Posted on 29 September by James Gallagher – Blog Manager, SCEE
The global PlayStation family is celebrating a very special birthday this September. On 29 September, 1995, the original PlayStation console launched across Europe with games likes Ridge Racer and WipEout.
That’s 15 years of amazing games, new consoles, E3 bombshells, midnight launches, all-nighters, achy thumbs, annoyed girlfriends, rage quitting, wiping discs with sleeves, converting friends, swearing at enemies, eyes clenched with concentration and the satisfaction of finally seeing the end credits.
To mark the occasion, I emailed the people that have been working here at SCEE since the very beginning and asked for their favourite memories; here are my 15 favourites. I’m also aware that many of loyal readers will also have been with us from the very beginning, so please add to this piece by sharing your fondest memories in the comments.
Ray Maguire, Senior Vice President and Managing Director, SCE UK
So much has changed over the last 15 years. My daughter was one when we launched the PlayStation and now she’s studying for her A-levels and has a boyfriend. There were no social networks; no High Definition and people watched TV as the primary source of entertainment.
Not only was the original PlayStation console new, so was the company. Although most of us came from the games industry, Sony had no credentials in video games and the pundits thought we would fail. As a start up, we had the chance to ‘do it another way’.
The early years were about establishing PlayStation as a brand and although the business today is very different, it’s as much fun and as rewarding as it ever was.
Dave Parkinson, Director of First Party QA, SCEE
The original PlayStation was just under 12 months away from European release when I joined the company and it was clear to everyone, even then, that this machine was going to change the gaming landscape with arcade quality gameplay, coupled with an exceptional line up of launch titles.
PlayStation became a household name soon after, which made you feel proud to be a part of that organisation going through such tremendous growth.
Paul Holman, Vice President of Research & Development, SCEE
Back in 1995, a typical console game could be made in 12 to 28 months by a few dozen people at most. We communicated with them via a cutting-edge BBS Bulletin Board System, which was basically a 486-based PC with a number of modem cards next to my desk. The CD was a new and expensive novelty that we kept in fridges during the ramp up to the original PlayStation’s launch.
Flip forward to 2010 and games need Blu-ray Discs to hold all their content, while teams range from 70 to 100 people, to a tiny crew working on a PSN game.
Steve O’Neill, Graphic Designer, SCEE
I began working for PlayStation in the summer of 1995, just before the launch of the first PlayStation. At that time, marketing operated out of a small office in 13 Great Marlborough Street. We were all squashed in together – 2 designers, a copywriter, a couple of product managers and several others. It’s amazing to look back and think how few people there were in the company at the launch of PlayStation.
We knew we were at the cutting-edge and that what we were working towards would change the face of the games industry and keep on changing it. At the end of the week, Chris Deering, our then Vice President, would take us all down to the pub. For most of us, it was a completely new experience, and that made it fun because it felt more like an adventure than a job.
Something inevitably gets lost when a company grows to our size. Despite that, I still feel as proud to say I work for Sony PlayStation today as I did back in 1995.
Mark Pittam, Head of Network Platform Format QA, SCEE
Back in 1995, we thought that Ridge Racer and Jumping Flash were outstanding 3D titles, and then Final Fantasy VII and PaRappa the Rapper come along and change all that. PaRappa the Rapper created a new genre overnight and look where we are now – we have titles such as Rock Band, SingStar and Guitar Hero.
Nadim Othman, Director of Creative Services, SCEE
I won’t ever forget the first zombie appearing in the first Resident Evil. A group of us playing it in the office after work one evening and we went into a state of near hysteria. It was a fantastic moment.