Every console brings something unique to the table. Some consoles lead the charge in trends that ultimately become the norm, as was the case with the very first PlayStation and CD-ROMs. The PlayStation was a huge innovator for home consoles and numerous games on the system have found their way into player's hearts as countless franchises found their first steps on the PS1.
The PlayStation was in many ways an experiment into what video game consoles could be, and while heaps of features made a monumental impact, several other features faded into obscurity, despite their originality.
Develop Your Own Games
Released in Japan in 1996 and elsewhere in 1997, the Net Yaroze was a special PlayStation 1 that contained video game developing software and allowed for computer programmers to make their own PS1 games.
The console cost more than the average PS1 on the market, but it greatly appealed to computer programmers looking to explore the system's capabilities. While not the first of its kind, numerous games made by programmers were compiled on promotional discs showcasing the diversity of the platform.
Take Your PS One On The Go
Sony might not have been known as a handheld developer until the PSP hit, but the original PlayStation still had some tricks up its sleeve. The PS One model, released in 2000, was a smash hit, even going so far as to outsell Sony’s newest console, the PlayStation 2.
The smaller and more compact model not only redesigned the console’s appearance, but some versions also featured a 5-inch LCD attachment that allowed for gaming on the go – so long as the console was plugged into a main socket or car. This ‘Combo” pack also included a headphone and AV jack.
Point And Shoot With The GunCon
Fans of old school PlayStation games are likely familiar with light-gun shooters, where the only thing the player has to do is shoot whatever enemies are advancing towards them on-screen.
The original PlayStation featured a gun attachment for the genre, usually bundled with the popular light-gun series, Time Crisis. The GunCon was developed by Namco and would make appearances on the PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 3 as well.
Link PlayStations For Multiplayer
Another fun attachment, The PlayStation Link Cable allowed for friends for play against each other without having to share the same screen. Although two PlayStations, TVs, and copies of the same game were necessary for it to work, the cable allowed for competitive matches to flourish and avoid any accusations of cheating by looking at the other player’s screen.
Although the cable was not a huge success, it certainly toyed with strong multiplayer ideas that would come to fruition on the next generation of systems.
Explore VR Possibilities
The PS1 was really ahead of the curve in video game technology. The Glasstron was a series of VR headsets that featured LCD screens and headphones – allowing for players to fully immerse themselves into the experience.
While Sony has not continued using these bulky headsets for their games, one could argue they were an integral stepping stone for VR technology in video games.
Operate As A Personal Digital Assistant
The first PlayStation had some bold ideas as to what a console could do. The PocketStation was released exclusively in Japan in 1999 to much fanfare, as the unique little device acted not only as a PDA, but as a memory card with numerous capabilities.
The device was compatible with several PS1 games, but never made it outside of Japan before being discontinued in 2002.
Most PlayStation models were also capable of playing music CDs, which gave the system a huge edge over consoles that were still using cartridges.
CDs were immensely popular in the 1990s and early 2000s, selling millions upon millions each year as the then predominant medium of music. Having a video game console that could also play music was a brilliant idea that paid off.
Fight Against Disc Piracy
Sony was well aware of the piracy possibilities they were opening themselves up to by having their games on discs. To combat this, all official PS1 games had specific data written into them that would allow them to be played on the console, essentially preventing burned discs from being played.
This maneuver would help fight piracy as other consoles began to move away from cartridges and towards discs.
Use A Mouse
The DualShock is of course the controller the PS1 is most famous for, but Sony also offered a PlayStation Mouse as an alternative controller for PC-oriented gamers.
The mouse’s design was not all that different from most others at the time, say for its sleek colors based on the console. The mouse aimed to help with point-and-click and shooter games that required faster movements from players.
Play With More Than Two Players
The PlayStation Multitap was an adapter than added the number of controller and memory card slots available for use.
With the use of a single Multitap, the number of players expanded to four, broadening the possibilities of multiplayer for the system. While these adapters were key in the early days of in-home gaming, online multiplayer capabilities ultimately grew to the point they were no longer necessary.