There’s only one thing better than playing games and that’s collecting every piece of merchandise tied to them. There was nothing like flipping through your favorite gaming magazine and seeing a profile of a limited edition collectible or discovering a piece of memorabilia from a beloved game in an overlooked corner of a shop and it’s a feeling we strive to replicate every month as we look through our own collector’s cabinet and dig out items new and old to show the world.
For the longest time, books focused on video games tended to come in the form of strategy guides, artbooks and side-stories. Fortunately, over the past few years we’ve seen a real upswing in the release of high quality coffee table books focused on gaming. As of late, many of these types of books have been created thanks to the advent of crowdfunding. Such is the case with the PlayStation Anthology from Geeks-Line. After a successful Kickstarter campaign they were able to bring the book out for a worldwide audience just as they did before with the Nintendo 64 Anthology.
The PlayStation Anthology is a massive tome (over 400 pages for the Collector’s Edition thanks to a complete checklist of PS1 games in all regions). It’s split into distinct sections, ranging from the history of PlayStation to interviews, limited edition spotlights and the like. The historical section in particular is a must-read for fans of the PlayStation brand. It goes into far more depth than anything you’re likely to find elsewhere. The story begins with Sony’s inception and how they moved into the consumer technology space. From there, it sets the scene for how and why they ended up moving into the video game space thanks in large part to their failed partnership with Nintendo.
After that, the book discusses the lifespan of the original PlayStation in depth from a multi-regional perspective. It’s clear that the focus is filtered through a European perspective, but even so, expect to hear a great deal about Sony’s business divisions in North America, Europe and Japan. Anyone looking to reminisce – or learn new things – about the PS1 will find tons of great information. They even chronicle the decline of the original system with the rise of the PlayStation 2, and as compared against other consoles of the time. By the end of this section, readers will have a much greater appreciation for Sony’s first video game console.
Then the PlayStation Anthology delves into a huge series of interviews with creators from around the world. Expect to see names such as Osamu Sato alongside Rodney Greenblat, Tommy Tallarico and Yuji Hori. The interviews are relatively surface level but many reveal interesting tidbits about development or the personal lives of our favorite creators. When the book turns to a focus on limited edition game packages it becomes a little monotonous. Yes, having a reference to all these various editions is fantastic, but the paragraphs describing them often come across as very same-y. To be fair, there may be only so much you can say about some of these editions. They can’t all be at the impressive quality that Working Designs were known for in the era!
Although there are no obvious spelling errors in the book, there are some small issues to be found. Fortunately, given the scope of this book, they’re few and far between. A book of this nature works best when there is imagery to accompany the text. Fortunately there are tons of pictures on every page. Everything is provided in color and looks lovely on the page. Pages themselves are of a high quality paper stock which makes them both glossy and readable. The hardback binding is a must for large books such as this and ensures that it’ll look great on your coffee table. Anyone with an affection for Sony and PlayStation should absolutely pick up the PlayStation Anthology.
Want to look through the rest of our Collector’s Cabinet? Head right here.