Sony first got into the console market back in 1994 with the release of the first PlayStation. Nearly a quarter of a century later, they’re one of the biggest names in the gaming industry. In that time, Sony has released a number of consoles – each with a plethora of critically received games in their library.
Sony has done everything they possibly can to stay relevant over the years. When motion sensor mechanics looked like the new thing, they tried their hand at it. VR has come into prominence and they’ve once again got things covered on that end. They even managed to have a pretty strong presence in the handheld console market (at least in Japan). Take a look through every Sony console, ranked.
8 PlayStation Classic
First up is also one of the most recent consoles Sony has put out. The PlayStation Classic was supposed to ride off the success of Nintendo’s own line of dedicated consoles. But Sony’s product was panned for not only its weak game line-up, but for its controller, price and nearly anything else relating to the product.
Now heavily discounted, the PS1 Classic may be worth taking a look at, though there’s still no real reason to get this thing unless you’re a collector. Still, with the heavily discounted price, this may be a steal for some hardcore Sony fans out there.
7 PlayStation TV
The idea behind the PlayStation TV was an interesting one that ultimately wasn’t executed well enough to garner the attention of most gamers. The PS TV is basically a Vita sans the portability. That may not sound enticing to some, but for those who didn’t really care about bringing their handheld around, the PS TV was a decent alternative at $100.
Or at least it would’ve been if it weren’t for one major problem: compatibility issues. Tons of Vita games just weren’t made compatible with the Vita TV due to their reliance on touchpad controls and the PS TV taking a DualShock 3 controller. As a result, a decent chunk of the Vita library just wasn’t available – making the PS TV a watered-down product.
The original PlayStation did a lot for Sony, but looking back wasn’t without its faults. The PS1’s library certainly has some classics in it, but one thing that was annoying about the console was the first PlayStation Controller. Despite that, the console ended up having a fairly successful run.
The original controller was eventually replaced by the DualShock and Sony finished the fifth generation strong. Sony’s success during this era is what led to CD format succeeding cartridges for console games. You can argue that this was the most important console for Sony, as it would shape how the company was perceived and performed within the console market. But it certainly wasn’t their best.
5 PlayStation Vita
The Vita is a handheld that many gamers feel never got much of a chance here in the West. While the console did fairly well in Japan, it had little to no impact over here. The Vita never lived up to its expectations of offering quality AAA games on the go. Sadly, that haunted the console for most of its lifespan. That stumble right out of the gate pretty much doomed the Vita to its eventual fate of mediocrity, at least in western markets.
But all that didn’t matter much in Japan as the consoles library consisted mainly of JRPG’s, visual novels and other genres that are considered fairly niche over here - but have a strong and dedicated following among Japanese gamers. As a result, the Vita was eventually labelled as a niche product among western audiences and the console never became anything more than that.
4 PlayStation 4
While not the best Sony Console, the PlayStation 4 should have Sony fans excited for the future. The PS4 has a decent amount of exclusives and over 2,000 games in its library. What’s more is the various software services offered make it the most versatile Sony console to date. But that doesn't mean it's their best.
What’s more, the launch of the PS4 Pro seems to be pushing higher quality 4K imagery as the new console norm. The PS4 has marked a pretty ambitious era for Sony. Though they’ve been successful so far, we’ll have to wait and see if they can sustain that going forward into the next generation.
3 PlayStation Portable
Sony’s first attempt at the handheld market, the PSP was a beloved console that enjoyed success the Vita never knew. It sold well and is still regarded well today.
At the time of its release, the PSP was thought to be pretty powerful in terms of handheld capabilities. It also made user of various multimedia capabilities that now seem to have been a little ahead of their time.
2 PlayStation 3
The PS3 is a solid console. Despite not having as many games in its library as the PS4, the PS3 seems to have prioritized quality over quantity during its lifespan. While it does have some hardware issues, it’s nothing extremely abnormal.
The PS3 sold over 80 million units worldwide and Sony came out of the seventh gen looking pretty good. Its features may not compare to the PS4’s in retrospect, but that’s normal given the amount of time that’s passed.
1 PlayStation 2
The PS2 is hands down the most successful and most popular console Sony has made. Building off the steam picked up with the PS1, Sony hit the ground running. With a library of 4490, many Sony – and gaming classics in general – classics are on the PS2. The DualShock 2 proved to be a huge upgrade from its predecessors and the console sold an incredible 155 million units worldwide.
If you need any proof of the PS2’s success, look no further than its longevity. The console continued to be produced until January 4th, 2013 – culminating in a nearly 14 year run.