1. The start-up sound
Ahhhhhh, now this is the stuff of memories. Before I even began my post-school gaming voyage, I would turn the console on and off three or four times just so I could hear that grandiose murmur funnel from my Sanyo box. The bassy bellow followed by a quick twinkle and then a hook back into the original bellow before twinkling again to finish. Eargasmic.
2. Its cumbersome disk tray
That thing was impractically glorious. A grey brick when closed, the PlayStation One became a hospitable clam when open. The yo-yo sound of the CD spinning around and then finding it’s position still rings strongly with every nostalgic flashback. The opening was prone to disease nonetheless. A gaping hole so vast, dust collection was a commonality and so were system errors. But that’s why it was so good and stands so strong in our memory. Never forget the satisfying click of the roof shut.
3. Its games
Well I couldn’t entertain this conversation without talking about its games. The Tekken’s, Resident Evil’s, Final Fantasy’s of the era bear potent memories but for me the recalls of Crash Bandicoot, Spyro the Dragon, Sydney 2000, Gallop Racer and Worms Armageddon hold the strongest currency. Then there was Gran Turismo 2, one of the best motor racing explorations to make its way onto gaming platforms, as well as Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 and Doom.
4. The 1MB memory cards
To begin, I’ll remind you that one megabyte equals a lofty 1000KB. This is important because you can now get memory sticks with 512GB storage – a pointless yet substantial fact in our nostalgic dwellings. So approach with caution, these little bad boys only had so much space. Saving one game could overwrite another and lending the console to an unversed sibling could leave you doomed. It was a sacred possession that, if lost, could mean losing your soul.
5. When it played up
The sarcastic grin and ensuing laughter that consumed your face when your PlayStation One froze, lagged or clickety-clacked like a summer cicada. Like the placebo, or non-placebo, effect of Nintendo 64’s blow technique, a common remedy emerged with the philosophy of turning it upside down. An issue with lasers was quickly resolved and so was your headache. Game on, Doctor Neo Cortex is waiting.
There’s definitely a close correlation between console advancement and button shrinking. How often have you got a new gaming console and been forced to circumnavigate it once, twice or thrice before you can find the ‘on’ button? Yes, it’s happened to us all but it was never an issue with the original PlayStation. Two buttons so big and so visible, there was never any confusion or chance of error. Oh and that ‘reset’ button – don’t get me started.
7. Its compact, tossable design
At times, the PlayStation One became its own worst enemy. Player grumblings are often met with physicality – did you just miss that 540 Stalefish you’ve been working on for months or maybe after 38 attempts, you still can’t defeat Mr. X? All you want to do is pick up the console and throw it – the 1.5kg design catering perfectly. Alternatively, the light fit allowed for easy transportation – in your backpack and off to your friend’s place.