS3 and PSP. The PS3 store can also be accessed on the PSP via a Remote Play connection to the PS3. The PSP store is also available via the PC application, Media Go. As of September 24, 2009, there have been more than 600 million downloads from the PlayStation Store worldwide.
"Room" (officially spelled as R∞M with capital letters and the infinity symbol in place of the "oo") was being beta tested in Japan from October 2009 to April 2010. Development of Room has been halted on April 15, 2010 due to negative feedback from the community. Announced at TGS 2009, it was supposed to be a similar service to the PlayStation Home and was being developed for the PSP. Launching directly from the PlayStation Network section of the XMB was also to be enabled. Just like in Home, PSP owners would have been able to invite other PSP owners into their rooms to "enjoy real time communication." A closed beta test had begun in Q4 2009 in Japan.
Released in October 2009, the PSP Go is the biggest redesign of the PlayStation Portable to date. Unlike previous PSP models, the PSP Go does not feature a UMD drive but instead has 16 GB of internal flash memory to store games, videos and other media. This can be extended by up to 32GB with the use of a Memory Stick Micro (M2) flash card. Also unlike previous PSP models, the PSP Go's rechargeable battery is not removable or replaceable by the user. The unit is 43% lighter and 56% smaller than the original PSP-1000, and 16% lighter and 35% smaller than the PSP-3000. It has a 3.8" 480 × 272 LCD (compared to the larger 4.3" 480 × 272 pixel LCD on previous PSP models). The screen slides up to reveal the main controls. The overall shape and sliding mechanism are similar to that of Sony's mylo COM-2 internet device. The PSP Go was produced and sold concurrently with its predecessor the PSP-3000 although it did not replace it. All games on the PSP Go must be purchased and downloaded from the PlayStation Store as the handheld is not compatible with the original PSP's physical media, the Universal Media Disc. The handheld also features connectivity with the PlayStation 3's controllers the Sixaxis and DualShock 3 via Bluetooth connection.
In 2010, Gizmodo stated that the PlayStation brand was one of the last Sony products to completely stand apart from its competitors, stating that "If you ask the average person on the street what their favorite Sony product is, more often than not you'll hear PlayStation". As of April 2012, the PlayStation brand is the "most followed" brand on social networking site, Facebook, with over 22 million fans and followers in total which is more than any other brand in the entertainment industry. A study by Greenlight's Entertainment Retail has also shown that the PlayStation brand is the most interactive making 634 posts and tweets on social networking sites Facebook and Twitter.
Released in 2010, the Sony BRAVIA KDL22PX300 is a 22-inch 720p television which incorporates a PlayStation 2 console, along with 4 HDMI ports.
The PlayStation 3 (excluding PlayStation 3 Slim) also supports running Linux OS on firmware versions prior to 3.21 without the need for buying additional hardware purchase. Yellow Dog Linux provides an official distribution that can be downloaded, and other distributions such as Fedora, Gentoo and Ubuntu have been successfully installed and operated on the console. The use of Linux on the PlayStation 3 allowed users to access 6 of the 7 Synergistic Processing Elements; Sony implemented a hypervisor restricting access to the RSX. The feature to install a second operating system on a PlayStation 3 was removed in a firmware update released in 2010.
Video content such as films and television shows are also available from the PlayStation Store on the PlayStation 3 and PSP and will be made available on some new Sony BRAVIA televisions, VAIO laptop computers and Sony Blu-ray Disc players from February 2010.
Sony Tablets are PlayStation Certified Android tablets, released in 2011, 2012, and 2013. They offer connectivity with PlayStation 3 controllers and integrate with the PlayStation network using a proprietary application. The following models were released between 2011 and 2013: S, Sony Tablet S, Sony Tablet P, Xperia Tablet S and Xperia Tablet Z.
The PlayStation 4 (PS4) was announced by Sony Computer Entertainment at a press conference on February 20, 2013. In the meeting, Sony revealed some hardware specifications of the new console. The eighth-generation system, launched in the fourth quarter of 2013, introduced the x86 architecture to the PlayStation series. According to lead system architect, Mark Cerny, development on the PlayStation 4 began as early as 2008. PlayStation Europe CEO Jim Ryan emphasized in 2011 that Sony wanted to avoid launching the next-generation console behind the competition.
The PlayStation App is an application that was released on January 11, 2011 in several European countries for iOS (version 4 and above) and for Android (version 1.6 and above), and has been installed more than 3.6 million times as of March 2, 2014. It allows users to view their trophies, see which of their PSN friends are online and read up to date information about PlayStation. It does not feature any gaming functionality.
