In case you’ve been living in a cave for the past few months, you’re probably aware that Sony released its PlayStation 2 game system in October. Unfortunately, due to manufacturing problems and delays, very few people—namely, hardcore gamers who preordered in April, spoiled kids whose parents were willing to plunk down $500 on eBay, and Saddam Hussein—have managed to get their hands on one. The supply will eventually catch up to the demand, of course, but there is no denying that the original PlayStation is now on its last legs. As it begins the long march into history, it’s worth taking a look at the many classic video games that were re-introduced to a new generation thanks to Sony’s 32-bit gray machine.

Whether due to the fast chip speed, or to the use of CD-ROM as a storage media, the PlayStation saw more classic video game collections and remakes than any system that came before it. Until recently, emulation
(running the original code from an arcade game) wasn’t even a possibility because the home systems weren’t as powerful as the coin-op games they were trying to emulate.

With the PS One’s appearance in 1995, developers finally had a system that was up to the challenge. A handful of companies came to realize that there was profit to be made from capitalizing on feelings of nostalgia. Not surprisingly, the companies that are the most involved in the new genre known as retrogaming” are many of the same ones that made the original games in the first place.

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