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Opinion

Happy European Birthday PlayStation 3!

It only does everything.

Sony’s shiny black behemoth launched in Europe five years ago today. It had been out in Japan since November 10th and the US since November 17th but March 23rd was the date that retailers from most EU countries, Australia and New Zealand finally got the chance to throw open their doors to the expectant masses, clutching their savings and dreaming of a brave new world of Sony console gaming.

It launched with a hefty price tag of £425/€566-€659 for the 60GB model, with a 40GB version offering a cheaper alternative in many countries. Europe didn’t get the budget 20GB model at launch so it really was quite a major investment. At the time, it was also the cheapest way to buy a top quality Blu-ray player for those of you lucky enough to be an HDTV early adopter too.

The launch line up was perhaps a little weaker than we’d like to remember, with Resistance: Fall of Man and MotorStorm the most attractive. In Europe, the PS3 counted Call of Duty 3 as a launch title too, and Activision also brought Tony Hawk’s Project 8 to the console. Ridge Racer 7, an updated version of The Godfather and Enchanted Arms offered plenty of variation in starting options for new PS3 owners while A healthy collection of sports titles including Virtua Tennis 3, FIFA 07, NBA 2K7, NHL 2K7, Fight Night Round 3 and Tiger Woods PGA Tour 07 gave the launch line up some energy.

The early advertising was probably some of the weirdest, with the launch campaign in Europe focussed on their “This is Living” slogan, rather than the US’s slightly more coherent “Play B3yond” campaign which had the PS3 facing off against creepy dolls and Rubik’s Cubes.

Here’s the full cut of the North Europe advertising campaign, be warned that there is a NSFW moment at 2:30. And again at around 3:20. And little bits of marginally NSFW from then until the end, really. Did I mention that it’s bonkers?

My earliest memory of the PlayStation 3 is being insanely jealous when my brother-in-law got one just after launch and I couldn’t afford one. This means that I had the odd go on Call of Duty 3 and MotorStorm in those early days but I missed out on a lot of the launch excitement. Of course, my launch day PlayStation 2 was still going strong, beside my CRT TV but the marvel of controllers without wires, Six Axis motion controls and those amazing graphics were beyond my reach.

Of course, since then the PlayStation 3 has literally changed my life. It went from being an object of desire, outside of my budget to something that is now central to my working life. Thanks to the PlayStation 3, I found this website, returned to some of the skills I’d left behind and formed some genuine lifelong friendships that are more valuable than any expensive launch-day price tag could have indicated.

Help us celebrate the occasion by sharing your PS3 launch stories in the comments!

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66 Comments
  1. cam the man
    Member
    Since: May 2009

    I’m happy to stick with the PS3 for another couple of years, so please Sony don’t rush the PS4.

    Comment posted on 23/03/2012 at 12:03.
  2. nofi
    One for all.
    Since: Forever

    Police escort out of GameStation in Glasgow at midnight. Played MotorStorm for hours. Bought a HDTV the day after. Bliss.

    Comment posted on 23/03/2012 at 12:04.
  3. Mike
    Member
    Since: Oct 2008

    ‘I found this website….’ – That was a dark, dark day ;)

    Great write-up Cb :)

    Comment posted on 23/03/2012 at 12:04.
  4. jesta
    Member
    Since: Feb 2011

    Stupid me bought one of ebay quite cheapish the day it came out, went and picked it up like 40 miles away. Got it home, didn’t work. The guy replaced it same evening. Still didn’t work. So i drove down again and then got the money back after having to ninja my way through a rough estate.

    I then went to Asda on the way home and paid a shed load more and instantly fell in love with it.

    Moral of the story, don’t be a cheap ass and buy off ebay!

    Comment posted on 23/03/2012 at 12:09.
    • Youles
      Member
      Since: Feb 2011

      In the motor trade they say “buy cheap, buy twice”. Glad your story had a happy ending though!

      Comment posted on 23/03/2012 at 12:14.
  5. Youles
    Member
    Since: Feb 2011

    Mine was a 60gb fatty for £400-£450 from Amazon with Call of Duty 3, DefJam Icon and MotorStorm (I think – possibly a 4th game, possibly Need for Speed?). Thought the graphics were terrible at first….until I realised I needed a component cable to get the picture in HD, duh?! That was a happy day!

