Blue PS1 and the Temptation of Puyo Puyo 通

15 12 2011

This is one of my favorite game systems, not because of what it is, but because of how it looks.  This is my blue Sony Playstation.  Most Playstations are grey.  Very few are black, and fewer still are blue or green.  Each color represented something and each unit served a specific purpose.

Note that I've tricked it out with an original Sony analog controller. Vintage Sexy.

The Playstation you could buy in the store was grey.  It’s meant for playing games and has regional encoding so the folks who buy them in Japan could only play games made for Japan.  If you bought one in America, you could only play games released in America.  The same goes for Europe and so on and so on.  Eventually, Sony was able to shrink down the components and they re-released the machine as the PS One.  It came in a cute, nifty white case.

Here's a size comparison of the original Playstation compared to the PS One. For some reason there's also an additional Playstation and a copy of NHL 2001. That's what happens when you steal pictures from the internet.

The black Playstations are called Net Yaroze.  They were a special machine that you had to buy directly from Sony.  If you had a black machine, you could play games from all over the world, regardless of region; but the cool thing is you could also make games for the system.  It came bundled with a parallel cable and software so you could program something on your computer and then download it to a special memory card.  Yaroze means “together” in Japanese, so the idea was everybody can program games together and then share them.  This machine cost around $750 at the time, which was quite a bump up from the regular Playstation’s $250 price tag.

The Net Yaroze. I lusted after these in 1997. Now it sits in my closet.

Blue Playstations… well, those are really special.  These were used by Sony and honest-to-God video game developers to check for errors in games.  They’re what the industry calls “debugging machines”.  They were not released for public consumption, which is the big reason I’m so fond of mine.  A blue Playstation can not only play games from all over the world; but can play copies of games burned to a CD as well (these are called “pirated copies”, they’re bad, kids).  We had a beautiful relationship playing games like Mr. Driller, Parasite Eve 2, and Community Pom.  I even hunted down matching memory cards for it.  Yes sir, everything was coming up roses until this reared its ugly head.

Y100! What a deal! What? It doesn't come with a spine card? Damn the collector in me!

Puyo Puyo  通 (tsu, a play on “two”).  I’d never owned a copy of the game for the Playstation, I always played the Sega Saturn version of it.  At used games stores in Japan Playstation Puyo games are usually more expensive than their Saturn counterparts, so that probably kept me away.  When I saw this copy for Y100 ($1.28) I nabbed it up.  After finally breaking down and playing the awesome Puyo Puyo Box for PS1 a few months ago, I was ready to give Puyo Puyo Tsu a shot (especially for Y100).  When I opened the case what I found would fill me with joy and fear.

This is how awesome my PS1 would look if it was yellow.

It comes with two sticker sheets.  They’re for decorating your Playstation to make it look like a Puyo from the game.  “That’s silly” I thought, “Puyos aren’t grey.  Puyos are red and clear and yellow and… blue.”  That’s right… Puyos aren’t grey; but they are in fact blue and I had a blue Playstation debugging kit at home that screamed to be dressed up in Puyo Puyo cosplay goodness.  The thing is, I don’t know if I would ever be able to stumble upon a debugging kit again and I feel that to put anything on it would be defiling it… and so the stickers sit in their case… calling to me with their big, unwavering eyes…


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3 responses

15 12 2011
James Bacon

HAHA! I have similar experiences! Great story. I love being able to resonate with this sort of thing. And here, I thought no one else experienced this sort of dilemma.

15 12 2011
Mark E

Thanks for that info. When I first read the title I thought – whoa, Puyo is a SEGA franchise! Now it all makes sense…

6 01 2012
Hardoffing: Urawa, Japan « HCKblog

[…] in Urawa, Japan, seems to have good days and bad days.  Some days I walk in and find magic, like a Playstation debugging unit, some days it’s just… meh.  Here’s a little look at the Hard Off in […]

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