Sony Playstation One

Name: Playstation One
Made By: Sony
Price: $49.99
Includes: 1 controller, Audio/Video cables, power cord. Does NOT include games, RF adapter.

What It Is:

Released 9/9/1995, the venerable Playstation One has been through many different hardware revisions. The current incarnation pictured above plays all the classic Playstation games. It is small and compact and there are small television screens that can be attached turning it into a portable game system in the same way the Gamecube is portable (used in the car for long trips.) But lets be real, this machine is now SEVEN YEARS OLD. If we were talking about a child, it would be in second grade already. That's forever in gaming terms.

On the other hand, that means that there have been seven years for it to rack up a considerable number of games. Many of which are still quite good, although many have not aged well at all (i.e. Resident Evil, Tomb Raider.)

You should also know that this machine is not designed to compete with the current generation of machines (Dreamcast, Gamecube, Playstation 2, XBox), physically it cannot. It doesn't have the power. It belonged to the previous generation which included the now extinct Sega Saturn and the bewilderingly popular Nintendo 64.

It's also important to note that no system for the past several years will plug directly in to some older television sets. They all use 3 wires, one for video (usually a yellow plug) one for left hand audio (white plug) and one for right hand audio (red plug.) If you look on the back of your television and see either 2 screws (really old televisions) or a single jack with screw threads on it, then you will need an added device to use ANY of these machines on your set. This device is called an RF adapter, it will connect either to the two screws or to the threaded jack and allow you to play games through the older set.

In most cases your VCR will already have the correct connections on the back and all you have to do is connect the game machine to the VCR.

So what should I buy?

If you have your heart set on a Playstation One then you should probably get a few memory cards. It only has slots for 2 of them (one above each controller port), but 2 cards should be good enough for most uses. An extra controller would be in order for 2-player games. There is what's called a multi-tap which allows up to 8 players at the same time, but you should see if any game you want to play supports the multi-tap before you run out and buy one.

If you have an older set then you'll want an RF adapter. If you have one of those cool new HDTV sets, well, first what are you doing reading this page? LOL.

GAMES! OK, speaking of games...

To give a comprehensive list of good Playstation games would require more time than I have here. To parents though, I say mind the ratings system. Not all Playstation games are appropriate for all ages. As fun as I find Twisted Metal or Metal Gear Solid or Resident Evil they are not appropriate for children. This is also the platform that gave us the ever popular Tomb Raider. More intellectual people find role playing games fairly entertaining, and Suikoden I and II deliver.

Why NOT to buy?

The time to have bought this machine was years ago. Now there are too many better machines and some (like the Dreamcast and Gameboy Advance) are even less expensive. Your money is best spent elsewhere. If you absolutely have to play old Playstation games then get a Playstation 2 because it can play all the new games, plus all the older titles as well.