The PlayStation (Japanese: プレイステーション, Hepburn: Pureisutēshon?, officially abbreviated PS) is a series of video game consoles created and developed by Sony Computer Entertainment. With consoles in the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth generation, the brand was first introduced on December 3, 1994 in Japan. The brand consists of a total of three home consoles, a media center, an online service, a line of controllers, two handhelds and a phone, as well as multiple magazines.
The first console in the series, the PlayStation, was the first video game console to ship 100 million units, which happened 9 years and 6 months after its initial launch. Its successor, the PlayStation 2, is the best-selling console to date, having reached over 160 million units sold as of January 31, 2011. Sony's latest console, the PlayStation 3, has sold over 070200000 !70.2 million consoles worldwide as of September 30, 2012 (2012 -09-30).
The first handheld game console in the PlayStation series, the PlayStation Portable or PSP, has sold a total of 71.4 million units worldwide as of September 14, 2011. Its successor, the PlayStation Vita, which launched in Japan on December 17, 2011 and in most other major territories in February 2012 has sold in excess of 1.2 million units as of the end of February 2012.
Other hardware released as part of the PlayStation series includes the PSX, a digital video recorder which was integrated with the PlayStation and PlayStation 2, though it was short lived due to its high price and was never released outside Japan, as well as a Sony Bravia television set which has an integrated PlayStation 2. The main series of controllers utilized by the PlayStation series is the DualShock, which is a line of vibration-feedback gamepad having sold 28 million controllers as of June 28, 2008.
The PlayStation Network is an online service with over 69 million users worldwide (as of January 25, 2011). It comprises an online virtual market, the PlayStation Store, which allows the purchase and download of games and various forms of multimedia, a subscription-based online service known as PlayStation Plus and a social gaming networking service called PlayStation Home, which has over 14 million users worldwide. PlayStation Suite is an upcoming software framework that is aimed to provide PlayStation content cross-platform and cross-devices; currently only Android and the PlayStation Vita devices are supported. Content set to be released under the framework consist of only original PlayStation games currently.
Current-generation PlayStation products also use the XrossMediaBar, which is an award-winning graphical user interface. A new touchscreen-based user interface called LiveArea is being designed for the PlayStation Vita, which integrates social networking elements into the interface. Additionally, PlayStation 2 and original PlayStation 3 consoles also featured support for Linux-based operating systems, though this has since been discontinued. The series has also been known for its numerous marketing campaigns, the latest of which being the "Long Live Play" commercials in the United States.
The series also has a strong lineup of first-party titles due to Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios, a group of fifteen first-party developers owned by Sony Computer Entertainment which are dedicated to developing first-party games for the series. In addition, the series features various budget re-releases of titles by Sony with different names for each region; these include the Greatest Hits, Platinum and The Best ranges of titles.