1995: Blur beat Oasis in the great Britpop war, Melbourne pinched the GP from Adelaide and Pixar stunned the world with the first computer animated movie in Toy Story. Meanwhile, three syllables would finally enter the world of Australian gamers, and they remain with us today – Play-Sta-tion.
Yes, November 1995 finally saw the Aussie release of Sony’s new mega-console (initially co-developed with Nintendo until they, unwisely in retrospect, pulled out of the deal), which arguably delivered the biggest leap in technology in the home gaming world ever as we were transported from the realm of pixels to that of polygons. Launch title Ridge Racer, a conversion of Namco’s smash arcade racing game, blew minds – and sold consoles.
The month of November, perhaps due to its proximity to a certain major gift-giving time of year, would prove to be integral to PlayStation in the future, too. In the eleventh month of 2000, Australians got their hands on the PlayStation 2. As well as offering all manner of wow-inducing games, the machine doubled as one of those newfangled DVD player thingummies, and also offered backwards compatibility with its predecessor – no need to turf all those PS1 classics.
The PS2 went on to become the world’s best-selling console, only going out of production in 2013 – the very same year that saw the November release of the PlayStation 4. Billed as being “For the players”, the PS4 provided a solid leap in tech over the non-November released PS3, although anybody broaching the words “backwards” and “compatibility” were shot down quick smart. Still, the machine went on to win the generation from Microsoft’s Xbox One after their 360 had trounced the PS3, so obviously the ability to use old games wasn’t key to hooking most gamers. Anyway, diehards keep all their old machines, right?
Notable games released in November
Alex Kidd in Miracle World (1986)
Mega Man 3 (1990)
Donkey Kong Country (1994)
Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell (2002)
Call of Duty: Black Ops (2010)
Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag (2013)
Darksiders III (2018)