Sony to Sell 20th Anniversary Grey PS4

3 Dec 2014 | Author: | No comments yet »

20th anniversary PlayStation 4 revealed, with original console’s colours.

It’s 20 years since the small, grey original PlayStation emerged into the world — and Sony, apparently aware that we might miss it, has launched a PS4 that looks like the original console It will sell 12,300 of the commemorative machines, coloured in ‘Original Grey’, a symbolic number related to the original PlayStation’s release date.My first experience with Sony’s original PlayStation occurred almost a year before yours: in the display window of a Babbages in an out-of-the-way shopping mall in western Iowa.

PlayStation is 20 — and to celebrate, a limited edition version of the current console has been given a retro makeover, draped in the grey livery of the original Sony console.The original Playstation came out in Japan twenty years ago today and Sony have been filling their social media streams with rememberances of the massively successful platform.Launched on 3 December 1994, the Sony PlayStation ruled console gaming for five quite astonishing years, introducing 3D visuals to the mass market and hosting dozens of vital game design innovations.

Babbages, many have probably forgotten, was a franchise named after Charles Babbage, the guy credited with inventing the mechanical computer, that sold computer software and console games back when you could still buy stuff like Peachtree Accounting in biblical boxes from brick-and-mortar outfits. The Play Station name was originally tied to a collaboration between Sony and Nintendo in the 1980s as the two companies developed a new CD-ROM format, but Sony backed out. Sony’s Ken Kutaragi, later dubbed the “father of the PlayStation” was nearly fired for his involvement with Nintendo, but managed to persuade Sony that gaming was not a fad. It’s basically just a normal PlayStation 4 controller and console but painted grey like the first PlayStation, but there are only 12,300 to go around worldwide. (The amount is supposed to represent the release date, although surely that should be 12,394.) It’ll cost £399 in the UK, which is substantially more than a normal PlayStation 4, and comes in a special commemorative box.

My store manager was a connoisseur of the improbable, popping up with this or that strange gizmo months before it registered on the public radar. (this was the early 1990s, the Internet embryonic and everyone still looked to magazines for breaking info.) And so when Sony released the PlayStation in Japan on December 3, 1994, he imported one, told none of us, and dropped it in one of the store windows for fun. After its Japanese launch, the console landed in the US and Europe in September 1995 The 32-bit console went head-to-head with with the Nintendo 64 and the Sega Saturn. Take a look at this video to find out more: In case you didn’t watch the full thing (we wouldn’t blame you, that guy’s enthusiasm is a bit much at this hour of the morning) the retro PS4 will cost €499 here. Imagine Crash Bandicoot crossed with Mirror’s Edge and you have this early, impressively experimental first-person platformer in which a robotic rabbit named Robbit (of course) must explore 18 worlds collecting missing jetpods. I remember reporting for duty and noticing a racing game running demo laps in that window (I had no idea what Ridge Racer was at that point) and doing the equivalent of one of those cartoon double-takes.

Therefore, it’s perhaps safe to say everyone who really wanted a PS4 already has one, so this latest launch could be one for the collectors and super-fans only. This limited edition PS4 offers a great sense of nostalgia to long-time PlayStation fans, while also providing a fresh experience to those who never picked up the original console,’ said Sony Computer Entertainment boss Andrew House. ‘The PlayStation 4 20th Anniversary Edition embodies our appreciation and gratitude to all our fans, publishers, and business partners that have provided us with tremendous support for the past 20 years, and we look forward to their support as we continue to imagine and build the future of PlayStation together for years to come’, he added. Sony haven’t announced when it will come out in Europe but have said that it “will not be available via traditional retail channels in the SCEE region.” You will also be lucky to get one as only 12,300 are being made worldwide! It’s doesn’t look like much now–you can see what I saw in the video below, complete with the world’s first Redbook Audio-caliber soundtrack–but pretend it’s still 1994, Babylon 5‘s just getting started, the original Jurassic Park only hit theaters last year, and the best-looking game you can play at home is Doom–a first-person shooter that’s technically only 2D with a bit of clever height fakery.

Back in the mid- 1990s, it was widely assumed that the scrolling shooter would die out, but then Squaresoft created the awesome Einhander, which combined 3D polygonal spaceships with scrolling backgrounds, and featured a claw that let you steal weapons from enemy spaceships. I’d graduated from a Super Nintendo to a Pentium computer a few months earlier, and so 1994 for me was System Shock and Tie Fighter, X-COM: UFO Defense and Master of Orion, Master of Magic and Warcraft and Wing Commander III. With its state-of-the-art graphics processor, the PlayStation didn’t seem like a sensible home for abstract puzzle titles, until Intelligent Qube (known as Kurushi in the UK) came along.

But none of that stuff (including 1993’s Doom) looked half as sharp and smooth and visually grounded as Ridge Racer on that crazy little from-the-future import PlayStation. 3dfx’s Voodoo Graphics passthrough card for computers was still years away, and seeing smooth, lifelike full 3D actually working in a game felt like watching a moon landing. Sequel to the 1996 action adventure Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain, Soul Reaver is a hugely atmospheric vampire thriller, where the player moves between the apocalyptic realm of Nosgoth and its shadowy spectral plane.

