Sony's first foray into the video game market, the PlayStation (codenamed PSX during development, now known as PSone), was initially designed as an add-on for Nintendo's Super Nintendo Entertainment System (Super Famicom) video game console as an answer to Sega's Sega CD. When the prospect of releasing the system as an add-on dissolved, Sony transformed it into the standalone PlayStation video game console.
Sony's follow-up console, the PlayStation 2 (PS2), currently the world's best-selling console in history, was released in Japan on March 4, 2000 and in North America on October 26, 2000.
The PSP or PlayStation Portable is a handheld game console made by Sony Computer Entertainment; a first foray into the handheld gaming market which was previously dominated by Nintendo. Though it has not had as much as of an impact as the PlayStation home consoles, the PSP is noted as being the most successful competitor to Nintendo's handheld range yet.
PlayStation Network is Sony's free online service provided for use with their PlayStation 3 (PS3) and PlayStation Portable (PSP) video game consoles. As of February 14, 2008, there are over 2.9 million registered PlayStation Network accounts in North America. Registration is performed via the PlayStation 3 console or a personal computer. Two types of accounts can be created: Master accounts and Sub accounts. The Master account, as the name suggests, allows full access to all settings including parental control but the master has to be over the age of 18 to create an account. Sub accounts can subsequently be created with desired restrictions set and monitored by the master account holder. Since master/sub accounts are not linked with the PS3 serial number, which allows users to buy and sell used consoles, they can be used with different physical consoles as a guest user. Therefore a single PS3 console can have multiple master accounts. A PSN registration is required for the PlayStation Store access and a guest user's account can be used to download PSN Store purchased items to a friend's console, but an account is not required to access the PS3's own web browser. The ability to use PlayStation Store content licenses for re-download is limited to five different PlayStation 3 consoles.
The PlayStation 2 Slim is the second version of the PlayStation 2 and is physically the second smallest video game console in history after the NEC PC Engine (Japan). This leaves the Sony PS2 as the smallest game console in North America.