A year later, it spread across the globe, leading to it's eventual assimilation into modern living. The console was officially discontinued by Sony in 2006, but began a process of phasing out with the 2000 release of the Playstation2. Known in it's early years colloquially as the PSX, the console was characterised by a slick attitude that met modern gamers on varying levels, boasting releases like Wipeout, which fused electronic music culture with the gaming experience. This post is a celebration of that time. Music circa (c.) the PSX.
Groovezone - Eisbaer (1997)
1997 was a great time to own a PSX.
By this point, the console was well and truly entering a mainstream in flux. I'd like to think the Playstation could be described, not just out of romantic nostalgia, but historic fact, as the centre of the universe at that time.
I don't necessarily mean to suggest Sony were secretly pulling the world's strings like a dog in a UFO ending, but there was a definite energy about the period that seemed to congregate around the circular lid of the Playstation console.
Cheesy Eurodance music videos reflected a literal influence from the growing excitement of 3D gaming, but this "energy" wasn't restricted to the peroxide-frosted ravers looking at the world through orange tinted lenses. The proliferation of the PSX in it's mid-life meant connecting with a vast range of people, interests, and brands. It was becoming as much an icon of high fashion as it was family-friendly home entertainment. It was all things, to all people.
Sponsored in part by the growing accessibility of the internet, various topics of interest were able to expand well beyond their niche audiences.
The Playstation created an interactive discussion with licensed gaming properties that scattered growing trends around the globe, personally inducting fans through an exciting exchange of information. The early WWF releases and Tony Hawk's Pro Skater remain bold examples of how the world consumed entertainment during this time.
A decade later, the experimentation and excitement of the PSX era can still be felt.
The legacy of this period might not be entirely positive, particularly as profitable properties attempt to hold on to their former glory through conservative business practises counter-intuitive to the era that defined them.
The PSX was a development of technology that invigorated gaming and connected with a world that was striving for something new. It was the mainstream induction of gaming in ways Generation X had always imagined, allowing the practise to enter homes across the globe. It was an important time in entertainment history. I miss it.
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