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Forums - Sony Discussion - Why was the PS1 so successful despite being a newcomer?

PS1 was kind of a slow starter compared to todays consoles. N64 shipped more in it's first 2 years than PS1 did... just that by the time N64 launched PS1 was just hitting it's stride.


Earlier release (or more specifically late release of N64... PS1's competion was the Saturn & the aging SNES)

Discs (allowed for better sound & more space but also allowed them to sell the games using the video cutscenes)

Discs again, as they were cheaper for 3rd parties = more incentive for publishers to make games for it.

Nintendo's prior treatment of 3rd parties no doubt also played a factor

Sony's already existing huge worldwide brand power, Nintendo only really had a strong Japanese & US presence. This also extends to availability, I think back then apart from Japan, USA, & the big 5 in EU Nintendo didn't directly sell in any other countries... I think they had a partnership with a company to cover Scandanavia, and maybe Canada came under NoA umbrella... the rest of Europe & rest of the world would only be able to get grey imports.

Last edited by HigHurtenflurst - on 18 November 2020

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My experience as a Nintendo fan;I didn't care about the Saturn and PS1 (or any of the other systems that tried to get a piece of the gaming pie). I saw what the Ultra 64 was going to do and that was all that mattered. Then the N64 launched didn't deliver on what the arcade machines promised. It wasn't even close to what they showed for Cruis'N USA or Killer Instinct. I was still satisfied for the most part. Then I found myself going to the store looking for new games to buy and coming home with nothing. Not even new games to get excited for.After Mario Kart 64 disappointed (IDGAF what anyone says. The game didn't deliver), I ran out of stuff to do in Wave Race, Mario 64, etc., and Killer Instinct Gold was extremely disappointing and cost $80, the PS1 started to look pretty good. I saw games like Tomb Raider getting high scores. Then, my friend/neighbor let me borrow his PS1 overnight to play Tekken 2. HOLY SHIT. The CGI cutscenes! The awesome animations! The music!! I wanted a PS1 so bad. And they were totally sold out. I bought two games before I even had the system--Tomb Raider and Resident Evil and they only cost like $30+ each. I just looked at those shitty black and white manuals and listened to the crisp Tomb Raider soundtrack over and over again on my CD player. By the end of 1997, my N64 was gone. I would buy another when DK64 released, though. But by that time, the generation was pretty much over.

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Last edited by d21lewis - on 18 November 2020

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Very good word of mouth. I dont remember any console having as good word of mouth as PS1 did, but perhaps back then I was more receptive to it since the internet was obviously not the thing its now today. One thing that came along with the word of mouth was the popular perception that it was for a more mature audience than the Nintendo consoles, and speaking from my personal background: Here Sega had no popularity whatsoever, so it was either "Kiddy Nintendo consoles or mature PS1" so it took off very easily.

The other main thing being the fantastic library of quality games.

Last edited by Jpcc86 - on 18 November 2020

The exact same reason every PS was a success. Nintendo haters. Quality.

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javi741 said:

To those who lived and experienced the 90s, when did you first hear about PlayStation and what made you immediately trust Sony with the PS1 enough to buy one? And did you skip out on the N64 for the PS1? What do you think made PS1 so successful to beat out the well known and dominant Nintendo brand at the time?

I actually didnt buy a PS1,... but first a PS2 lateron.
My parents got me and my brother a n64 back then (we had nes,snes,n64,gamecube,wii ect) (my bro was a huge nintendo fan).

"What do you think made the PS1 so successfull to beat out the well known and dominant nintendo brand at the time?"

the wow factor.
There was also a mystic to it, it was a more "grown up" system, which apparently was super cool, to us younger kids back then.

I still remember the mind numbing chills, and shocks, we would have sitting down and playing Resident Evil, on the PS1.
Imagine a group of kids that grew up playing around together, on the same street. One of them has a huge 50" tv back then (it was rare back then) in their parents bed room, and we would pull the curtains so it was dark in the room. Put on Resident Evil.... and as a little kid, that game could scare the crap outta us.

Street Fighter Alpha, Tomb Raider, Tekken, Twisted Metal, Ridge Racer...

N64 was cool, but it was mostly just a differnt experiance.
N64 was mostly just the Mario64 + Killer instinct box (starfox, starwars, clayfighter).

They just offered differnt experiances.

I will say, I think the single player experiances, like RE and tombraider, were HUGE for playstation 1.
It was something very differnt, experiance wise, than what you could find on a nintendo system.

Also holy crap n64 games were expensive.
I think part of the reason playstation did so well, was just the prices of games were so much lower too.

Last edited by JRPGfan - on 18 November 2020

I was there.. as I saw it.. there where one reason above all.. the possibility to play free games.

When it hit denmark that we could get all the games and only paying for the console.. every friend i had got one.

Nintendo was being anti consumer and anti 3rd party much like the XB1 launch. As the months rolled on, the PS1 grew its momentum and Sony was quite aggressive of course for their first console.