Sony launched the original PlayStation in 1994 and has now sold over 500 million PlayStation systems. To celebrate the milestone, Sony has created a Limited Edition console.
40,000x graphics performance
It has been almost 24 years since Sony launched the original PlayStation. It was grey and had wired game controllers. You were also forced to buy a small memory card if you wanted to save game progress. Since then, we have witnessed significant increases in graphics performance but the basic form has remained unchanged; the console.
Since the original PlayStation, Sony has launched three major revisions with PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, and PlayStation 4. The company most recently launched a sort of “PlayStation 4.5” in the form of PlayStation 4 Pro. Since 1994, Sony has sold exactly 525.3 million PlayStation systems, which includes handheld devices. The milestone was shared in a press release.
Game consoles: Graphics performance
Xbox One S
PlayStation 4 Pro
Xbox One X
It would not be fair to compare Sony’s total sales to those of Microsoft’s Xbox that came to market later. PlayStation 2 still tops the list as the all-time best-selling game console (>155 million), according to most estimates, with Nintendo DS holding second place (154 million). Sales of PlayStation 4 will soon pass PlayStation 3 that moved “only” 84 million units – it may already have happened.
In terms of graphics performance, we have witnessed impressive progress starting from under 100 Megaflops (Mflops) in the original PlayStation to more than 4 Teraflops (Tflops) in PlayStation 4 Pro – and even more in Xbox One X. To put it in perspective, that corresponds to >40.000x improvement in graphics performance over the span of 24 years. Gaming PCs are even more powerful but a new category of gaming device is emerging with the mobile device. A modern iPad Pro has more than double the graphics muscle compared to PlayStation 3, measured in Tflops performance.
During the same period, the industry has moved from low-quality SD resolution to 4K resolution and sparkling High Dynamic Range (HDR) pictures. Resolution has made it possible to show more detail whereas HDR represents a more effective graphics container format that can better convey the wide range of colors and luminance that we see in real life.
A milestone on the path to PS5
To celebrate the milestone, Sony is launching a translucent blue PlayStation 4 Pro Limited Edition with a 2TB hard drive built-in. It will cost $500 / €500 and be available from August 24. A total of 50,000 units will be sold.
Rumors about a PlayStation 5 console have begun making the rounds. It is expected to launch sometime around 2020. We still do not know a lot about the PlayStation 5 but we think it is safe to assume that it will be even more powerful.
The industry has started talking about game – or cloud – streaming as well as other new approaches to distribution. These are long-term plays and it would appear that there is still at least one major console generation on the roadmap. Time will tell if Sony reaches one billion.