    Comment posted on 23/03/2012 at 12:13.
  6. Forrest_01
    Member
    Since: Jun 2009

    My big black beast came from Virgin megastores. Yeah, what a difference 5 years can make eh?

    Came with Riiiiidge Raceeeer 7 & Heavenly Sword. Ah, the days when ‘choice’ meant just one game or another. :)

    Comment posted on 23/03/2012 at 12:22.
    • yogh_wayne
      Member
      Since: Oct 2008

      Heavenly Sword was also the first game I played on my 40GB PS3 (which I got from Amazon.de). Next were Resistance and Ratchet&Clank: Tools of Destruction.

      Comment posted on 23/03/2012 at 19:37.
  7. ron_mcphatty
    Member
    Since: Sep 2008

    My Shiny black beast was £395 from the Sony Centre, bought with my dads HD telly, and they threw in F1 Championship Edition. What a game, the sharpness of the graphics juxtaposed with the horrendous shakiness when you got up to 200mph was incredible at the time! Did anyone else get Casino Royale for free too? That was a superb freebie.

    Comment posted on 23/03/2012 at 12:24.
    • Youles
      Member
      Since: Feb 2011

      I got the BluRay, but had to send off for it! :)

      Comment posted on 23/03/2012 at 12:28.
      • citizeninsane45
        Would happily punch a priest free of charge.
        Since: Oct 2008

        I got Spiderman 3 free with mine but it was a few months after launch

        Comment posted on 23/03/2012 at 12:56.
      • ron_mcphatty
        Member
        Since: Sep 2008

        Yeah me too, it took about 6 weeks to arrive, we were so chuffed when it did! I think it was the first film me and my dad watched in HD.

        Comment posted on 23/03/2012 at 13:31.
      • DirtyHabit
        Member
        Since: Forever

        I had Casino Royale turn up in the post randomly one day. Still not entirely sure why! Not compalaining tho :)

        Comment posted on 23/03/2012 at 13:31.
    • doomsday619
      Member
      Since: Nov 2008

      Yeah same as me Casino Royale turned up one day i think just because i signed up for the PSN, i got mine before launch when i brought a Jap import and had Motorstorm *which was jap import i still own with no online play* and Resistance and Fight Night Round 3. And of coarse finding this website not long after.

      Comment posted on 23/03/2012 at 15:14.
  8. KeRaSh
    Member
    Since: Nov 2009

    Got my 80 GB phat lady the day that model came out. Still going strong.

    Comment posted on 23/03/2012 at 12:26.
    • G_The_Enemy14
      Member
      Since: Jan 2009

      Same for me, couldn’t afford the Ps3 at launch. Love my 80gb though! :D

      Comment posted on 23/03/2012 at 15:01.
  9. Foxhound_Solid
    Is a smart cookie.
    Since: Dec 2009

    Loading guns of the patriots up and nearly bursting with excitement as Old Snake strolls towards the graves….playing a proper survival horror game in Dead Space and genuinely papping it…playing heavy rain and being staggered by it’s beauty…..I could go on all year. Happy birthday PS3… We love you!!

    Comment posted on 23/03/2012 at 12:28.
  10. mugsybalone
    Member
    Since: Aug 2008

    Decided I wasn’t going to bow down to the pressures of something new and shiny and buy it for £425 on launch like some mug. That lasted an entire week before I caved, brutally assaulting my credit card with PS3, Resistance and an HD TV!

    Comment posted on 23/03/2012 at 12:31.
    • DirtyHabit
      Member
      Since: Forever

      Well you did better than me. Think I lasted about 3 days. :S

      Remember ‘Heavenly Sword’ being the first game to blow me away :)

      Comment posted on 23/03/2012 at 15:22.
      • cc_star
        Team TSA: Writer
        Since: Forever

        Heavenly Sword & Motorstorm were awesome, loved Gran Turismo HD too although it quickly got boring.

        Comment posted on 23/03/2012 at 15:30.

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