The evolution of the PlayStation consoles

PS Vita - Front

The PlayStation needs little introduction. One of the giants of gaming, four generations of consoles and countless hardware updates have been released since the PlayStation first arrived on the scene in 1994. We’d like to take you on a trip down memory lane, recapping some of those consoles and remembering a time when the technology was brand new.

How many of these have you owned?


First released in Japan in 1994, and then to the rest of the world in 1995, the PlayStation was the first console to sell in excess of 100 million units worldwide – and one of the first with a CD drive. Opening the door to 3D graphics and better gaming qualities, the PlayStation boasted an array of titles that every games aficionado will have owned at one time or another. Metal Gear Solid, anyone? In its day, the PlayStation was a revelation, deftly competing against Nintendo’s latest offering. The PlayStation did have a drawback, though; storage was by way of a memory card, which held just 2 MiB of data.

PlayStation 2

The PlayStation 2 was released in 2000. The first PlayStation console to feature a DVD drive, this model propelled the brand beyond gaming and into the multimedia industry. The best-selling console to date, the PlayStation 2 had a huge library of more than 2,000 games, an Emotion Engine CPU, a better system and video RAM, and the ability to play all first generation games. In addition, the PS2 became the first console to support USB ports.


The PSP became PlayStation’s first handheld console in 2004. There would be further revisions of the console in 2005, 2007 and 2009. The PSP, or PlayStation Portable, became the most powerful portable console in the world upon its release; it was the first competent challenger for the Nintendo DS’s crown. Its high-end graphics, 4.3-inch screen and multimedia capabilities made the PSP a must-have entertainment staple.

PlayStation 3

In 2006, the PlayStation 3 became the first PlayStation console to feature a hard drive, with Blu-Ray as standard. Priced cheaper than many standalone Blu-Ray players, the PS3 became a popular choice for gamers and movie buffs alike. The PS3 supported HDMI and 1080p output, with an excellent processor to boot. The PS3 boasted Wi-Fi connectivity, and witnessed the birth of the PlayStation Network.

PlayStation Vita

Our beloved PlayStation Vita was the PSP’s successor, and aimed to pick up where the largely successful handheld console had been left. Featuring a 5-inch screen, joysticks, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and 3G, the Vita places a huge emphasis upon interactivity and enjoyment. It also helps that the Vita’s processor is pretty powerful.

PlayStation 4

Upon its release in 2013, the PlayStation 4 became the fastest-selling console in any single 24-hour period. It introduced the ability to upload and share gameplay and clips, and featured a far better processor and graphics than previous models. The PS4 impressed the importance of social interaction and device integration, becoming one of the world’s most interactive devices. You’ve no doubt made use of the console’s online gaming capabilities, and will have used it to converse with players from all around the world.

The rise of mobile gaming

Perhaps the biggest evolution that PlayStation consoles have undergone is the introduction and constant improvement of online features, and the capacity for gamers to connect to other players from around the world. While PlayStation has done everything in its power to remain relevant, the popularity of mobile and online gaming wasn’t to be ignored. Indeed, the rise of the online casino and exciting apps for mobile platforms, including those found on, has forced the console industry to re-evaluate how content is delivered, and consumed, by the masses. Bespoke apps are particularly targeted towards online gamers, and so PlayStation had a choice – to be overtaken, or to run with the mob.

The gaming giant chose the latter. The PlayStation brand’s online multiplayer platform appears across numerous titles, including Call of Duty, Rocket League, FIFA 17 and Prominence Poker, with games of every kind included in the digital revolution. Accessed via the home screen or within each game itself, PlayStation’s online content has allowed it to remain relevant in a competitive market. Gamers are able to access more exciting and advanced content, including the bespoke apps found on the Vita, while challenging themselves to play better players from all around the world. The challenge has well and truly been accepted and embraced by PlayStation’s fans worldwide.

Depite it’s first foray into the world of mobile gaming being less than successful with the PlayStation Mobile service bringing a range of games and apps to not only the Vita but also a wide range of compatible mobile devices spanning a range of brands you can understand Sony’s trepidation at embracing mobile platforms again. PlayStation Mobile wasn’t a bad platform – far from it – and it’s something we have been enthusiastic about here at Vita Player since its inception, but it wasn’t supported or promoted as well as it could have been and the 500+ game range faded into obscurity.

Fat Princess Piece Of Cake PS Vita 01

Since then, Sony has subsequently returned to Android and iOS for further mobile ventures both with games intended to be promotional titles to bolster existing games, compliemtary releases for PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 titles, but more importantly for Vita owners, a number of Free-To-Play games that made their way across to the handheld including the extremely popular Run Sackboy Run and Fat Princess: Piece Of Cake.

From its first incarnation in 1994 to more recent releases as late as 2016, Sony’s PlayStation brand has continued to delight and engage its players. Indeed, the PlayStation now represents 78% of the company’s profits, proving that its moves to embrace online gaming and app technology have been successful ones. As increasing numbers of apps are added to its platforms, including the Vita, it would appear that PlayStation has a few more tricks up its sleeve. We’re excited, to say the least.

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About Simon Plumbe 1066 Articles
Husband, father and lifelong geek. Originally from the West Midlands, now spending my days in South Wales with my family and a house full of animals. Passionate about video games, especially retro gaming, the Commodore 64 and PlayStation Vita. Love pro wrestling, sci-fi and I'm an animal lover and vegetarian. Enjoyed this and my other articles? Why not buy me a coffee:

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