- Aug 22, 2020
Admittedly I'm a fan of Nintendo, but no sensible person can deny that they have always been at the forefront of hardware innovation in the gaming industry. Successful or not, they have popularized or innovated while others often build upon the foundations they lay.
What Sony does well is giving consumers and, in the PS1/4/5 eras, devlopers what they want. There is nothing wrong with that! It is a smart business plan that has served them very well. The CD-ROM was a widely used media for video games before the PS1 and Saturn game along, which they did at the same time, and quite some time after many other CD-ROM based consoles and PCs saw commercial release. The Playstation 1 succeeded in becoming the first globally successful console whose media was solely delivered in CD-ROM. This isn't innovative though. The PS1 hardware wasn't innovative, it was a simply the evolution that would be expected in any generational leap.
- The PS1 controller is a natural evolution of the SNES controller. Two more buttons
- The Dual-shock was Sony's take on the analog stick which Nintendo introduced.
- Camera buttons on the N64 evolved to become a camera analog stick.
- The rumblepack went on to be a staple of controllers.
- Nintendo popularized wireless controllers, which became the standard, the Wavebird was the first time major 1st party company offered Wireless controllers.
- Motion controls, popularized, by the Wii saw interpretation by Sony in the form of the Sixaxis and Move controllers and by Microsoft's Kinect.
- Touch controls of the popular DS families made their way to the WiiU, Switch, Vita, PS4, PS5.
- Playing mobile games on TVs, the Super Gameboy evolved to the Gamecube's gameboy player, PSTV, and now the Switch.
As I've already mentioned, the Playstation's Dual Analogue Controller had rumble for the Japanese market when it released. It came out two days before the Rumble Pak came out. They didn't release it outside of Japan until the DualShock controllers, but Sony had this on the market before Nintendo.
Also, this is about the N64 versus the PS1, not Nintendo versus Sony. Nintendo wins in that particular battle. N64 vs PS1 is a bit more nuanced though, and people tend to have different ideas on what "innovative" means.