PlayStation

Celebrate the rich history of PlayStation with this interactive timeline dedicated to its hardware, games and culture.

PlayStation®
PlayStation®2
PlayStation® Portable
PlayStation®3
PlayStation®Vita
PlayStation®4
1994
2000
2004
2006
2011
2013
Release date: 1994 (Japan), 1995 (US, Europe)

The game-changing PlayStation sported a sleek design and CD format, meaning games were bigger, 3D-capable and with superior sound to what came before it. Within a decade, PlayStation became the first games console in history to ship over 100 million units worldwide.

Ridge Racer (Namco - 1994)

If there was an early game which convinced gamers that PlayStation was capable of an arcade-quality experience, Namco’s classic racer was it. Its combination of slick 3D graphics and fun drift mechanics made it an instant hit.

Crash Bandicoot (Naughty Dog - 1996)

Everyone’s favourite marsupial found fame and fortune on PlayStation, swiftly becoming synonymous with the console. Crash effortlessly became a smash, with colourful visuals, 3D environments and memorable characters.

Metal Gear Solid (Konami - 1998)

Responsible for popularising the 3D action-adventure stealth genre, director Hideo Kojima packed in tonnes of elements that simply weren’t possible on prior formats, from extensive voice acting to innovative fourth-wall-breaking gameplay mechanics.

Did you know:

PlayStation Controller (1994)

With four shoulder buttons instead of the standard two, Designer Teiyu Goto’s PlayStation Controller gave developers the potential to explore more gameplay possibilities. It was followed by the Dual Analog Controller (1997), and then the original DUALSHOCK (1997).

PlayStation Link Cable (1995)

Before the internet became mainstream, this cable allowed players to connect two PlayStation consoles via two TVs for selected multiplayer titles – handy for the pre-mainstream internet era.

Tomb Raider (Core Design - 1996)

The agile, dual-pistol-totting archaeologist who changed gaming was right at home on the equally revolutionary PlayStation, with Lara Croft’s debut pulling together unforgettable set pieces and a perfect blend of action, exploration and puzzles.

PocketStation (1999)

PlayStation was one of the first consoles to use external memory cards, leading to the creation of PocketStation in 1999, a memory card with a built in LCD screen and basic controls for mini-games.

Release date: 2000

If PlayStation was a video gaming revolution, PlayStation 2 was the evolution that set a new standard for the medium. High Definition 3D visuals, online play and an integrated DVD player meant movies were just a button press away, without the need for expensive add-ons.

Grand Theft Auto III (Rockstar Games - 2001)

Although already popular, the Grand Theft Auto series’ bow on PS2 ushered in a new era of open-ended, sandbox-style 3D action gameplay, taking full advantage of the system's power to deliver a unique experience.

Ratchet & Clank (Insomniac Games - 2002)

Described as ‘the Lethal Weapon movies meets Saturday morning cartoons’ by its lead writer, the furry Lombax mechanic, his diminutive robot buddy and their array of outlandish weapons and gadgets were instantly popular with PS2 players.

SingStar mics (2004)

PS2 helped usher in a new era of accessible song-based entertainment with SingStar and its two branded microphones. Its inventiveness was commended with a BAFTA award for originality in 2005.

God of War (Sony Santa Monica - 2005)

Reaching deep within the guts of Greek mythology and pulling out a hard-hitting swords-and-sandals classic, Santa Monica blessed PS2 with not only an action adventure steeped in myth and legend, but also a merciless new anti-hero in Kratos.

DUALSHOCK 2 (2000)

DUALSHOCK 2 put even more analogue accuracy into your hands with greater degrees of movement in its sticks and pressure sensitive face buttons that detected how firmly you pressed them.

Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy (Naughty Dog - 2001)

Not content with creating legendary PlayStation mascot Crash Bandicoot, Naughty Dog was also responsible for birthing the smash-hit adventures of a silent but daring youth and his furry Ottsel pal in this expansive 3D action adventure.

