I am in love with this book about the original PlayStation from Sony

Limited Run Games is a company that has found its niche. In our modern digital world, where many games are released as download only, the company’s limited boxed versions provide fans the opportunity to enjoy having the game they love physically. Sometimes the Limited Run gives beloved classic games an exclusive touch by offering them companion essays that put those games in context, much like the Criteria Collection for movies. Today, however, the company announces a new venture that seems to me a logical advance in catering for people who want to watch games given the consideration and treatment they deserve. Limited Run enters book publishing with its own publishing house, Press Run, led by former game journalists Jeremy Parish and Jared Petty, and we’ve got an exclusive excerpt from one of the label’s first books.

It should be noted that, unlike the company’s games, while there may be collector’s editions of books that sell out, the books themselves are not designed to be “limited”. As Limited Run put it in a statement to journalists: “Press Run exists to keep great books in circulation as long as people want to read them, which means these publications don’t necessarily sell – if there is interest, we will publish second or even third editions. ” The start of the label covers topics such as Virtual Boy games, the story of the Sunsoft developer, and a book about the premiere and history of the original PlayStation.

Limited Run Games advertising image showing the cover of the PlayStation: A Retrospective book and announcing that it will be on sale from October 20.

Image: Games with limited runs

It is called PlayStation: Retrospective, we have an excerpt below. Originally released in 2011 by Jeremy Parish and GameSpite Crew to celebrate the console’s 15th anniversary, it has been revised in this new release. I’ve had the chance to go through the entire book a bit and my first impression is that anyone who’s genuinely interested in the history and influence of Sony’s first console will love it. It combines an in-depth historical perspective on the business decisions made by Sony that changed the video game landscape forever, with first-hand memories of many of the PlayStation games. Not only a glittering look at the biggest hits of the console, its sides of the game as flawed but fascinating The Wanderer 2 get equal attention next to such as Final Fantasy VII.

Below I present to you an excerpt from the first pages PlayStation: Retrospective, an introduction to the book section on console launch, in all its glory Kinja can get. It’s a fascinating read that reminds us vividly of what Sony jumped into with the original PlayStation that faced the Sega Saturn. However, instead of reading it below, you really should click on this link and check out this intro (as well as later pages, including an excerpt about the original) Inhabitant of Evil).

You can order PlayStation: Retrospective and other launch titles at Press Run na Limited run website.


After several years of development, the redesigned PlayStation console was launched in Japan in late 1994. The three years between Nintendo’s public double-cross and the system implementation brought many changes to the industry: Sega smashed Nintendo’s hammerlock in the US market; 3D graphics presented with polygons has become a clear standard; Adventure games based on FMV (“Siliwood”) fell into disuse after a brief attempt to attract attention at the beginning of the CD-ROM era. The game industry of 1994 was a crashed, factional mess with every bigger player (and a few would-be giants) making forays into the world at 16 bits.

PlayStation may have just been another Jaguar, 3DO, or PC-FX – another costly, pointless setback – but Sony had a clear vision for its new console. While Sony’s approach to gaming was once limited to publishing software of dubious value, primarily as an inferior feature to the company’s movie arm, PlayStation has positioned them as hungry, ruthless leaders.

You don’t need to look any further than your nearest PlayStation competitor to see it overtake Sony. Sega released its Saturn in Japan around the same time as Sony’s debut, and for a short time Saturn was the more popular console. But ultimately the pendulum shifted in favor of Sony as PlayStation hardware design proved predictable while Saturn was reactive. Sega has always excelled in 2D game design and built a Saturn to harness this power, but it soon became clear that the market was leaning towards polygons. Sega’s leaders and engineers allegedly panicked and added a polygon-shifting coprocessor to the system board. The result was a machine that produced stunning 2D, capable of surpassing even the powerful (and extremely expensive) Neo-Geo, but whose 3D was anemic and difficult to handle.

On the other hand, Sony accurately predicted the direction of the game’s design and built the PlayStation to meet the needs of the developers. The processor was powerful, capable of rendering hundreds of thousands of polygons per second, covering every surface with detailed textures and producing impressive lighting effects. Unlike Saturn, its Achilles’ heel is its support for 2D graphics; according to some, the machine did not even have traditional sprite capabilities, which meant that bitmap visualizations had to be forged by pasting them onto polygons.

Regardless of whether this is true, the hardware was definitely lacking in RAM compared to Saturn – it has no problem transferring simple math objects, but it limited bitmap storage a lot. The brawls in particular suffered from the loss of animation frames necessary to stamp all this data into tight system memory arrays. Of course, like Saturn’s top programmers have finally been able to produce products like Burning Guardians and Armored dragons sagaclever PlayStation programming has resulted in some Saturn-quality 2D games such as Castlevania: Symphony of the Night and Street Fighter Alpha 3.

A screenshot of Tekken showing the characters of Kazuya and Yoshimitsu fighting against trees, a lake and mountains in the background.

Screenshot: Namco / Games with a limited run

Still, we were years away from these events. In the short term, Sony hardware offered an arcade-quality Namco conversion Ridge Racergreat fighting games like Toshinden and Tekkena new, creative approach to platformer in the form of Flash jumping! (a stunning update to the little-known X68000 game called Geographic seal), and even the old school RPG in the form of Arc the Lad. While the latter did not hit the US market – rumored to be due to Sony CEA mandate against 2D games, although the presence of sprite-based titles such as Project Raiden and Rayman this relegates to an urban legend – the others arrived intact nine months later and helped PlayStation take off in America.

The system was unlike anything anyone had ever seen at the time. Not only was her guts absurdly powerful (albeit easy to design for developers thanks to Sony’s extensive library of hardware documentation and software APIs), but the console’s physical design also made her stand out. The slim, elegant and densely packed PlayStation gave the impression of a serious piece of consumer electronics; it had weight and solidity. Its housing has been molded from a higher quality plastic than you would expect from a gaming machine – neither the shiny, cheap material Sega used in Genesis, nor a toy-like substance (so prone to aging and discoloration) seen in the Super NES, the housing PlayStation seemed expensive but far from fragile. At the same time, it was more interesting than the massive black Sega plate offered on Saturn. The shape of the casing was distinctive, with a slim profile designed around sloping right angles broken by circles that gracefully echoed the shape of the CD carrier on which the games ran: an aesthetic descendant of Discman, but clearly his own creation.

Sony managed to introduce the system to the US market with calculated ease. On E3 1995, Sega infamously announced the immediate debut of its console in a bid to weaken Sony; The next day, Sony’s press conference for the PlayStation launch was simply to announce the price – $ 100 less than Saturn. Most players were prepared to wait three months for the PlayStation release to enjoy the great software offer for less money.

Ultimately, Sony’s only real stumble with the launch of PlayStation was a surprising ad campaign that went a little too diagonally. UR NOT e – with the letter e printed in red like “ready” – preached the ads, seemingly telling customers that they were not worthy of the new machine, generally not the most endearing tactic. But as annoying as those abstract and bloated first commercials were, their sequel was too prosaic, and Sony created the Polygon Man replacement mascot, a messy mix of spikes designed to apparently portray the system as home to ugly 3D character models.

However, even these ill-considered advertisements could not derail the system’s prospects. The hands-on game was enough to get people to appreciate the sheer power of PlayStation, and five minutes of WipEout was enough to sell potential customers the benefits of the slim, gray, 32-bit box. PlayStation had a strong start and even the specter of the Nintendo Ultra 64 lurking behind the wings couldn’t break Sony’s style.

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