PlayStation

From the Audiovisual Identity Database, the motion graphics museum

For other uses, see PlayStation (disambiguation).


Background

Sony officially entered the video game market with the release of the PlayStation (also known as the "PS1" or "PSX") in Japan on December 3, 1994, in North America on September 9, 1995, in Europe on September 29, 1995 and in Australia on November 15, 1995. This came after a failed attempt with Nintendo to create a CD-ROM add-on for the Super Nintendo, which had the name of the "Nintendo PlayStation (Experimental)". The console was discontinued worldwide on March 23, 2006.

Logo (December 3, 1994-March 23, 2006)


Visuals: On a black background, the screen fades into the PlayStation logo, consisting of a giant red "P" turned clockwise over a {teal-blue-yellow striped "S" which is striped horizontally. The "S" is shown lying down over the word "PlayStation" in a computerized futuristic font in white. Below that is "Licensed by" in white over "Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.", which is over "SCEI", both in white.

Variants:

  • The copyright changes depending on the region the game was released in. For example, "Sony Computer Entertainment, Inc." and "SCEI" are for use on NTSC-J PlayStation games, but PAL (European) games have "Sony Computer Entertainment Europe" and "SCEE", while NTSC-U/C (North American) games use "Sony Computer Entertainment America" and "SCEA". Multi-regional consoles (such as developer units) have no "SCEI/SCEA/SCEE" identifier.
  • There are earlier variants of the PAL and NTSC-U/C variants respectively. The variation is in the byline; on PAL games from 1995 to early 1996, the word "Europe" is in brackets/parentheses, while on NTSC-U/C games from 1995 to 1996, the byline says "Sony Computer Entertainment of America". Starting in 1996, the "Europe" is not in brackets/parentheses in PAL releases and the "of" is removed in NTSC-U/C releases.
  • On pretty much all the original PlayStation consoles released outside of Japan, when the above logo appears, a TM sign appears next to "PlayStation". On the Japanese consoles, the PSone, PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 3, a registered trademark sign appears next to the "PlayStation" logo.
  • On some games, the logo cuts off while the PlayStation sound can still be heard fading out.
  • Some games have the logo fading out rather than cutting to black.
  • Some games have the logo cutting straight to the first visual of the game, with no blank screen in between. This happens on the PAL version of TOCA Touring Car Championship (where it cuts straight to the piracy warning) and KKND: Krossfire (where it cuts straight to the copyright screen), among others.
  • When the Fearful Harmony plays (only on PlayStation consoles with added modchips), the SCEI logo plays as usual, but a deformed version of said logo combined with an even more deformed version of the PlayStation logo appear on a black background, along with a jumble of letters. The Fearful Harmony Screen can sometimes vary depending on which SCPH Model you have. Depending on the error, the SCEI logo has upside-down portions while the PlayStation wordmark in black can be seen, while sometimes it is a black diamond with orange outlines (nicknamed the "Ghost Diamond").

Technique: fading effects.

Audio: A synthesized whoosh (which is actually a reversed and slowed-down sound of smashing glass), followed by a real fast chime arpeggio, then five synth-flute notes (which is actually one single chime slowed down). When played on a PlayStation/PSone with a disc inserted when the power has been turned on, the audio from the first Sony Computer Entertainment logo can be heard fading out over this logo; this doesn't happen when a disc is booted up from the menu or on a PlayStation 2 or 3.

Audio Variants:

  • On some games, the sound cuts off abruptly at the last note, with either the logo doing so at the same time, shortly after the sound has cut off, or shortly before the sound cuts off.
  • Sometimes, the sound will enter a glitched loop, usually on the last note of the PlayStation sound. A few examples of this happening are Wipeout, Wipeout 2097 (WipeoutXL in the US), Gran Turismo, Formula 1, Formula 1 '97 (and the latter game's Championship Edition), some, if not all of the Namco Museum volumes (Volume 2 is one of them that has this strange glitch), Ridge Racer (the 1994 arcade game, released for the PlayStation in Japan and the US on the same dates the said console launched in said countries but the console came out on different dates in the countries; see below), Vegas Casino and countless other titles, PAL region demo discs from before late 1997/early 1998 and a few NTSC-U/C demo discs, with its audibility depending on how quickly the game loads.
  • On rare occasions, if you put in a damaged or dirty disc, sometimes you will get a blank screen along with a much more jarring version of the PlayStation sound (nicknamed "Personified Fear"). The synthesized whoosh comes in looped (causing the whoosh to sound more heavy) and the chime sound and the five synth-flute notes are replaced with a slightly different synth-flute note sequence that is higher-pitched (this is actually the same chime sound as normal except sped up slightly). Only reported to happen on the PlayStation and PSone (if this was done on the PlayStation 2, you will get the screen saying "Please insert a PlayStation or PlayStation 2 format disc" instead). This can also happen when you insert a pirated CD-format PlayStation 2 game into the PlayStation or PSone.
  • There are also two other error sounds: one of them is the normal sound but without the chimes and the other is the chimes playing slowly. These variants are nicknamed "Callous Venture" and "Fearful Harmony", respectively. This happens when you install a certain mod-chip into the console.

Availability:

  • This appears after the first Sony Computer Entertainment logo when you turn on a PS/PSone on with a PSX disc inside, but it also comes after the third SCE logo if you have a PSX disc inside a PS2 when that console is turned on. It is also seen on the PSP after you select a game from the system's boot menu (in the "PlayStation Network" section). You also see this after the fifth SCE logo when a PSX disc is inside a PS3 when that console is turned on.
  • Strangely enough, on very early Japan-region PlayStation consoles, if an NTSC-U or PAL region game is booted up on the system (either by swap trick or modification chip), it will actually skip this logo animation entirely, instead loading the game straight from either the first Sony Computer Entertainment logo (if booted from the moment the power is switched on) or from the menu screen (if booted from the menu).
  • The logo once again makes an appearance on the PlayStation Classic, released in 2018.
  • The "Personified Fear" variant happens if the PS1 is having issues reading the disc.
  • The "Fearful Harmony"/"Callous Venture" may happen if your PS1 is modchipped and is trying to read a foreign disc.

Legacy: This logo is known for its ominous music and startling fade-ins. However, this is a favorite of many. The "Callous Venture"/"Fearful Harmony" and "Personified Fear" variants can unnerve many people when they're not expecting it, however.

PlayStation
PlayStation 2
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