Released in Japan on December 17, 2011 and North America on February 22, 2012, the PlayStation Vita was previously codenamed Next Generation Portable (NGP). It was officially unveiled by Sony on January 27, 2011 at the PlayStation Meeting 2011. The original model of the handheld, the PCH-1000 series features a 5-inch OLED touchscreen, two analog sticks, a rear touchpad, Sixaxis motion sensing and a 4 core ARM Cortex-A9 MPCore processor.
In 2012, Sony revealed a new "Super Slim" PlayStation 3. The new console, with a completely redesigned case that has a sliding door covering the disc drive (which has been moved to the top of the console), is 4.3 pounds, almost three pounds lighter than the previous "slim" model. The console comes with either 12GB flash memory or a 250GB, 500GB hard drive. Several bundles which include a Super Slim PS3 and a selection of games are available.
Life with PlayStation was a Folding@home application available for PlayStation 3 which connected to Stanford University’s Folding@home distributed computer network and allowed the user to donate their console's spare processing cycles to the project. Folding@home is supported by Stanford University and volunteers make a contribution to society by donating computing power to this project. Research made by the project may eventually contribute to the creation of vital cures. The Folding@home client was developed by Sony Computer Entertainment in collaboration with Stanford University. Life with PlayStation also consisted of a 3D virtual view of the Earth and contained current weather and news information of various cities and countries from around the world, as well as a World Heritage channel which offered information about historical sites, and the United Village channel which is a project designed to share information about communities and cultures worldwide. As of PlayStation 3 system software update version 4.30 on October 24, 2012, the Life With PlayStation project has ended.
The PlayStation Network is an online service with about 110 million registered users (as of June 2013) and over 103 million active users monthly. (as of December 2019) It comprises an online virtual market, the PlayStation Store, which allows the purchase and download of games and various forms of multimedia, a subscription-based online service known as PlayStation Plus and a social gaming networking service called PlayStation Home, which had over 41 million users worldwide at the time of its closure in March 2015. PlayStation Mobile (formerly PlayStation Suite) is a software framework that provides PlayStation content on mobile devices. Version 1.xx supports both PlayStation Vita, PlayStation TV and certain devices that run the Android operating system, whereas version 2.00 released in 2014 only targeted PlayStation Vita and PlayStation TV. Content set to be released under the framework consist of only original PlayStation games currently.
The new PCH-2000 series system is a lighter redesign of the device that was announced at the SCEJA Press Conference in September 2013 prior to the Tokyo Game Show. This model is 20% thinner and 15% lighter compared to the original model, has an additional hour of battery life, an LCD instead of OLED, includes a micro USB Type B port, 1GB of internal storage memory. It was released in Japan on October 10, 2013 in six colors: white, black, pink, yellow, blue, and olive green, and in North America on May 6, 2014.
PlayStation TV, known in Asia as PlayStation Vita TV, is a microconsole and a non-portable variant of the PlayStation Vita handheld. It was announced on September 9, 2013 at a Sony Computer Entertainment Japan presentation. Instead of featuring a display screen, the console connects to a television via HDMI. Users can play using a DualShock 3 controller, although due to the difference in features between the controller and the handheld, certain games are not compatible with PS TV, such as those that are dependent on the system's touch-screen, rear touchpad, microphone or camera. The device is said to be compatible with over 100 Vita games, as well as various digital PlayStation Portable, PlayStation and PC Engine titles. The system supports Remote Play compatibility with the PlayStation 4, allowing players to stream games from the PS4 to a separate TV connected to PS TV, and also allows users to stream content from video services such as Hulu and Niconico, as well as access the PlayStation Store. The system was released in Japan on November 14, 2013, in North America on October 14, 2014, and in Europe and Australasia on November 14, 2014.
Among the new applications and services, Sony introduced the PlayStation App, allowing PS4 owners to turn smartphones and tablets into a second screen to enhance gameplay. The company also planned to debut PlayStation Now game streaming service, powered by technology from Gaikai. By incorporating a share button on the new controller and making it possible to view in-game content being streamed live from friends, Sony planned to place more focus on social gameplay as well. The PlayStation 4 was first released in North America on November 15, 2013.
PlayStation Now (PS Now) is a Gaikai-based video game streaming service used to provide PlayStation gaming content to PlayStation 3 (PS3), PlayStation 4 (PS4), PlayStation Vita, PlayStation TV and BRAVIA televisions. The service currently allows users to pay for access to a selection of original PlayStation 3 titles on either a per-game basis or via a subscription. PlayStation Now was announced on January 7, 2014 at the 2014 Consumer Electronic Show. At CES, Sony presented demos of The Last of Us, God of War: Ascension, Puppeteer and Beyond: Two Souls, playable through PS Now on Bravia TVs and PlayStation Vitas. PlayStation Now was launched in Open Beta in the United States and Canada on PS4 on July 31, 2014, on PS3 on September 18, 2014, on PS Vita and PS TV on October 14, 2014, with support for select 2014 Bravia TVs coming later in the year.
