From the PS1 to the PS5: how the PlayStation has evolved since 1994

As gamers wait for the newest Sony console, we take a look back over its 26 year evolution

A customer plays a video game on a Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. PlayStation 4 (PS4) video game console at a Bic Camera Inc. electronics store in Tokyo, Japan, on Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014. Sony Corp., its credit rating cut to junk by Moody's Investors Service as Japan's biggest television maker struggles to capture consumer demand for smartphones and tablet computers, released the PS4 console in Japan today. Photographer: Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg
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As the world navigates the coronavirus pandemic, plenty of casual and avid gamers have relied on their trusty PlayStation to keep themselves entertained through global lockdowns.

While many are now waiting with baited breath for the reveal of the PlayStation 5 – a celebratory event for which was scheduled for Thursday, June 4, but then cancelled because of America's ongoing protests surrounding George Floyd's murder – we take a look at the history of this legendary gaming device.

The history of the PlayStation

The illustration below takes us through the history of the console, starting from 1994, when the first PlayStation (PS1) was introduced. It was worth $299 (Dh1,098) and a whopping 104.25 million units were sold.

An illustration of the history of the PlayStation. Roy Cooper / The National

It was another six years before a second iteration of the console was released – the PlayStation 2 (PS2) came out in March 2000, cost $299 and, this time, Sony went on to sell 157.68m units.

This is a Japanese SCPH-1000, which was the very first model of PlayStation commercially released. Wikipedia Commons
This is a Japanese SCPH-1000, which was the very first model of PlayStation commercially released. Wikipedia Commons

This time, it was only a couple of months before another option came out in the form of the PSOne, a smaller, cheaper redesign of the original PS1 with improved graphic user interface that retailed at only $99.

If we count the much-awaited PlayStation 5, there have been a total of 20 consoles to come out over the past 26 years, including handhelds and even a virtual reality headset.

While the release date for the new version, which promises to be a much savvier and upgraded device, is up in the air, Sony Interactive Entertainment still very much plans to release it later this year.

“[The pandemic is] obviously introducing a level of complexity any business would prefer not to have to deal with,” Jim Ryan, the company's chief executive and president, told the BBC. “But we’re feeling really good about the supply chain, we’re going to launch this year and we’ll be global.”