Sony Computer Entertainment develops and markets the PlayStation, a home video game console lineup that is around since the 1990s. Every modern AAA game is released on the PlayStation today, which shows how important the console is in the market. Sony mainly manufactured audio-visual equipment until it made the PlayStation in 1994. The PS was such a successful venture that it put Sony at the forefront of the video gaming industry. The seventh-generation iteration of the PS, which was called the PlayStation 2, has sold a staggering 150+ million units. The PS2 is the highest selling home video-game console to date.
History and Latest Hardware
After humiliation from Nintendo, Sony executive Ken Kutaragi suggested the company get into the video gaming industry by launching its console. Sony introduced the first PlayStation in 1994. It was a dramatic success. Successive iterations of the PlayStation have been introduced over the years. These include the PlayStation 2, which was a sixth-generation home video game console. The PlayStation 3 was a seventh-generation home video game console from Sony. The eighth-generation iteration of the PlayStation was the PS4. It was another big hit as the console went on to sell over 110M units. The PlayStation 5 is the latest entry in the series. It is Sony’s ninth-generation home video game console. Only the PS4 and the PS5 are officially supported by Sony now, with support for the PlayStation 4 ending at some point in 2022.
The PlayStation 4
Hardware for both PS4 and PS5 was manufactured by the American semiconductor company Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD). The PS4 is based on an Accelerated Processing Unit (APU) which was developed by Sony and AMD. The APU includes the CPU, the GPU, and other important components like the memory controllers and a video decoder. The CPU is an octa-core AMD Jaguar chip. The system packs 8 GB GDDR5 memory, which is shared between games the OS.
Successive revisions of the PS4 reduced system weight and brought improved hardware and support for up to 4K gaming with the PS4 Pro and the PS4 Slim.
The PlayStation 5
The PS5 is Sony’s latest creation, and the company corrected all the mistakes it committed with the original PS4. it was launched in November 2020, but it is hard to find one to date. The worldwide semiconductor shortage has hit the manufacturing of all computer hardware, including the PS5. This jeopardized the console’s sales, as Sony has shipped just 10 million PS5s in the first year.
Hardware for the PS5 includes an eight-core AMD Zen 2 based CPU. It also packs an RDNA2 based GPU which is capable of 10.28 Tflops and packs 36 CPUs clocked at 2.23GHz. The PS5 also packs an ultra-fast 825 GB NVMe SSD which is capable of loading 2GB in just 0.27 seconds!
Successive hardware revisions featured weight reduction. A rumored PS5 Pro is reportedly in the works which is capable of up to 8K gaming and are supposed to launch in 2023.
The PlayStation Studios
Sony Interactive Entertainment owns a large number of game development studios that develop titles released exclusively for the PlayStation, and the PC. The subsidiary of Sony Interactive Entertainment that oversees these studios is called PlayStation Studios.
Studios owned by PlayStation Studios
The studios under PlayStation Studios are:
- Naughty Dog: Founded in 1984, Naughty Dog is one of the most important studios under PlayStation Studios. They are the developers of two award winning franchises: The Last of Us franchise, and the Uncharted franchise.
- Firesprite: Firesprite is significantly smaller and newer as compared to Naughty Dog. They previously were the developers of the Playroom series, a demo of the PlayStation you own, along with Team ASOBI and the PlayStation Japan Studio. FIresprite also develops the Sackboy games.
- Insomniac Games: Insomniac is a large game development studio, almost twice that of Firesprite. It is based in Burbank, California. They are the developers of the Ratchet & Clank series and the award winning SpiderMan series.
- Housemarque: Housemarque was recently acquired by Sony, in June 2021. Previously, Housemarque has worked with Rovio Entertainment on series like Angry Birds. Housemarque also developed the recent PlayStation 5 exclusive: Returnal.
- Bluepoint Games: Bluepoint Games is a rather small studio best known for their remasters and remakes. They developed the Shadow of the Collosus Remake from 2018, the Uncharted: Nathan Drake Collection from 2015, and released a HD collection of few Metal Gear games. Sony acquired Bluepoint Games in September 2021, and rumors have been around that Bluepoint Games will focus on PC ports of PlayStation exclusives. We have been getting a lot of PC ports of PlayStation exclusives lately, these include the Horizon: Zero Dawn port, and the Days Gone port. Future PC ports of God of War (2018) have already been confirmed. This might suggest that the rumor is true.
- Polyphony Digital: Polyphony Digital is a Japanese game development studio that develops titles exclusively for the PlayStation. They are best known for creating the Gran Turismo series.
