Sony launches PlayStation in Europe

29th September 1995
Sony launches PlayStation in Europe

On the 29th September 1995, Sony released the original PlayStation in Europe.

A few months before the launch of the console, there had been nothing but talk about Sony's lack of experience in the gaming market. People questioned why Sony were bothering to compete against the experience of Sega and Nintendo, who roughly held half the world's console markets each.

What these commentators had not banked on was Sony's experience at selling consumer electronics. When the PlayStation appeared in shops in Europe, it was with a clever marketing blitz that Sega and Nintendo could not match.

The PlayStation launched with far more software than Sega had managed in the previous months since the Saturn's European launch. Available games included an excellent version of Namco's Ridge Racer, and Wipeout, a futuristic racer with licensed music. PlayStation was marketed at the twenty-somethings who had grown up with earlier consoles, but now had more money to burn.

The machine undercut the Sega Saturn by £100, although a separate memory card was required because there was no built-in memory. PlayStation arrived with a disc of games demo, while the Saturn by this time had Virtua Fighter as a bundled game.

PlayStation was an immediate success in Europe, wiping out the sales of the Saturn, and continuing on an upward trajectory until the release of its successor, PlayStation 2, in 2000.

Related information:


  • Sony PlayStation
    Credit: The Centre for Computing History, item CH62595

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