The PlayStation (Japanese:プレイステーション) is a video game console produced by Sony in the 1990s; it was launched in Japan on December 3, 1994 and in the USA on September 9, 1995. It was the console that angered Nintendo who subsequently filed a lawsuit claiming breach of contract and attemped, in federal court, to obtain an injunction against the release of the PlayStation but the federal Judge presiding over the case denied the injunction. It was popular and spawned the so-called "PlayStation Generation". Among other games, the PlayStation is well known for the Tomb Raider series of games. Sony now make a compatible console in a smaller (and curvier) case called the PSOne. The original PlayStation was often been abbreviated as the PSX, until in 2003 when the Playstation Extreme was introduced that includes a DVD burner, a hard drive, and digital video recorder. It is now abbreviated PS1 or PSOne.

Sony's successor to the PlayStation is the more powerful PlayStation 2 and is largely compatible in the sense that it can play most PlayStation games unmodified. This is done by embedding the most important parts of the PSOne inside the PlayStation 2 design, so two systems can be provided for the price of one. The PlayStation 2 is based on a custom processor Sony developed known as the Emotion Engine.

A version of the PlayStation called the Net Yaroze was also produced. It is more expensive than the original PlayStation, coloured black instead of the usual grey, and most importantly, came with tools and instructions that allowed a user to be able to program PlayStation games and applications without the need for a full developers suite (which could cost many times the amount of a PlayStation). However, the Net Yaroze lacks many of the features the full developers suite provides.

The installation of a modchip allows PlayStation's capabilities to be expanded. This allows unauthorised copies of games to be played, but it also allows the playing of games from other countries.

The next generation of the PlayStation is known as PlayStation 3 and expected to be launched in 2005. The PlayStation 3 appears to be the first game console to use grid computing technology.

The PlayStation has historical links to an abortive CD-ROM add on to the SNES which would be able to include large multimedia. For various reasons including the failure of the Sega CD, this project was cancelled.

Table of contents
1 Specifications
2 External links


Main CPU

R3000A 32bit
RISC chip running at 33.8688MHz

This is manufactured by LSI Logic Corp with technology licensed from SGI. It also contains in the same chip the Geometry Transfer Engine and the Data Decompression Engine


  • Operating Performance of 30 MIPS
  • Bus Bandwidth 132 Mb/sec
  • Instruction Cache 4 KB
  • Data Cache 1 KB

Geometry Transfer Engine

This Engine is inside the Main CPU chip. It was responsible for rendering the 3D Graphics.


Data Decompression Engine

This Engine is also inside the Main CPU chip. It was responsible for decompressing images and video.


Graphics Processing Unit

This chip is separate to the CPU and handles all the 2D Graphics processing.



This chip is responsible for sound processing.


  • Can handle ADPCM sources with up to 24 channels and up to 44.1 kHz sampling rate
  • Could perform digital effects including:
    • Pitch Modulation
    • Envelope
    • Looping
    • Digital Reverb
  • Could handle up to 512Kb of sampled waveforms
  • Supports MIDI instruments
  • PC file name format: .PSF



  • Two Speed, with a maximum data throughput of 300KB/sec
  • XA Compliant

See also:
Sony, Nintendo 64, PlayStation 2, MIDI, PlayStation Sound Format

External links