iFixit Tears Down a Launch-Model Sony PlayStation to Celebrate the Console's 25th Anniversary

Celebrating the console's 25th birthday in style, iFixit breaks out the DualShock controllers and the screwdrivers.

Gareth Halfacree
2 months agoRetroTech / Gaming

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the original Sony PlayStation, and the PlayStation brand as a whole taking its spot at the top of the best-seller lists, noted tool-wielder iFixit has taken one apart in a typically detailed teardown.

Originally developed for a partnership with Nintendo on a CD-ROM-based add-on to the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) to compete with the Sega CD/Mega CD, but which was abruptly cancelled before development could progress beyond a handful of prototypes, Sony's PlayStation games console entered the market in 1994 with a bang.

Launching a week after Sega's rival Saturn console, and at a considerably lower price, the original PlayStation sold millions — thanks in no small part to Sony's decision to work openly with third-party developers as well as its acquisition of noted games developer Psygnosis, which would become Sony Interactive Entertainment.

It's the hardware, however, that forms the key focus of iFixit's detailed teardown — and the company has gone a step further than might be expected by tracking down the very original launch model, the SCPH-1000 — available exclusively in Japan.

Given the age and popularity of the PlayStation, iFixit's analysis reveals little in the way of surprises — but does look into how the machine was put together, as well as where to find its 32-bit MIPS R3000 processor, whopping 2MB of system RAM and 1MB of video RAM, and its blisteringly-fast 2x CD-ROM drive.

There's even a side-by-side comparison with the North American and European launch models — the biggest difference being the logos, where "the Japanese model sports a bit of green instead of the PlayStation Blue we're used to seeing, as well as a brownish colour in the negative space of the logo," along with the presence of an S-Video output on the Japanese version.

While the tear-down, available now on the iFixit website, is detailed, it's not the only resource iFixit has for those interested in the inner workings of the original PlayStation: The company also has a service guide, for anyone needing to bring a faulty unit back to life.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire: freelance@halfacree.co.uk.
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