Gran Turismo, Tony Hawk, Medal of Honor—remember how excited you were the first time you played these now prolific games, fueled only by Hot Pockets and Mountain Dew? Back in 1994, when the original Playstation hit the market, kids everywhere began spending countless hours with their buddies, trading off controllers after getting sniped while toggling through weapons. Inevitably, the kid who owned the system would always play the longest because they knew what they were doing, until eventually a brawl would break out and everyone would get sent home—ah, the memories (single tear).
But those melees marked the start of the Golden Age of gaming and the bruises were their own Medals of Honor. 32-bit graphics and a three-dimensional Lara Croft totally rocked the old 16-bit world. And it wasn't just her, uh, personality, that had a third dimension. Entire 3D landscapes allowed for complete immersion in worlds that did more than scroll sideways. You navigated these new worlds with a completely redesigned controller packed with more buttons, sticks, and pads than you knew what to do with. And those buggy old cartridges were replaced by CDs that had greater storage capacity and cost less to produce, making Playstation the system of choice for cost-conscious third-party developers to debut their new blockbuster games.
You know what happened next: the PS2 ushered in the new millennium of gaming. In 2000, the upgraded console came chock full of 64-bit eye-candy, an internal hard-drive, the fastest processor yet, and Internet connectivity. This was the era of Grand Theft Auto and the Playstation Network. Five years later, the handheld PSP came along and took button mashing mobile. Suddenly, you were landing 30,000-point tricks while flying at 30,000 feet and driving your dream car 200mph while on the train to work.
The PS3 hit the shelves just in time for the holidays back in 2006, and with it came epic games like Uncharted, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, Madden, Red Dead Redemption, and Gran Turismo 5—all of which remain ridiculously addictive.
So, while graphics and games have come a long way, some things never change. Your friends still come over and the raid the fridge, you still stay up late basking in the blue glow of various screens, and you're still playing fighting games and shooters—only now you're using headsets and Wi-Fi to play with your buddies.
And soon, Playstation will take your mobile gaming experience to a new level once again with the brand-new Vita handheld device. It comes equipped with a camera, Wi-Fi, 3G access, and backwards compatibility so you can get your old game nostalgia fix whenever and wherever you want.
Right down there is an open comment thread for you to share your favorite gaming stories and memories. What did you think the first time you played a game in a 3D world? Ever stay up all night playing Resident Evil because you were too scared to fall asleep? How many nights did you waste trying to figure out what a "Bandicoot" is? Hearken back to those halcyon days and post your best story in the comments.