Figuring out how to represent plausible reality spaces (or various forms of unreality spaces that take their cues from three-dimensional ones) has always been a stopgap process, a technology-facilitated march toward a kind of retinal verisimilitude that’s still underway. It’s filled with challenging puzzles and great story-telling, but more importantly it united Amy Hennig and Richard Lemarchand, two of the key designers behind the Uncharted series. The medium’s only part of the message, and my interests shifted long ago from workaday graphic whiz-bangery to design facets like simulated intelligence and interactive rhetoric and the sort of compositional visual artistry so wonderfully expressed in games like Inkle Studios’ 80 Days or Ustwo’s Monument Valley. True, this gaudily bright 3D platformer is about traveling through time capturing cheeky apes to protect humanity, but don’t let that lull you into thinking it isn’t sophisticated and innovative. But in 1994, we were still dreaming of the world to come, one flush with sleek roadsters and smooth-framed race tracks and arcade ports that didn’t feel like downgrades from their souped-up, quarter-chewing equivalents.

In late 1994, home computers were still ridiculously expensive, Nintendo’s Project Reality was just a rumor and Sega’s Saturn was a hypothetical that had pundits twisting over its advanced but at that point developmentally esoteric architecture. Into that space Sony poured the PlayStation, a system born of a failed add-on deal with Nintendo (the original “PlayStation” concept was to be a Sony-developed optical drive for the SNES), and the first game console to eventually sell over 100 million units worldwide–surpassed only by the PlayStation 2. Companies like Atari and Nintendo and Sega played crucial roles in gaming’s formative decades, but when it came to capturing the public’s hearts and wallets, the original PlayStation completely recalibrated our expectations. Neversoft’s thrilling skateboard sim combined a ridiculously intuitive control system with a wonderful open-world structure, giving players a true sense of being in a skate park, pulling off cool moves.

Released during the pinnacle of the extreme sports boom, the game quickly became a post-pub staple, giving players the freedom and flexibility to show off to each other without breaking their legs. Although Konami’s superlative footie sim has its roots in the publisher’s 1996 title Goal Storm, it was in this, the fourth title in the confusing “Winning Eleven” series, that the real magic happened. Improved animations, fluid player movement and the in-depth Master League mode worked together to produce the most compelling and authentic football game so far. Konami had been experimenting with music action games for a couple of years with its DJ sim Beatmania and frenzied strum-’em-up, Guitar Freaks, but Dance Dance Revolution was its masterpiece.

Designed in conjunction with Steven Spielberg and inspired by Rare’s N64 classic Goldeneye, Medal of Honor created a new genre of cinematic military shooters, designed around highly choreographed set-pieces. Designed by idiosyncratic genius Masaya Matsuura with art by Rodney Greenblat, PaRappa is a wonderfully weird musical adventure that eschewed contemporary obsessions with visual authenticity and thematic darkness in favour of karate-kicking onion teachers and lovesick rapping dogs. With its Designers Republic iconography and trendy club culture soundtrack, this space craft racing title exemplified Sony’s determination to capture the 20-something crowd. Beyond the hype and Chemical Brothers beats, it was a challenging weapons-based shooter that just kept coming back to enliven subsequent PlayStation machines. Envisioned by Naughty Dog founders Jason Rubin and Andy Gavin in the middle of a roadtrip, Crash Bandicoot was enthusiastically adopted by Sony, which was still lacking a platforming character to go up against Mario and Sonic.

With its intuitive combat system, sharply textured fighters and ridiculous operatic narratives, Tekken provided a feisty competitor to Sega’s more complex and demanding Virtua Fighter series. Originally developed for the arcade using Namco’s System 11 technology (basically just a PlayStation with more RAM) the game provided a seductive graphical showcase for Sony’s machine. Sony’s coup in teasing Squaresoft from its exclusive Nintendo relationship was a major controversy at the time – as though Roy Keane, at the height of his prowess, had left Man United for Liverpool. But the game was a spectacular success – a thrilling steam punk odyssey, following spiky-haired eco-warrior Cloud Strife and his ragtag gang, facing the evil Shinra corporation.

Intended as a modern take on Capcom’s little-known supernatural adventure Sweet Home, Resident Evil is effectively an interactive B-movie, combining the expressionist terror of George A Romero with the gory zeal of Lucio Fulci. Although famed for its terrible voice acting, Resident Evil set in place a fiendish blueprint – combining jump scares, puzzles and low-resource combat – that inspired a whole generation of survival horror classics.

The game that popularised the stealth adventure, MGS, is a unapologetic collision of cinematic hubris, anime narrative complexity and silly gaming in-jokes. Providing hundreds of realistic car models and a detailed series of driving tests, it demanded serious skill from players rather than arcade twitch-n-drift instincts. Lara Croft was the perfect protagonist for the nineties, pleasing to the gloating lad mags, but also strong and resourceful enough to provide a role model for a new generation of women gamers.

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