Well, most years since PS1 days will have great games, we had Gran Turismo selling 10-15 million since always, and great games all the time, if you go back to 2005 you have God of War and Shadow of the Collosus, for example. December 1999 Sony had The Legend of Dragoon and Gran Turismo 2, on a single month.
But I kinda agree that was in 2009 that Sony first party studios as a whole started a new era.
Because the PS3 was heavily underperforming for Sony expectations, and the 360 was taking so much market share to be as relevant as it was in the whole picture (destroying it on NA and being destroyed on EU and AS), Sony had to make a big move on several aspects of their strategy, and one of them was heavy investiments on first party games.
Then we got to 2009 and Uncharted 2 released and showed everybody what the fruits of that would start to give. Then we got God of War 3, Gran Turismo 5, and so on, until The Last of Us, which was when the whole thing was clear for everybody, Sony was in another level now, to the point that even as the PS3 and 360 had similar numbers, everybody was just talking about Sony games by the end of the generation, crowned by The Last of Us.
After that Sony first party games image was consolidated and carried over to the next gen, which with the PS4 being very successful made them a bigger audience to sell for, and even as it was between PS1 and PS2 success, Sony first party games appeal, recognition and sales were like never, now it wasn't just Gran Turismo that could sell into the 10M territory, we got new IPs doing it, we got new a IP doing 20M actually, and even a 2nd party game smashed the 10M bar.
By the end of this gen Sony will have since 2009 at least 7 games from 6 different franchises have surpassed 10M (Gran Turismo 5, The Last of Us, Uncharted 4, Horizon Zero Dawn, God of War, Spider Man, The Last of Us Part 2 (as its very likely it will with 4M in 3 days)), compared to 3 games from the same franchise before (Gran Turismo 1, 3, 4). Worth noting that Gran Turismo sales actually declined after 2010, opposed to the trend of big increases of the other games.
So yeah, 2009 was kinda of a turning point for Sony first party games even as yes, if we go back we'll also find lots of amazing games, and actually some of my favorites, including my favorite, too.
GTS will reach 10M as well. And I think there may be more 10M sellers 1st party games that we haven't seem official numbers yet.
duduspace11 "Well, since we are estimating costs, Pokemon Red/Blue did cost Nintendo about $50m to make back in 1996"
Mr Puggsly: "Hehe, I said good profit. You said big profit. Frankly, not losing money is what I meant by good. Don't get hung up on semantics"