The original PlayStation is the biggest and most boring designs of its generation. The design of its controller, the DualShock, more than makes up for that though. It was the best controller to yet come out in my opinion. It had what everyone wanted, which was four standard buttons, two rows of shoulder buttons and a solid pad, but added that extra new layer of awesomeness: dual analog thumbsticks. Those thumbsticks were the start of something beautiful: controls that help the player become truly immersed in the new 3D technology that this generation of consoles were introducing. The DualShock not only has all these great mechanical features, it also feels very comfortable and looks nice too. Many, if not most, gamers will tell you that the DualShock or one of its successors is their favorite controller ever. I found it to be the best thing about the PlayStation.
In the graphics and sound department I found the PlayStation to be pretty equal to the Saturn. I also think it doesn’t hold up well because of the same concerns discussed with the Saturn. There are a couple games that still look good, but they are for the most part games who’s visual designs are basic. Other games which we would’ve back then credited as looking realistic are now the ones that look the worst nearly twenty years later. It isn’t their fault, they just look blurry and undefined in contrast to how far video game technology has come in such a short period of time. I also had some small issues with the discs reading properly, even ones that look pristine. Once a game did work properly I had no problems with any extraordinary load times, console noise or freezing.
The library of the PlayStation is impressive, much more so than the Saturn’s. Many great franchises either gained tons of attention there or were birthed there like Tomb Raider, Metal Gear Solid, Resident Evil, Spyro the Dragon, Final Fantasy and Twisted Metal. I think the PlayStation sold well because it was a slight step performance wise above the Saturn, had an amazing controller, had a great library and because Sony was open to working with so many outside publishers. This was a time in gaming history where several new and talented developers got their start and the vast majority of them did so on the PlayStation, because of its technical capabilities and because of Sony’s desire to play well with others.
I personally recommend a PlayStation to any video game collector. While it may be out shined by its big brother (the PS2) it has plenty going for itself with the introduction of the DualShock and the birth or revitalization of so many key gaming franchises.