The PlayStation (officially abbreviated as PS and more commonly known as PS1) is a 32-bit video game console released by Sony Computer Entertainment in Japan on December 3,1994. The console was released in North America and Europe in September 1995. The PlayStation was the first of the PlayStation series of consoles and handheld game devices. As part of the fifth-generation of gaming, it primarily competed with the Nintendo 64 and the Sega Saturn. In 2000, a re-designed "slim" version called the PSone was released, replacing the original grey console and named appropriately to avoid confusion with its successor, the PlayStation 2.
The PlayStation was the first "computer entertainment platform" to ship 100 million units, which it had reached 9 years and 6 months after its initial launch. The last PSone units were sold on Christmas 2004 before it was finally discontinued, for a total of 102 million units shipped since its launch 10 years earlier. Games continued to sell until Sony ceased production of PlayStation games on March 23, 2006 – over 11 years after it was released, and less than a year before the debut of the PlayStation 3.
The development of the PlayStation actually began before the 16-bit era. At that time, Nintendo wanted to experiment with the CD-ROM media for use on the Famicom (following the success of NEC's PC Engine CD-ROM in Japan), but encountered a few problems. Nintendo finally decided to work withSony, one of the creators of the CD-ROM format (with Phillips) to produce a CD add-on to the Super Nintendo, named the SNES-CD. A contract was signed in 1988, and Sony began work on the product. Initially, the partnership was supposed to be announced at CES 1991, but while reviewing the first contract, Hiroshi Yamauchi found out that Sony would entirely handle every title release on the console.Nintendo then secretly canceled the deal, and at CES, announced that they were working to bring Nintendo franchises on Phillips’ own console, the CD-i. This proved to be a bad decision on Nintendo's part as every game that used those properties were poorly received by both gamers and critics.