Evolution of the PlayStation console

We take a quick look at the Sony consoles that led up to the PlayStation 4.

Nic Healey Senior Editor / Australia
Nic Healey is a Senior Editor with CNET, based in the Australia office. His passions include bourbon, video games and boring strangers with photos of his cat.
Nic Healey
2 min read
Watch this: The history of the PlayStation

With just hours until the formal launch of the PS4 in Australia, we take a quick stroll down memory lane to look at the Sony consoles that paved the way for the newest generation.

The Original PlayStation (Screenshot by Nic Healey/CNET Australia)

Original PlayStation

The PlayStation 1 or, as it was known back then, just the plain old PlayStation. This bit of innovative hardware sold 102 million units in its life and 962 million games. The original PlayStation came out in 1994 if you were in Japan and on 15 November 1995 if you were Aussie.

Locally, it cost AU$699.95, compared with its American price of US$299. Adjusting for inflation, that's the equivalent of paying AU$1,087.88 today.

The best selling title for the PlayStation was Gran Turismo, with 10.85 million copies shipped, but this is also the console that saw Crash Bandicoot, Resident Evil and Tomb Raider.

Also, the original controller didn't feature the thumb sticks that are the default these days — they arrived on the Dual Shock in 1997.

The PS2 (Screenshot by Nic Healey/CNET Australia)

PlayStation 2

The year 2000 saw the launch of the PlayStation 2. In its lifetime, it sold 155 million units, and it was a very long lifetime, as manufacturing only ended on the 4 January 2013.

If you went and bought one in Australia on the launch day of 30 November 2000, you'd have paid AU$749.95 — AU$1060 in today's money. That priced rapidly dropped, however, and by September 2001, you could get one for AU$499.

A staggering 1.5 billion bits of software were sold for it. According to the Guiness Book of Records, GTA: San Andreas is the best selling PS2 game, with 17.3 million copies sold.

The EyeToy, the Singstar microphones and even a dedicated DVD remote were just some of the peripherals that were available for both the original PS2 and the later, tinier slimline model.

The "fat" PS3. (Screenshot by Nic Healey/CNET Australia)

PlayStation 3

Launched in 2006 in the US and Japan, it was 23 March 2007 when the PlayStation 3 arrived in Australia. Sony has said that 80 million consoles and 350 million games have been sold worldwide.

Launch cost was AU$999.95 — just under AU$1150 if we once again adjust for inflation. A brand new 500GB version of the PS3 will now cost you AU$399, including a bonus controller and multiple games.

It was the on the PS3, both in its original fat version and the later slim, that we saw the birth of the PlayStation Network, with 110 million registrations and nearly 2.6 billion content downloads.

The newly launched PS4. (Nic Healey/CNET Australia)

PlayStation 4

The PS4 officially launches in Australia at midnight tonight AEDT, 29 November 2013, costing AU$549, which is, surprisingly, the cheapest launch price for any of the PlayStation family.

In the US and Canada, Sony is claiming that 1 million units were sold in the first 24 hours, despite some reports of a Blue Light of Death issue with some consoles.

Our ever-updating review can be found here.