Portal:Sony PlayStation

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Sony PlayStation Portal

The PlayStation family is the world's highest-selling group of video game systems. Sony Computer Entertainment released the PlayStation in 1994, followed by the PlayStation 2 in 2000, PlayStation Portable in 2004, PlayStation 3 in 2006, PlayStation Vita in 2011 and PlayStation 4 in 2013.

Sony's first foray into the video game market, the PlayStation (codenamed PSX during development, now known as PSone), was initially designed as an add-on for Nintendo's Super Nintendo Entertainment System (Super Famicom) video game console as an answer to Sega's Sega CD. When the prospect of releasing the system as an add-on dissolved, Sony transformed it into the standalone PlayStation video game console.

Sony's follow-up console, the PlayStation 2 (PS2), currently the world's best-selling console in history, was released in Japan on March 4, 2000 and in North America on October 26, 2000.

The PSP or PlayStation Portable is a handheld game console made by Sony Computer Entertainment; a first foray into the handheld gaming market which was previously dominated by Nintendo. Though it has not had as much as of an impact as the PlayStation home consoles, the PSP is noted as being the most successful competitor to Nintendo's handheld range yet.

November 2006 saw the launch of the PlayStation 3 (PS3), Sony's seventh generation game console. It uses a unique processing architecture called the Cell microprocessor, a technology jointly developed by Sony, Toshiba, and IBM. The graphics processing unit, the RSX 'Reality Synthesizer', was co-developed by NVIDIA and Sony – its main competitors were the Xbox 360 and the Wii.

The newest console in the PlayStation series is Sony's entry in the eighth generation of consoles, the PlayStation 4 (PS4), which launched in November 2013.

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PlayStation Portable homebrew refers to the process of executing unsigned code on the PlayStation Portable. In April 2005, a DNS redirection trick was discovered in the game Wipeout Pure's content-downloading feature that allowed regular HTML web pages to be displayed in its place. Using this trick, and with a bit of guess work, hackers spotted that navigating to addresses such as file:///disc0:/ would allow files from the UMD to be viewed, thus the discovery of PSPs executable format, the EBOOT, was figured. Using a dumped PSP system ROM image, and the knowledge discovered from the Wipeout disc, the layout of the executable format was successfully reverse-engineered by a hacker "NEM" and the "Saturn Expedition Committee". In May of the same year, PSPs using the 1.00 version of the firmware were able to execute unsigned code packed in the same format as EBOOT.BIN from Wipeout, but from the /PSP/GAME folder on a Memory Stick. This meant that PSPs could be used to run homebrew software, as there was no mechanism to check if the code had been digitally signed by Sony in this firmware revision (as was similar with the PlayStation and PlayStation 2 consoles - missing security features in first revisions). A proof-of-concept "Hello World" was released to demonstrate this. This resulted in the release of a number of homebrew software, which were all built with the GNU GCC and GNU Binutils, modified to produce code for the PS2 and PSP (MIPS processor devices). In addition, it became possible to dump Universal Media Discs (UMDs) using a homebrew technique. These dumped UMD images can be written to a Memory Stick Duo and executed, performing in exactly the same way as if they were being read from a UMD.

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PS3 at CES 2006
Credit: AZAdam

The PlayStation 3 is the third home video game console released by Sony.

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Uncharted: Drake's Fortune is a PlayStation 3 action-adventure game developed by Naughty Dog, and published by Sony Computer Entertainment. A demo for the game was released on 8 November 2007, on the PlayStation Network. Although the U.S. release date was set for 19 November, it was released on the 16th in a few select areas. The Drake's Fortune subtitle is a reference to the famous explorer Sir Francis Drake and his fictional treasure stowed away on the island. In the game, players assume the role of Nathan Drake, a treasure hunter who alleges to be the descendant of the famed privateer. It has been confirmed that Drake's Fortune is the first game in the Uncharted series and has already been followed by a sequel.

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Did you know...

  • ...that Warhawk's single-player mode was scrapped because the game's developers decided it was vastly inferior to the multi-player mode?
  • ...that the PSX, a media center that is based on the PS2, was only released in Japan?
  • ...that the PlayStation 2 had the biggest launch in Japanese history, selling more than 980,000 units in four hours?
  • ...that the PlayStation might have never been made if Nintendo had not offered to partner with Sony on a video game console?
  • ...that the PlayStation was rejected because Nintendo refused to partner with Sony as it could not decide on how to share its revenues?
  • ...that the PlayStation 3 has sold 200,000 more units worldwide than its competitor Xbox 360?

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At a presentation in New York, Sony announced the PlayStation 4 console. It was released at the end of 2013. A look inside the PlayStation 4 can be viewed here: http://us.playstation.com/ps4/



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