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PlayStation’s Colorful Console Past and Its Bright, White Future

Posted on Tuesday, July 22 @ 14:00:00 Eastern by

Brought to you by the White PlayStation 4, available September 9, 2014.

Sony originally started working with Nintendo to develop a disc drive for the Famicom line of systems available in Japan, but the two companies stopped working with each other, and PlayStation was born out of Sony's desire to compete in the video game industry. Thankfully, we’ve gotten tons of awesome PlayStation games out of the deal and now many of the biggest gamers in the world live and breathe PlayStation before any other platform. That’s never been truer than with the launch of PlayStation 4.

While that powerful new hardware launched in a sleek black, Sony revealed at E3 2014 that it would release a white PlayStation 4 for fans who wanted something different. This could be one of the earliest alternate colors released for a PlayStation console, but that doesn’t mean the hardware manufacturer hasn’t experimented with alternate colors in the past or different skins in the present. Let’s take a look back at PlayStation’s colorful console past in its journey into the future of gaming.

[Image Via] (Blue)

Sony PlayStation One

The company’s first console launched in gray, while test units came in black. At the time, this “Universal Sony PlayStation model 3001” played both NTSC and PAL discs, but this particular version is exceedingly rare. The PlayStation One console, or simply “PlayStation” as it was known before its successors appeared, also featured a Formula One paint job, a Net Yaroze black development unit, and Blue, Green, White, and Midnight Blue varieties.

[Image Via] (Men in Black Edition)

Sony even released a special edition Men In Black console that featured a black unit with “MIB” written in white across the top. Later, a more portable PlayStation console dubbed the PSone was released and featured a smaller form factor with an emphasis on portability.

[Image Via] (Gran Turismo 4 Bundle)

Sony PlayStation 2

You could say the PlayStation 2 stole the hearts and minds of gamers everywhere with a focus on graphics, gameplay, and forward-thinking media capabilities. That you could play DVDs with it made the PS2 an incredible value and many more would point to the console as the key to an ongoing love of gaming. The original hardware launched in black, but region-specific colors and limited editions gave consumers a lot of options as the console grew older.

[Image Via] (Zen Black)

Specifically, the PS2 was also offered in Aqua Blue, Astral Blue, Gold, Light Yellow, Metallic Silver, Ocean Blue, Sakura Pink, Snow White (or Ceramic White), Super Red, Silver, Zen Black, and, in the PSX which combined the PlayStation 2 hardware with a Personal Video Recorder, Silver.

[Image Via] (Light Yellow)

There were also Gran Turismo 4, Ratchet & Clank, and test versions of the console made available. The “Test DTL-H30001” unit looks like a standard PS2, but it says “TEST” on top in the iconic PlayStation font. PlayStation 2 units have become exceedingly collectible because of the sheer volume of standard black hardware purchased by consumers, but you’ll probably want to get down to playing your favorite games on the system anyway.

Sony PlayStation 2 Slim

[Image Via] (Final Fantasy XII Limited Edition)

Many gamers with extensive PlayStation 2 libraries ended up replacing their systems with the smaller console when it was released much later, especially given the newer version’s top-loading disc drive and extremely small form factor. This system came in Black, Cinnabar Red, Crimson Red, Silver, Ceramic White, Pink, and a special Final Fantasy XII version with a “Judge Master” crest. This particular console was only available in Japan and offered a matching cell phone strap and vertical stand.

[Image Via] (Pink)

Sony only manufactured 500,000 PlayStation 2 Slim Silver units for the United States and even fewer were made for Europe. The Ceramic White version, for example, was sold both individually and in a SingStar Bundle. Slim Pink was only available in the United Kingdom, but it also came in a bundle with 2 DualShock controllers, an 8MB memory card, and a SingStar game.

Sony PlayStation 3

Sony’s third entry in the PlayStation family came in black at launch and many consumers flocked to their local retailers to buy the console in droves, despite a high price point and a lack of compelling software at launch. That didn’t stop the PlayStation 3 console from gaining an extremely dedicated following and many interesting alternates to choose from.

[Image Via] (NBA Pink)

A Biohazard-themed (Resident Evil) console and a Final Fantasy VII “Cloud Black” console were made available in Japan, while the United States saw the release of only five consoles coated in 24-karat gold. Those were sold for an insane $5000, which leaves me to ask if you’re even interested in playing games if you invested in such a thing. There were also promotions where celebrities like the 2009 NBA All-Stars designed their own PS3 consoles for charitable auctions and the like.

During the 2007 NBA All-Stars Sony Suite event, celebrities had the opportunity to get special edition, laser-etched consoles. These included light orange (with skulls), reddish-orange, pink (with flowers and birds), silver (with basketball players), silver with gold wings, white (with Nike shoes), and yellow with a logo and stars etched into the design.

[Image Via] (Satin Silver)

Later, PlayStation teamed up with Nike to create a white PlayStation 3 with a Nike Air Force One sneaker engraving while three red PS3 consoles were given away in Canada. Japan got a “satin silver” PS3, while a “gun gray” PS3 celebrated the release of Metal Gear Solid 4 and came with a copy of the game. Sony also promoted the PlayStation 3 at the 2007 Super Bowl with three different units designed in yellow (with a dragon), black and white (with orange flames), and green (with a snake).

Sony PlayStation 3 Slim & Super Slim

Two more PlayStation 3 consoles were released, shrinking the hardware’s size and overall power consumption with an emphasis on larger hard drives. The first PS3 Slim came in black at launch, but also offered titanium blue, Final Fantasy XIII Lightning Edition white and black, regular white, red, and satin silver for consumers in Japan.

[Image Via] (Final Fantasy XIII Lightning Edition Black)

The Super Slim console also launched in black, but saw white, red, and azurite blue editions were made available too. Fans of Metal Gear in Japan could also purchase a limited edition Metal Gear Rising PS3 Super Slim.

Sony PlayStation 4

Finally, Sony’s PlayStation 4 console has only offered a black unit in its first year of international sales, but Japan just received a new Frozen-themed PlayStation 4 that comes in black with gold etching of characters from Disney’s animated film. PlayStation fans who have held out this long can continue to bide their time for the white PlayStation 4, out on September 9th. For more on that, check out our original coverage of Sony’s reveal at E3 2014.

Do you have any limited edition or alternate color PlayStation consoles? Share with us in the comments or tell us which special edition PlayStation you’d most like to have now.

Tags:   PlayStation, Sony

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