A lot of people will remember their first console for various reasons; whether it be because of a specific game, or because of graphical achievement, everyone has a console that they will always love. A console that I will always love is the Playstation 1. However, the reason I remember and love this console is a personal one.
I remember getting the Playstation 1 and Crash Bandicoot for Christmas in 1996. It was a joint Christmas present from my parents for me and my sister, and our Christmas Day was spent just trying to get through the first level! The Playstation was also the first home console that we owned, so it was exciting to see this new type of entertainment (new for 5-year-old me, anyway), especially since we could play at home and didn’t have to travel to an arcade.
From then on, my childhood was spent playing games like Crash Bandicoot, as well as Spyro 2: Gateway To Glimmer, Croc: Legend of the Gobbos, Spider-Man, and Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, the latter of which is a very strange game, structurally. But, for 5- to 6-year-old me, these games were important to my childhood and acted as an escape from reality and school. Despite the blocky nature of these visuals, the games still captured my imagination, some of them becoming my favorite games ever!
Plus, the Playstation 1 introduction as each game loads is iconic! The booming bass of the intro music will always give me goosebumps, even now.
The Playstation 1 also acted as a CD player, technically making it the first CD player I ever owned, too. Before this, I owned a radio/cassette player deck, which I kept in my bedroom. Gaining a new CD player as well as a new gaming console meant that I could start buying CDs instead of recording radio snippets onto various cassette tapes. Therefore, not only did I discover new worlds via video games, but also different types of music via CDs.
The Playstation 1 also meant that The Playstation Magazine went into publication. While I did collect and read the magazines, they really meant one thing for me and one thing only: demo disks. The magazine used to come with a free demo disk, which contained around 20 demos of upcoming games. These were a fantastic idea and, for me, a first; it meant that I could find out which games I wanted to buy with my pocket money and which ones to avoid, without spending my money blindly to then be disappointed by a full game. The demo disks further introduced me to games like Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2, the Centipede remaster, Ape Escape, Final Fantasy VII, and Spyro: Year of the Dragon, just to name a few. The Playstation 1 was a definitive part of my childhood; it not only gave me a chance to finally listen to CDs, but it also introduced me to new gaming worlds, the Playstation Magazine, and demo disks. It also gave me my favourite games, including Crash Bandicoot, Spyro, and Croc. This was a fantastic and impressive introduction to a new console that would become one of the biggest gaming consoles to date.