In the technological world, gaming has constantly grown, with plenty of new features unveiled daily. In the same breath, it is impossible to ignore Sony’s PlayStations’ role in shaping what we have today. First developed in the 90s, the company has steadily grown to capture the global market. With the latest PlayStation 5 console continuing to conquer the gaming world, let’s look at some fascinating PlayStation facts below.

1. Sony Once Claimed Saddam Hussein Bought 4,000 PS2 Consoles to Build Nuclear Weapons

As part of Sony’s marketing gimmick, the marketing chief once anonymously tried to seed a story to the media that Saddam Hussein, former Iraq president, had bought 4,000 PS 2 units. The plan was to depict the consoles as powerful enough that their processors can help build nuclear weapons.

2. A Contract Rift with Nintendo Resulted in PlayStation

Before PlayStation, Sony partnered with Nintendo, another gaming giant. A deal was made for Sony to develop a gaming console with SNES-compatible hardware. However, a rift emerged in the contract terms where Nintendo wanted complete monopoly control over profit and games. In contrast, Sony wanted its products to be compatible with games from other companies.

Eventually, Nintendo worked with Phillips while Sony returned to the drawing board. PlayStation was, therefore, a result of the rift between Sony and Nintendo.

3. The First PlayStation Console Was Released In 1994

In December 1994, the first PlayStation console hit the Japanese market. Its reception was perfect, so Sony decided to meet the worldwide demand. A year later, the original PlayStation was retailing across the globe.

4. A Serial Killer Went on Hunger Strike While in Jail Over Being Denied Access to a PlayStation Console

Commonly referred to by the media as the Backpacker Murderer, Ivan Robert Marko Milat went on a nine-day hunger strike while in prison after being denied access to a PlayStation console. In 2011, the man convicted of killing seven people refused to eat, losing 25 kilograms in the process.

5. PlayStation Was the First Gaming Console to Ship Over 100 Million Units

PlayStation was created by Sony to rival Nintendo, and that it did! Less than 10 years after it debuted in Japan, the original PlayStation had shipped more than 100 million units worldwide. It eventually became the first video game console to sell more than 120 units.

6. A Teenager Once Bought PlayStation 4 for £8

A teenager once bought a PlayStation 4 for £8 by weighing it on a fruit and vegetable section on a self-checkout machine. Having succeeded the first time, the young adult opted to try the trick again, and he was caught.

7. PlayStation One and PlayStation Two Were Released Concurrently

Both PlayStation One and Two were released concurrently in 2000. PS One was a remake of the original PlayStation. It was considerably smaller, had better design, and performed better. Over time, the sales of PS One superseded the rest, including the original PlayStation.  

8. The PlayStation 1 Console Controllers Sold in the U.S. Were 10% Bigger

Sony deliberately made and sold bigger PlayStation 1 controllers as it was thought the people in North America had larger hands than average Japanese. The gaming pads sold in the United States were 10% bigger.

9. Manabu Sakamoto Designed the PlayStation Logo

The famous PlayStation logo that gamers marvel at today was designed by Manabu Sakamoto. It bears the “P” and “S” PlayStation initials, carefully crafted to provide a 3d illusion. The designer wanted to creatively capture the new (at the time) 3D feature that the console supports. As for the shades, he adhered to the four bright principal colors of blue, yellow, red, and green.

10. Most of the PlayStation Consoles Have Different Versions/Models

While Sony just released its PlayStation five gaming console a few years back, the journey from the original one to where it is hasn’t been simply that of moving from one number to the rest. If anything, all the previous consoles have at least two different versions.

For instance, the PlayStation 2 had the original and slim models. PlayStation three had the slim and super slim models, while PlayStation 4 had the slim and pro models.

11. PlayStation 2 Is the Best Selling Gaming Console

According to Statista, PlayStation 2 is a best-selling gaming console from Sony and any other manufacturer. First released in 2000, the product shipped more than 158 million units worldwide. However, even though PlayStation Five was only launched in 2020, it has already sold more than 45.4 million units, setting it on the path to breaking the best-selling record.

12. PlayStation Produces Products Other Than Gaming Consoles

Even though PlayStation is popular for its gaming consoles, and rightfully so, the company also produces handheld systems, television sets, Virtual Reality products, and tablets. All these have some relation to gaming, though.

13. A Delivery Driver Started Professional Racing after Winning in a PlayStation Game

In 2011, Brian Heitkotter, a delivery truck driver, beat about 53,000 competitors in PlayStation’s Gran Turismo racing game. The 30-year-old (at the time) intended to use the prize money to launch his real-life racing career.

14. Europe Is PlayStation’s Biggest Market

While PlayStation is a Japanese product, most of its market comes from Europe. At the time of writing, the company had sold over 204 million units to the region alone. North America closely follows Europe, with Asia and the rest of the world trailing far behind.

15. Women’s Attraction to PlayStation Products Is Rapidly Increasing

Initially, PlayStation consoles were considered products for teenage boys; it was predominantly for males. However, the latest reports show that 41% of PS 4 and PS 5 owners identify as women, which is hugely commendable.

16. One of Sony’s Posters Was Removed for “Promoting Suicide”

At one point, Sony used the slogan “Take a running jump here” to advertise its PlayStation portable. However, trouble came when one of its posters was placed somewhere in Manchester Piccadilly railway station; it was seen to promote suicide and was eventually removed.

17. PlayStation 3 Sold the Least Units

Before the recent release of the PlayStation 5, PlayStation 3 was the only gaming console from Sony not to sell over 100 million units. With PS 5 already selling close to 50 million units in about three years, PS 3 looks on course to be the worst-performing console version, monetary-wise. Only about 87.4 million PS 3 units were sold.

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Last Update: December 12, 2023