Wow, I can’t believe it’s been two decades (my heart) since the launch of the original PlayStation back on 9/9/95. Where or where does the time go? Admittedly I did’t have a PlayStation when it originally came out but I had friends who had one and I remember playing it all the time. Eventually when I did get one it was the cute little PS One and I played the shit out of it. I still have it to this day. I remember playing Spyro, Syphon Filter, Driver, Grand Theft Auto, Final Fantasy VII, and more at my dad’s place almost every weekend.
While my PS One provided me with a lot of fun it wasn’t until I got my PlayStation 2 that I really fell in love. I think I was a freshman in high school I remember my cousin and I got a summer job doing some construction work. Being that we were both gamers it was no surprise that we spent our first paycheck on our own PS2. I bought mine with GTA III (which my cousin had to buy because I was under 18) and Gran Turismo. The PS2 is still one of my favorite consoles ever released thanks to gems like Ratchet and Clank, Jak and Daxter, GTA III, Metal Gear Solid 2, God of War, ICO, Shadow of The Colossus, TimeSplitters 2, Killzone, Need for Speed Hot Pursuit 2, Kingdom Hearts, and many many more. There were a lot of loud nights (love you mom!) of pizza and ricocheting bullets from playing TimeSplitters 2 with friends where I pissed them off as the monkey dual-wielding shotguns. Oh man—how the hell could I forget Burnout 3?! I remember renting that game, staying over at my best friend’s place, pulling an all-nighter, and calling Blockbuster the following morning to extend my rental. That was a definite purchase after those nights thanks to it’s excellent party crash mode. I’ll never forget coming to my dad’s one weekend to find him sitting on the floor inputting cheat codes like a madman into GTA so he could be invincible while he shot people in the kneecaps. Talk about father son bonding.
Fast forward to the launch of the PlayStation 3. I remember feverishly following any bit of leaked and rumored information I could get my hands on. When it launched it was at a ridiculous price of either $499 or $599. The upside to the launch was that it didn’t include the infamously horrendous ‘boomerang’ controller. Fucking. Ugly. I was a freshman in college when the system launched and I remember them being very difficult to find and people being shot/stabbed/mugged for one. I waltzed into what was an EB Games store and asked the manager if they had any PS3’s to which he cautiously whispered “Yes, I’ll bring it out once the store clears out a bit.” I didn’t want to burn through all my cash so I went in with a friend 50/50 and eventually paid him back after Christmas. This all happened only two weeks after the system launched. I was so happy! My three roommates met me at the store and formed a triangle around me while we walked back to our dorms, just to make sure no one messed with me. The system had a rough start but shined in the end with some great games like The Last of Us, Heavenly Sword, Resistance 3, Killzone 3, Ratchet & Clank, Uncharted, among others. While the PS3 is my least favorite system mainly due to it’s sluggish UI and near constant firmware updates, there were many many hours of fun it provided online and with indie games.
Fast forward to the PS4’s launch and I can say I learned from my past and preordered my bundle with guaranteed same day delivery. I was trading in and saving up for about two years and had all the money I needed on a GameStop gift card, so the system cost me nothing. My aforementioned best friend from high school came over and that’s when what I coined my ‘PlayStaton StayCation’ started. Five days of my PS4, Knack, and Killzone Shadow Fall. The PS4 makes me feel the way I did when I had my PS2. There are so many fantastic games like Destiny (since the 2.0 update), Xeodrifter, Infamous Second Son, Axiom Verge, Broken Age, King’s Quest, and many more on the Horizon Zero Dawn (see what I did there?) like Kingdom Hearts III, Uncharted 4, Final Fantasy VII Remaster, Fallout 4, No Man’s Sky, and The Last Guardian to name a few.
I didn’t even mention my love for PSP and PS Vita because I am trying to keep this article on the short side. I’m curious, what are you’re favorite memories with PlayStaton over the last 20 Years of Play?