11 Things You Didn’t Know About PlayStation

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1. The original PlayStation almost had a mascot.

Meet Polygon Man, the PlayStation mascot that almost was. Sony’s jarring, jaggy-haired floating head appeared in plenty of pre-launch press material, but was scrapped before the console actually launched on the market. But that wasn’t the end of ol’ spikey head — Polygon Man made a surprise cameo as the final boss in last year’s PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale, pitting Sony’s stable of characters against one another in hand-to-hand combat.

2. It was originally designed in partnership with Nintendo…

Stranger than fiction, but true: the original Play Station (yes, the space is intentional) was first created a joint production between Nintendo and Sony, then intended to add CD-ROM functionality to the Super Nintendo. The deal eventually fell through and Sony continued on with their original console pipe dreams, contracting the console’s title and releasing it themselves. The rest, as they say, is history.

3. …and almost published by Sega.

That’s right — after saying “no deal” to Nintendo, Sony shopped the PlayStation’s tech specs to Sega. But the House that Sonic Built passed on their rival’s offer, instead focusing on the ill-fated Sega CD. Can you imagine a world where Sonic Adventure and Shenmue shared a stage with Nathan Drake?

4. There were subliminal messages hidden in the first PlayStation ads.

Sony peppered sneaky hidden messages throughout their first wave of American advertisements, including references to the console’s release date, cheat codes for upcoming titles, and enigmatic winks at attentive viewers.

5. It was the first video game console to sell over 100 million units

102.49 million, to be exact. That’s more than the Xbox, GameCube, and Nintendo 64. Combined.

6. The PlayStation brand has a feline mascot, but only overseas.

Toro Inoue — or Toro for short — is widely recognized in the Land of the Rising Sun as Sony’s feline frontman. Toro never broke through Stateside, but he’s since made cameos in various Sony properties, including PlayStation All-Stars and the Vita version of Street Fighter X Tekken.

7. The PlayStation 2’s signature look was inspired by an old Atari.

The Falcon 030 Micro Box, to be exact. Sony purchased the device’s design patent from Atari, and used it as a template for their hugely successful PlayStation 2.

8. David Lynch directed a PlayStation 2 commercial.

And it’s pretty much exactly what you’d imagine it would be.

9. There were 2,418 games released for the original PlayStation.

Again, that’s more games than there are for the Nintendo Entertainment System, the Super Nintendo, and the Nintendo 64 combined, and a good chunk of them are available for immediate download on the PlayStation Store.

10. There was a hidden purpose behind the PlayStation 2’s startup screen.

You may not’ve noticed, but the more games you played on your PlayStation, the more glowing towers were added to the console’s startup screen, and the longer you played, the higher those towers climbed. Subtle, eh?

11. The PlayStation 3 has been used to research black holes.

You’d think that a bunch of tech-savvy astronomers would use some kind of supercomputer to monitor the vibrations inherent to a black hole, right? You’d probably be right, except for in the case of the University of Alabama, where a group of scientists wired a cluster of PlayStation 3s together into a super-console capable of A) running high-end simulations to test a black hole’s rotational speed, and B) playing 15 games of SOCOM at the same time.

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