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

Because Atari, Nintendo, and Sega were stupid.

The Jaguar was at the beginning of Gen V, and was pretty much dead on arrival. Atari had been a declining presence as early as Gen III, but Gen V sealed their fate.

Nintendo stubbornly stuck to cartridges because of faster load times and less piracy. This killed a lot of third-party support.

Sega completely botched the North American launch of the Saturn. It was $100 more than the PS1 and had an unplanned early launch. Third-parties all but ignored the Saturn, especially in the West. Not to mention Sonic Team never got Sonic Xtreme or another flagship Sonic title out.

I'm not acting like the PS1 doesn't have other merits, but it succeeded on the competition being tone-deaf and stupid. That's why the PS4 sold much more than the Xbox One, and far far more than the Wii U.



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FromDK said:
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.

So many people had mods or work arounds, on the PS2s as well.
I wouldnt be surprised if most people, had only like half "real" games, and rest were ones on burnt dvd's.

Wman1996 said:

Because Atari, Nintendo, and Sega were stupid.

The Jaguar was at the beginning of Gen V, and was pretty much dead on arrival. Atari had been a declining presence as early as Gen III, but Gen V sealed their fate.

Nintendo stubbornly stuck to cartridges because of faster load times and less piracy. This killed a lot of third-party support.

Sega completely botched the North American launch of the Saturn. It was $100 more than the PS1 and had an unplanned early launch. Third-parties all but ignored the Saturn, especially in the West. Not to mention Sonic Team never got Sonic Xtreme or another flagship Sonic title out.

I'm not acting like the PS1 doesn't have other merits, but it succeeded on the competition being tone-deaf and stupid. That's why the PS4 sold much more than the Xbox One, and far far more than the Wii U.


I think people forget how expensive n64 cartidges were.
I remember being in the US, in a Toys R Us, walking down the n64 sections and looking at the games, and the price tags.
Those suckers were like 80$+ (back in the 90's).

Sometimes PS1 games would be like half that or less.

Last edited by JRPGfan - on 18 November 2020

vivster said:

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

I love Nintendo.  I was all about the Playstation and the PS2.  Those were great, fun consoles.  The N64 was really lacking in games, and it took me a while to come around to the GameCube, but when I did I was all in again.  Sadly, Sony left the fun market when their main developers moved on to edgier titles in the PS3 era and I haven't wanted to go back.  I'm always waiting for a return to those early years, but I just don't see that happening anytime soon.  The demographics just don't support the shift back to cartoony fun that was so popular on the PS1 and PS2.



super_etecoon said:
vivster said:

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

I love Nintendo.  I was all about the Playstation and the PS2.  Those were great, fun consoles.  The N64 was really lacking in games, and it took me a while to come around to the GameCube, but when I did I was all in again.  Sadly, Sony left the fun market when their main developers moved on to edgier titles in the PS3 era and I haven't wanted to go back.  I'm always waiting for a return to those early years, but I just don't see that happening anytime soon.  The demographics just don't support the shift back to cartoony fun that was so popular on the PS1 and PS2.

^ this too.

You cant get around the PS1 library.
Mario 64 was amasing! like generation def. game.
However after your done with that? what else? and this is there the n64 had a issue.
It honestly didnt have a library that could compete with the PS1s.

So many experiances are missing on the n64, that you would feel depressed or left out, if you went looking at neighbors PS1 back then (if you only had a n64). (atleast that was my experiance, I was crazy jelly of their PS1)

Gamecube was def. better than n64 in terms of library.
It was still abit lacking tbh, but it was fine (atleast much better than n64).
The Wii was the one that made me appreciate nintendo again (after feeling abit letdown with n64+gamecube).
I enjoyed the Wii U too (even if it did have droughts, without new games ect)



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Leynos said:

Sony wasn't new to gaming either. They worked with Nintendo on the SNES Soundchip and the canceled CD addon. They worked with SEGA on SEGA CD games and for a brief moment were going to work together on the Saturn.

They also developped a computer for gaming during late '80s just like computing devices such as the Comodore and the Amiga



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Two reasons: First, third parties weren't happy with Nintendo over their control over the console such as limiting the game of games that could be released (which was a response to the Atari crash). They tried to go over to Sega yet they copied Nintendo. Sony was more open to third party development since they lacked their own. This lead to a lot of great titles being PS1 exclusive. The other was Nintendo's output suffered. Mario lost a lot of it's edge, Zelda wouldn't release for years and they failed to create any new exciting IPs.In truth, it's not much different from other consoles. Why did Sony dominate the 8th Gen? Because Nintendo and Microsoft made awful consoles that weren't great for games. Why did Sony struggle in Gen 7?



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It had tech that no other machine did, used CD-ROM which allowed vastly bigger games. It also got massive 3rd party support, developers had been screaming for alternatives after the mafia-like tactics and licensing hell of both Nintendo and SEGA. Nintendo's treatment of Sony during the infamous CD-ROM driven Nintendo console did nothing to help their reputation in the industry either, paired with their price fixing on software this was the final nail for 3rd party support. Another oft ignored thing the PS1 managed was to bring classical arcade games and gaming into the living room, like modern beat 'em ups and some decent rail shooters. It even got some PC-centric fare in games like Warhammer: Shadow of the Horned Rat, Warcraft II, Command & Conquer, and Diablo. The breadth of software was beyond anything Nintendo, SEGA, or the likes of Amiga or Atari had ever shown. It continued, at least in part, the traditions of Amiga, Arcades, Nintendo, SEGA and PC all in one. The PS1 also consolidated Japanese and Western games development and design in a unique way.

Proper game saving, more modern controllers, CD-ROM, massive support and immense breadth of software with some crazy hits and new IP's like Gran Turismo, Ridge Racer, Resident Evil, Tekken, Tomb Raider, and Crash Bandicoot, to name just a few. It was also probably the first console to ever reach out to a more adult demographic and not mainly kids, console gaming was still very much a guilty pleasure for adults in the mid 90's. To underline this, they released a Slim version, the first case of a proper, complete hardware revision to extend the life cycle of a home console and keep consumers interested.

In some ways, the PS1 was a hit due to other companies making big mistakes over a long period of time, but it was also a fantastic machine in its own right and did some never-before seen things in one neat package.



Leynos said:

N64 had limited space on carts plus NOA policies were shit. SEGA Saturn was expensive and had a very difficult hardware to develop on. Sony's machine was easy to program for. Cheaper than Saturn. Killed SEGA at E3 with the infamous $299 after SEGA announced Saturn was $400 and launching the day they announced it pissing off retailers. 3rd parties (esp key ones like Square from Nintendo) flocked to PS1 for these reasons and more. Sony took advantage with better marketing and the fuck ups of Nintendo and SEGA.

Sony wasn't new to gaming either. They worked with Nintendo on the SNES Soundchip and the canceled CD addon. They worked with SEGA on SEGA CD games and for a brief moment were going to work together on the Saturn.

Leynos said:
SEGA, MS, Nintendo, and Sony all had some gaming experience before becoming console makers. SEGA with Arcades. Nintendo with Pong machines, Game & Watch, and Arcades. Sony worked with SEGA and Nintendo on games and hardware. Microsoft had the MSX in the 80s and PC gaming. So none were new to the industry. They had an idea of what to deal with going in.

You know, it's nice when the answer gets summed up so clearly within the first 3 posts. Nice.



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