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PlayStation is a series of video game consoles, both home consoles and portables, produced by Sony beginning in 1994. Online, many fans of PlayStation exist, often competing in ‘console wars’ with its competitors Microsoft Xbox and Nintendo consoles.
PlayStation 1 & 2
The first PlayStation console (shown below, left) was released on December 3rd, 1994 in Japan and September 9th, 1995 in the United States. It is considered a fifth-generation console, with its major competitors of the time period being the Sega Saturn and the Nintendo 64. Within the first year, more than 100 titles were released, helping Sony sell more than 10 million PlayStations by 1998. The system was later rebranded as the PlayStation 1 after a slimmer redesign and launch of the PlayStation 2 (shown below, right) in 2000. As of January 2011, the PlayStation 2 became the world’s best-selling home gaming console of all time, selling more than 150 million units. The console was discontinued in January 2013.
In November 2006, the PlayStation 3 (shown below, left) was released, considered a seventh-generation console. The system has been redesigned twice as of February 2013 and many versions are backwards-compatible with PlayStation and PlayStation 2 titles. There have also been two handheld PlayStation systems: 2005’s PlayStation Portable (PSP, shown below, center) and 2011’s PlayStation Vita (shown below, right).
On February 20th, 2013, the PlayStation 4 was announced at the PlayStation Meeting 2013 press conference. No official release date was set, but Sony President and CEO Andrew House noted it would be out by the fourth quarter of the year. While the console was not actually displayed at the conference, it was noted that the system would feature cloud support, connectivity with smartphones and a new controller featuring a touchpad and Share button that will allow users to record their gameplay.
On June 10th, 2013, the PlayStation 4 console was finally unveiled at Sony’s E3 conference with a base price starting at $399 USD. On November 15th, the console was officially launched.
On the day of the PlayStation Meeting press conference on February 22nd, 2013, “PlayStation 4” was mentioned on Twitter more than 402,000 times. On the next morning, New York Times chronicled some tweets from journalists, analysts and gamers about the conference, noting that many people complained about the lack of information regarding the actual console, its pricing or release date.
During Sony’s unveiling of the console at the annual E3 conference on June 10th, Sony confirmed that PS4 will allow its users to play games without an Internet connection, support preowned disc-based games and even facilitate the exchange process through an online hub, which were largely interpreted as a decisive departure from the signature mechanism of Microsoft XBox One.
In contrast to Microsoft’s press conference, Sony’s introduction of the upcoming console was largely met by optimistic outlooks and high anticipation from online video game communities and review blogs, many praising its stance on digital rights management (DRM) and the base price that is $100 cheaper than its main competitor XBox One. By the time the conference had concluded, users on Reddit’s /r/gaming and 4chan’s /v/ were quick to declare the victory of Sony’s PS4 at E3 2013, spawning a slew of animated GIFs depicting anthropomorphic “console wars” in which PS4 emerges as the winner (shown below; click thru).
click through the cover image to browse the GIFs!
There are several official online communities for PlayStation fans to discuss the system, including a Google+ community, Twitter feed, Sony message boards for the US and Europe, as well as a Facebook fan page, which has more than 30 million likes as of February 2012. There are also unofficial communities hosted on Reddit and GameFAQs, which hosts five separate boards for the different PlayStation consoles. Additionally, there are dozens of websites dedicated to specific aspects of PlayStation gaming including homebrewing, or hacking into the console itself, collecting PlayStation games and collecting PS3 Trophies. Various image macros and humorous commentaries revolving around the PlayStation systems can be found on Tumblr, deviantArt, Cheezburger, FunnyJunk and Halolz.
Giant Enemy Crab
The Giant Enemy Crab refers to a character in the videogame Genji: Days of the Blade that was first revealed during the Sony press conference at May 2006’s Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3). After lead producer Bill Ritch claimed that the game’s battle scenes were based on real-life instances in ancient Japan, gameplay footage showed a mid-level boss that looked like a person-sized crab.Over the next several days, fans on a number of message boards began criticizing this historical inaccuracy.
I Have Three PS3s
The video “I Have Three PS3s” (shown below, left) was uploaded to sketch comedy site LoadingReadyRun on December 22nd 2006. The video features a man who had acquired three PS3s, reflecting on the holiday 2006 shortage of the gaming consoles, which led to robberies and violence in retail stores. Soon after, the video was reuploaded to YouTube, where it gained more than 2 million views. Other YouTubers began making their own video game monologues, bragging about having four PS3s or six PSPs. Two years later, LoadingReadyRun uploaded a followup video (shown below, right) declaring that the speaker now had 23 PS3s.
PS3 Has No Games
The PS3 Has No Games is a phrase commonly used by gaming bloggers to criticize what they perceive to be a lack of games for the PS3 console. The phrase developed as part of a debate between fans of Sony’s console and fans of the Xbox 360, similar to the Mac Vs. PC debate and one of its first known referenced appeared in a Yahoo! Questions post, seeking a PS3 game deemed better than Xbox’s Halo.
Translator San is the nickname of Japanese-English translator Takayuki Nushida who appeared a Sony’s 2009 E3 press conference, translating for Polyphony Digital CEO Kazunouri Yamauchi during a presentation on an upcoming Gran Turismo PSP title. Instead of doing real-time translation, Nushida elected to read his hand-written translations from a notepad (shown below) which was viewed as comically out of place by viewers. Nearly immediately after the presentation, a photoshop thread utilizing a transparent image of Nushida appeared on 4chan’s /v/ (video games) board.
On December 29th, 2010, a group of hackers from the collective fail0verflow announced they had found the root key for the PS3 that would allow users to develop and play homemade games. After this information was made available on hacker GeoHot’s personal website in January 2011, Sony Computer Entertainment America filed a lawsuit against him and other members of the collective. In retaliation, members of Anonymous launched Operation Sony in April 2011, taking down the PlayStation Network, the PlayStation Store and several other PlayStation-related domains for up to 75 minutes. The following year, in August 2012, Anonymous claimed to have broken into the PlayStation Network and stolen a 50 gigabyte database of up to 10 million users’ email addresses and passwords. However, Sony later confirmed that this claim was false.
Sony Computer Entertainment – PLAYSTATION®2 SALES REACH 150 MILLION UNITS WORLDWIDE
ComputerAndVideoGames – PlayStation 4 is official, Sony’s ‘most powerful platform ever’ launching holiday 2013
New York Times – Reactions to the PlayStation-Less PlayStation 4 Event
The Tech Herald – Anonymous’ Operation: Sony is a double-edged sword