Review by Bobo The Clown

"The First Dominant System Since The NES"

The Sony Playstation is a unique creature. Created from the ashes of the fallen Super Nintendo CD project, a very ironic twist of fate that I'm sure Nintendo loves, the Playstation overwhelmed its main competitors, the Sega Saturn and Nintendo 64, with several means.

First, Sony used its enourmous background in electronics to ensure that the Playstation was well-stocked. The Playstation was carried in nearly every store that also carried Sony products. High distribution was essential. There was also speculation that Sony blackmailed other stores into NOT carrying competing equipment (Sega, Nintendo), but these claims were never substantiated.

Sony also provided developing guidelines that were much less strict than that of Nintendo. When choosing between those two, developers were much more likely to flock to Sony, who cared less about quality and more about quantity. Hence, it was easier to find a decent to great game in any genre for the Playstation than the Saturn or Nintendo.

The price issue can not be overlooked either. The systems were roughly the same price, however, the Playstation offered cheap game prices, along with the Saturn. This put Nintendo at a big disadvantage; they couldn't afford to price their games at forty dollars, like Sony could.

The Playstation isn't radically better hardware-wise. It's a stronger system than the Saturn, but technically not as strong as the Nintendo 64. Sony made the smart decision to use CD's, which hold ten times as much data as a cartridge. This was crucial in luring companies such as Square to their side.

The Playstation lacks any sort of storage device, so one disadvantage is that you HAVE to buy a memory card. Memory can't be saved onto a CD, and the Playstation lacks any sort of internal storage like the Saturn has. Also, most hardware bundles only come with one controller, and there are only two controller ports on the Playstation. So if you want four player action, prepare to spend about ten bucks for each extra controller, plus ten more for a four player adapter.

The controllers themself are very sound though. The layout is extremely similiar to a Super Nintendo controller, which is generally considered the greatest controller of all time. The first edition controllers featured a directional pad, two L action buttons, two R action buttons, four main action buttons, square, triangle, circle, and X, and the customary start and select buttons. The second edition controllers added a left and right analog stick, and a rumbling feature.

No system except for the original Nintendo can match the Playstation's game library. Every single genre is well-represented, and several old genres were re-established (skateboarding, extreme gaming, music games, role playing games). There are at least ten titles on the Playstation to please ANY gamer that is not biased.

If you don't own a Playstation, you should get one immediately. They can be picked up cheaply with the release of the Playstation 2, some for as cheap as thirty bucks. At this price, it's a steal of a deal.


Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 07/29/01, Updated 07/29/01


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