The PlayStation, or PS, is a home video gaming console released worldwide by Sony Entertainment of Japan on December 3, 1994, as a part of the still-ongoing fifth-generation video game era. It is the first video game console with the ability to play blu-discs (in fact, many of the console's games are in blu-disc format), a move for which Sony received critical praise from hardcore gamers and tech reviewers alike. The PlayStation is also the first video game console to feature web connectivity (through either a wireless or wired Ethernet connection), with direct access to the Internet and online video sites like WebVid and Blockbuster Online.
In the two and a half years since its initial launch, the PlayStation has sold nearly 7 million units worldwide (at a base price of $150 per-console) and nearly five times that number in individual games (at an average of $25–30 per-game), coming into direct competition with the Sega Saturn and Nintendo VideoBox consoles, thus cementing a place for both itself and Sony in the video game industry for the foreseeable future. Notable launch titles for the console included Air Combat, The War: Red Storm Rising, The Need for Speed, and ALF (mainly in the North American market).