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PlayStation is a video game company that produces five home video game consoles, two handhelds, a media center, and a smartphone, in addition to an online service and various magazines. Sony Interactive Entertainment, a division of Sony, produces the PlayStation brand; the original PlayStation console was introduced in Japan in December 1994, and internationally the following year.
The first console in the series was the first of its kind to sell over 100 million copies in less than a decade. The PlayStation 2 was released in 2000 as its successor. By the end of 2012, the PlayStation 2 has sold over 155 million copies, making it the best-selling home system of all time. The PlayStation 3 was introduced in 2006, and by March 2017, it had sold over 87.4 million copies. Sony’s next platform, the PlayStation 4, was introduced in 2013 and quickly became the fastest-selling console in history, selling a million copies in a single day. The PlayStation 5, the most recent console in the series, was launched in 2020.
The PlayStation Portable, or PSP, was the series’ first handheld gaming device, selling 80 million copies worldwide by November 2013. Its successor, the PlayStation Vita, was released in December 2011 in Japan and February 2012 in the rest of the world, selling over four million copies by January 2013. The PlayStation TV is a non-portable microconsole that is based on the PlayStation Vita handheld gaming console. The PSX, a digital video recorder that was integrated with the PlayStation and PlayStation 2, though it was short-lived due to its high price and was never released outside of Japan, and a Sony Bravia television set with an integrated PlayStation 2 were also released as part of the PlayStation series. The DualShock, a brand of vibration-feedback gamepads that had sold 28 million controllers by June 2008, is the principal series of controllers used by the PlayStation series.
The PlayStation Network is an online service with about 103 million monthly active users and around 110 million registered members (as of June 2013). (as of the month of December 2019) It consists of the PlayStation Store, an online virtual market that allows the purchase and download of games and other forms of multimedia, PlayStation Plus, a subscription-based online service, and PlayStation Home, a social gaming networking service that had over 41 million users worldwide at the time of its closure in March 2015.
PlayStation Mobile (formerly known as PlayStation Suite) is a software framework that allows PlayStation content to be accessed on mobile devices. Version 1.xx is compatible with both the PlayStation Vita and PlayStation TV, as well as some Android-based devices, whereas version 2.00, published in 2014, was only for the PlayStation Vita and PlayStation TV. Currently, only original PlayStation titles are scheduled to be released within the system.
The XrossMediaBar, a Technology & Engineering Emmy Award-winning graphical user interface, is also used in seventh-generation PlayStation devices. For the PlayStation Vita, a touch screen-based user interface dubbed LiveArea was released, which mixes social networking aspects into the UI.
In addition, the PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 3 consoles supported Linux-based operating systems; Linux for PlayStation 2 and OtherOS for PlayStation 3, respectively, however this has since been dropped. The series is also notable for its multiple marketing initiatives, the most recent of which in the United States were the “Greatness Awaits” and subsequently “Play Has No Limits” advertisements.
Due to SIE Worldwide Companies, a consortium of multiple studios owned by Sony Interactive Entertainment that solely develops games for PlayStation consoles, the series boasts a strong line-up of first-party titles. Furthermore, the series includes cheap re-releases of Sony games with different names for each area, such as the Greatest Hits, Platinum, Essentials, and The Best selections of games.