From PS1 to PS5: Their Launch Games

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On the way to the premiere of PlayStation 5, we remember the games that accompanied its predecessors and we review those that will come with it.

It’s official now. PlayStation 5 will be released on November 19 at a price of € 499 or € 399 depending on the chosen model. And just as or more importantly, we also know the games that will be available at launch (although the cost of some may have been surprising). Figures aside, this takes us back to a tradition almost as old as the medium itself: looking at the repertoire available that first day to see which – or which – of the titles we find most desirable to make the leap to the new generation.

Although Sony is not the oldest, with this there will already be five times that we have gone through this process with one of its desktop consoles, so we thought it would be interesting to look back and recall the four previous occasions. From the original PlayStation to the still-festering PS4, today we’ll take a look at the games that were available during their European releases to put things in perspective and compare with the imminent arrival of PS5.

PlayStation: Warming Up the Engines

The first PlayStation hit the stores in our country on September 29, 1995, almost a year after its Japanese premiere in December 1994. At that time, the brand had not yet been firmly established, so the race with The Sega Saturn and the upcoming Nintendo 64 were still in the air. It would not be until 1997 when it would clearly escape from both, changing the history of the console wars as we knew them in the nineties, although on the way there, it was already leaving several emblematic titles that are still remembered by their users today. Interestingly, despite being preceded by the American release a few weeks earlier, here we missed some already available there such as Rayman (although it came out shortly after) or Twisted Metal (that one left in early 1996), but buyers had other alternatives to quality:

Ridge racer

Developed by Namco and distributed by Sony itself in Europe, Ridge Racer had its origins in arcades, but that didn’t stop it from being the console’s flagship title at launch in any of the three regions. The arcade conversion was very successful and the audiovisual display was top-notch for its time, generating many positive comparisons to the Sega Saturn’s Daytona USA. It is true that at the track level it was somewhat scarce, offering only variations of layout within the same circuit. But its staging and playability made it a critical and sales success, so the saga would not only spur several sequels (such as the great Ridge Racer Type 4), but would also return to accompany other Sony systems in their releases (for the memory remains the enthusiasm of Kaz Hirai shouting his name during the presentation of PSP).

Wipeout

Created by the British studio Psygnosis, Wipeout was both a temporary exclusive to the European market and the start of the popular saga of the same name. Set in a distant future where hovercraft competed at breakneck speeds, the game differed from proposals like F-Zero (still far from receiving its first 3D installment) thanks to the use of weapons (thus integrating a component closer to Mario Kart, saga that the designers confirmed as influence) and a catchy electronic-cut soundtrack that would even come out separately on CD. At the controls it was somewhat more demanding than Ridge Racer, but it also had more circuits and its intensity made it another success with multiple sequels (starting with the more refined Wipeout 2097, released just a year later) that also continue to this day.

Battle Arena Toshinden

Another premiere saga, this time belonging to the fighting genre, was Battle Arena Toshinden. Developed by the Japanese company Tamsoft, it also came to Europe from Sony and was well received thanks to its first-time, but solvent, fights in three dimensions. In addition to characters modeled with polygons and a good level of detail, the game allowed to get out of the combat plane by means of a lateral step, thus introducing a full use of the 3D gameplay before even being implemented by sagas such as Virtua Fighter or Tekken. It was also ahead of Soul Edge in the use of bladed weapons, curdling a fairly innovative title for its time, although in the long run it ended up being overshadowed by the other big names that offered a more refined gameplay than it or its sequels.


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