EyeToy (2003)

Using the PS2 system’s USB ports, EyeToy was a digital camera that projected your image on screen, and tracked your movements, helping form the foundation of many augmented reality games that followed.

Buzz! buzzers (2005)

PS2 reinvented home console quiz gaming via the popular Buzz! series, starting with Buzz! The Music Quiz. The key to its immediate appeal was the intuitive buzzers that came packed in with the game.

Did you know:

Release date: 2004 (Japan), 2005 (US, Europe)

With two successful home consoles under its belt, changing handheld gaming was the next frontier. Enter a pocket-sized powerhouse that could play games, movies, music and browse the internet.

Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories (Rockstar Games - 2005)

The idea of a fully 3D Grand Theft Auto on a handheld during the early 2000s seemed to be a pipedream until Rockstar impressively delivered this incredible title, complete with a customisable soundtrack and even a multiplayer mode.


Find out more

LocoRoco (Japan Studio - 2006)

PSP was home to a variety of innovative titles and this classic puzzle platformer captured imaginations with its cheerful visuals and inventive use of music.


Find out more

Did you know:

Lumines: Puzzle Fusion (Q Entertainment - 2004)

Designer Tetsuya Mizuguchi’s cult classic puzzler has seen 10 versions released since its conception, and PSP is where it all started. The handheld’s multimedia potential helped inspire Mizuguchi-san to create a puzzle game where music was essential.


Find out more

Go!Cam (2006)

Go!Cam gave PSP the ability to take photos and record video with audio, which became the gateway to augmented reality games such as the creature hunting romp Invizimals (2009).

PSP advert gallery

A Day in a Life (2005)

Release date: 2006 (Japan, US), 2007 (Europe)

All the elements which made PS2 a world beater provided a powerful cornerstone for PlayStation 3. High Definition became standard with the integrated Blu-ray Disc player, while an internal hard disc drive and versatile online functionality brought a wealth of entertainment services to your home.

Sixaxis (2006) / DUALSHOCK 3 (2007)

Able to track six axes of movement, the wireless Sixaxis delivered an early form of motion control. By 2007 Sixaxis had become DUALSHOCK 3, adding vibration feedback to its features.


Find out more

Uncharted series (Naughty Dog - 2007)

Following his explosive first action adventure outing in Drake’s Fortune, charismatic treasure hunter Nathan Drake has gone on to become a true video game superstar, starring in a total of six games over 10 years.


Find out more

PlayStation Home (2008)

An innovative social environment that was free to explore via a custom avatar, PlayStation Home let players decorate their own personal digital apartment, interact with others, watch trailers and take part in special events.

PlayStation Plus (2010)

Granting players access to premium features, such as exclusive PlayStation Store discounts and a selection of downloadable games at no additional cost, the popular subscription service had reached a colossal 33.94 million members by June 2018.


Find out more

The Last of Us (Naughty Dog - 2013)

Naughty Dog showed a different side to its character, with a horror-tinged survival action adventure that would go on to be one of the most critically acclaimed games in video game history.


Find out more

PS3 advert gallery

This is Living (2007)

PlayStation Network and PlayStation Store (2006)

The arrival of PlayStation Network introduced the hub that has since become essential for online gaming, music, movies, TV, online communication and more. While PlayStation Store quickly also became the one-stop hub for downloading and pre-ordering PlayStation games.


Find out more

PlayStation Eye (2007)

With four times the resolution and twice the frame rate of EyeToy on PS2, PlayStation Eye became a great partner for PlayStation Move motion controller, and essential for innovative augmented reality games such as EyePet.

LittleBigPlanet series (Media Molecule - 2008)

With over 10 million levels built since 2008, gamers have been enjoying playing, creating a sharing in this loveable platformer. LBP introduced the world to Sackboy, the silent but immediately iconic star of the series.


Find out more

PlayStation Move motion controller (2010)

PS3 delivered enhanced motion control with PlayStation Move, putting the fun of a racquet, wand, gun or anything a compatible game required, in the palm of your hand with incredible precision.


