PlayStation fans around the U.S. are celebrating the 20th birthday of the original Sony console, the PSX. In December 1994, PSX made its debut in Japan, and the 32-bit console made its debut stateside on September 9, 1995.
The PSX was marketed as the first “computer entertainment platform.” PSX’s release was considered by many to be the start of the console wars. Starting in the mid-90s, Sony’s iconic console faced off against rivals Sega and Nintendo: two companies that long dominated the console gaming field. The PSX eventually inspired tech giant Microsoft to dive into the console gaming world with the Xbox. Around the time PSX launched, then Microsoft chairman Bill Gates praised the system, saying, “Our game designer likes the Sony machine.”
The original system was so successful that its successor, the PlayStation 2, was made backwards compatible with its predecessor. Backwards compatibility provided gamers a smoother transition to the newer system. In 2000, Sony continued to capitalize on the PS1’s success by releasing a smaller “slim” version called the PSone.
The PSX’s lifespan lasted for over 10 years, eventually ceasing production on March 31, 2006 and selling over 102 million units globally.