In July 2014, Sony boasted in a company release video that the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita sold a combined total of 100 million units. It was announced at Tokyo Game Show on September 1, 2014, that PlayStation home game consoles claim 78% market share of all home consoles in Japan.
PlayStation 4 Pro or PS4 Pro for short (originally announced under the codename Neo) was unveiled on September 7, 2016. Its model number is CUH-7000. It is an updated version of the PlayStation 4 with improved hardware, including an upgraded GPU with 4.2 teraflops of processing power, and higher CPU clock. It is designed primarily to enable selected games to be playable at 4K resolution, and improved quality for PlayStation VR. All games are backwards and forward compatible between PS4 and PS4 Pro, but games with optimizations will have improved graphics performance on PS4 Pro. Although capable of streaming 4K video from online sources, PS4 Pro does not support Ultra HD Blu-ray. Additionally the PS4 Pro is the only PS4 model which can remote play at 1080p. The other models are limited to 720p.
PlayStation 4 Slim (officially marketed simply as PlayStation 4 or PS4) was unveiled on September 7, 2016. It is a revision of the original PS4 hardware with a streamlined form factor. The new casing is 40% smaller and carries a rounded body with a matte finish on the top of the console rather than a two-tone finish. The two USB ports on the front have a larger gap between them, and the optical audio port was also removed. It ships with a minor update to the DualShock 4 controller, with the light bar visible through the top of the touchpad and dark matte grey coloured exterior instead of a partially shiny black. The PS4 Slim was released on September 15, 2016, with a 500 GB model at the same price point as the original PS4 model. Its model number is CUH-2000.
PlayStation VR is a virtual reality device that is produced by Sony Computer Entertainment. It features a 5.7 inch 1920x1080 resolution OLED display, and operates at 120 Hz which can eliminate blur and produce a smooth image; the device also has a low latency of less than 18ms. Additionally, it produces two sets of images, one being visible on a TV and one for the headset, and includes 3D audio technology so the player can hear from all angles. The PlayStation VR was released in October 2016.
The PlayStation Classic is a miniature version of the original 1994 Model SCPH-1001 PlayStation console, that comes preloaded with 20 games, and two original style controllers. It was launched on the 24th anniversary of the original console on December 3, 2018.
The Vita was discontinued in March 2019. SIE president Jim Ryan said that while the Vita was a great device, they have moved away from portable consoles, "clearly it's a business that we're no longer in now".
The PlayStation 5 (PS5) was released worldwide on November 12, 2020, and, alongside the Xbox Series X and Series S released the same month, is part of the ninth generation of video game consoles. The first news of the PS5 came from Mark Cerny in an interview with Wired in April 2019. Sony intends for the PlayStation 5 to be its next-generation console and to ship worldwide by the end of 2020. In early 2019, Sony's financial report for the quarter ending March 31, 2019, affirmed that new next-generation hardware was in development but would ship no earlier than April 2020.
The current specifications were released in October 2019. The console is slated to use an 8-core, 16-thread CPU based on AMD's Zen 2 microarchitecture, manufactured on the 7 nanometer process node. The graphics processor is a custom variant of AMD's Navi family using the RDNA microarchitecture, which includes support for hardware acceleration of ray-tracing rendering, enabling real-time ray-traced graphics. The new console ships with a custom SSD storage, as Cerny emphasized the need for fast loading times and larger bandwidth to make games more immersive, as well as to support the required content streaming from disc for 8K resolution. In a second interview with Wired in October 2019, further details of the new hardware were revealed: the console's integrated Blu-ray drive would support 100GB Blu-ray discs and Ultra HD Blu-ray; while a game installation from a disc is mandatory as to take advantage of the SSD, the user will have some fine-grain control of how much they want to have installed, such as only installing the multiplayer components of a game. Sony is developing an improved suspended gameplay state for the PlayStation 5 to consume less energy than the PlayStation 4.
As Sony prepared to transition from the PlayStation 4 to PlayStation 5, they introduced a new PlayStation Indies program led by Shuhei Yoshida in July 2020. The program's goals are to spotlight new and upcoming indie titles for the PlayStation 4 and 5, focusing on those that are more innovative and novel, akin to past titles such as PaRappa the Rapper, Katamari Damacy, LittleBigPlanet, and Journey. Sony also anticipates bringing more indie titles to the PlayStation Now series as part of this program.
A 24-inch 1080p PlayStation branded 3D television, officially called the PlayStation 3D Display, was released in late 2011. A feature of this 3D television is SimulView. During multiplayer games, each player will only see their respective screen (in full HD) appear on the television through their respective 3D glasses, instead of seeing a split screen (e.g. player 1 will only see player 1's screen displayed through their 3D glasses).