- Sucker Punch Productions: Sucker Punch is an American game development studio that develops titles exclusively for the PlayStation. They are based in Bellevue, Washington and are best known for the Infamous series, and the Sly Cooper series. Their latest release, Ghost of Tsushima is an open-world action-RPG set in feudal Japan. Ghost of Tsushima is believed one of the best PlayStation 4 exclusives.
- Santa Monica Studio: Santa Monica Studio is an American game development studio based in Los Angeles, CA. They are best known for creating the God of War series, alongside several other titles like Starhawk, Here They Lie and Wattam. Their upcoming games include a PC port of God of War (2018) and God of War: Ragnarok, both of which are scheduled to release in 2022.
- Guerrila Games: Guerrila Games is a small development studio based in Amsterdam, Netherlands. They previously developed the Killzone series until 2013 when Sony killed it due to poor sales. After Killzone ended, Guerrila Games started working a very big project which turned out to be Horizon: Zero Dawn. Zero Dawn launched on PlayStation 4 in 2017. A PC port was released in 2021. Critics widely regard Horizon: Zero Dawn as the best PS4 exclusive to have ever released. A sequel to the first Horizon game is scheduled to release in 2022. It is called Horizon: Forbidden West and it is also being developed by Guerrila.
- Bend Studio: Bend is an American game development studio based in Bend, OR. The studio is one of the oldest studios owned by Sony Interactive Entertainment, from 2000. Bend Studio is best known for the PS4 exclusive Days Gone. Although sales were not as high as other exclusives, and the development was way too long, the game is jam packed from the beginning to the end. Clearing zombie hordes never felt better! Bend Studio is the creator of Bubsy 3D and the Syphon Filter as well.
- London Studio: The PlayStation London Studio is a British game development studio based in London. The studio developed a large number of games for the PS2 and PS3 platforms. Recently, they are focusing on developing titles for the PS VR platform. Their most recent launch is Blood & Truth (2019). They are also the creators of the SingStar and This is Football series.
- San Diego Studio: San Diego Studio is an American game development studio based in Sorrento Valley, San Diego. They are a first-party game development studio for Sony Interactive Entertainment, and have developed a large number of titles for the platform. Their current long-running series includes the Major Baseball League: The Show series. They also have developed NBA titles for the platform in the past.
- Media Molecule: Media Molecule is a British game development studio based in Guildford, Surrey. The studio has created the famous Little Big Planet series and the Tearaway series. Recently, it is creating games in the Dreams series, which has risen to critical acclaim for its out-of-the-box gameplay.
- Team ASOBI: Team Asobi is a Japanese game development studio based in Tokyo. In June 2021, Team ASOBI became independent from Japan Studio and is now under PlayStation Studios. Team ASOBI has takes over the Playroom series, which used to be developed by Firesprite. The latest entry in the series, Astro’s Playroom, was developed by Team ASOBI and Japan Studio.
- Pixelopus: Pixelopus is an American game development studio based in San Mateo, CA. It was founded fairly recently in 2014. They have worked on two titles to date. These include Entwined (2014) and Concrete Genie (2019).
- SCE Foster City Studio: SCE Foster City Studio is an American game development studio based in Foster City, CA. It worked on the Jet Li: Rise to Honour video game which was released on PlayStation 2 in 2004.
- XDev: XDev is based in Liverpool, UK. It provides funding to the projects in PlayStation Studios. It also provides project management and game design support. XDev mainly works behind marketing, public relations teams and publishing the games worldwide.
- Malaysia Studio: The PlayStation Malaysia Studio is a Malaysian game development studio in Kuala Lumpur. It was founded in 2020.
- Nixxes Software: Nixxes Software is a Dutch game development studio based in Utrecht, Netherlands. The studio was recently acquired by Sony in 2021.
Future of the Sony PlayStation
The Sony PlayStation has firmly established its position as a home video-game console leader for over two decades. They have tried the handheld console market before, but it did not work out as the handheld console market was overrun by smartphones. Thus, PlayStation’s future is in home consoles.
The formation of PlayStation Studios in 2020 marked another milestone in the future of the Sony PlayStation. Just like Microsoft, Sony is evolving PlayStation to become a leading name in the video game industry, and not just stay limited to hardware supply. The shift of focus of Sony from creating strict PlayStation exclusives to bringing the same titles on PC is proof of this mentality. Microsoft has been doing this for quite some time, and they have been successful.
Thus, we can say that Sony will lead the entire video game market, instead of just being a console maker. The future of PlayStation is undoubtedly bright. Almost the entirety of the video game industry revolves around the PlayStation consoles, and they have been accepted around the world, from Asia to America. We can’t wait for PlayStation to reach new heights.