Find out more

Stereoscopic 3D movies and games (2010)

Using a 3D TV, compatible glasses and any of the select games or Blu-ray 3D disc movies, the experience of watching and playing was given a brilliant new perspective, with hundreds of compatible movies and games.

Grand Theft Auto V (Rockstar Games - 2013)

With a multi-character driven storyline and separate multiplayer mode (dubbed Grand Theft Auto Online), GTA’s popularity took another leap into the record books, currently standing as the fastest selling entertainment product in history.


Find out more

Did you know:

Release date: 2011 (Japan), 2012 (US, Europe)

Becoming the most powerful handheld console on the market when it was released, PlayStation Vita featured a sparkling five-inch OLED touch screen, alongside two full analogue sticks (a first for any handheld games console), and a rear touch pad for additional control.

Gravity Rush (Japan Studio - 2012)

Another PlayStation character who quickly gathered a large following was Kat, the amnesiac hero of this gravity-bending action adventure. Japan Studio’s game challenged players to master gravity, by literally turning things upside-down in-game.


Find out more

Killzone Mercenary (Guerrilla Cambridge - 2013)

PS Vita’s dedicated dual analogue sticks helped bring the modern first-person shooter to the handheld sphere, in a visually stunning and feature-rich romp, complete with a dedicated online multiplayer mode.


Find out more

Did you know:

Uncharted: Golden Abyss (Bend Studio - 2011)

Nathan Drake’s first voyage into the handheld realm offered much of the explosive action of its PS3 forbearers, along with novel uses of the PS Vita system’s features, including dusting off archaeological finds with the touch screen.


Find out more

Tearaway (Media Molecule - 2013)

Like LBP, Tearaway captured imaginations with its inspired use of the PS Vita system’s features, letting players push their fingers into the game world via the rear touch pad, to name but one of many inspired ideas.


Find out more

PS Vita advert gallery

The World is in Play (2012)

Release date: 2013 (US, Europe), 2014 (Japan)

The eight generation of video games erupted into life with a powerhouse system capable of high dynamic range (HDR) for vibrant visuals, integrated streaming and social media features for instantly sharing your best (or worst) gaming moments, and the most comfortable DUALSHOCK controller yet.

PlayStation Camera (2013)

Not only capable of video broadcasting, voice commands and facial recognition to let users log into their PS4, PlayStation Camera’s two highly sensitive cameras are vital to conveying depth of space, which is essential for using PlayStation VR.


Find out more

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End (Naughty Dog - 2016)

Proving its worth in every generation, Naughty Dog wowed players with a stunning action adventure that brought Nathan Drake’s journey to a mature and moving finale, visually rich in detail and full of spectacular set pieces.


Find out more

PS4 Pro (2016)

Super-charging the already powerful PlayStation 4, PS4 Pro brought the visual fidelity of 4K and High Dynamic Range, making games and entertainment pop off the screen with stunning detail.


Find out more

God of War (Santa Monica Studio - 2018)

Set in the Norse wilds, Atreus and his older, wiser father Kratos form an unforgettable team in a powerful action adventure, lauded as a great example of modern day storytelling in games.


Find out more

DUALSHOCK 4 wireless controller (2013)

With its refined shape, enhanced gyroscope, built in speaker, the ability to capture video and screens, a light bar and touch pad, the DUALSHOCK 4 wireless controller is one of the most flexible controllers ever created.


Find out more

Bloodborne (Japan Studio / FromSoftware - 2015)

Partly inspired by the literary works of authors Bram Stoker and H.P. Lovecraft, this hardcore and utterly compelling Gothic adventure remains one of the most highly regarded games on PS4.


Find out more

PlayStation VR (2016)

Originally known as Project Morpheus, this pioneering virtual reality system delivered stunning hyper-real interactive 3D environments into homes, complete with 3D audio and a built in mic for online chat.


Find out more

Horizon Zero Dawn (Guerrilla - 2017)

Between its iconic protagonist Aloy and novel setting of a world overrun by mechanical dinosaurs, this open world adventure became one of the most successful new IPs in modern gaming, winning over 23 major awards.


Find out more

Did you know?