The Sony PlayStation began as the SNES PlayStation, an add-on peripheral for the Nintendo SNES, but after a dispute between Sony and Nintendo over control of licences, Sony was dropped from the project. Ken Kutaragi, the Sony researcher who had worked on the SNES PlayStation (and the sound chip for the SNES) did not want to give up. He wanted to continue working on this project and so, after some debate, Sony President Norio Ogha approved the start of the Sony Computer Entertainment Division, which would one day account for around half of Sony's revenues. This was Sony's entry into the world of video game consoles and would also mean competition for Nintendo.
Kutaragi worked on this secret project to create a new 32-bit console that was simple yet powerful, easy to program for and cheap. His original concept was first shown at the Tokyo International Electronics Show in October 1991 and due for release in January 1993 for a price of US$200. The system was still going to allow the play of SNES games (just like the SNES CD-ROM that Nintendo and Philips were currently working on) and it was scheduled for release 6 months before the SNES CD-ROM. Sony's PlayStation was presented as a console for both games and educational software, with titles such as: Compton's Enemy Encyclopaedia, Software Toolworks World Atlas, Microsoft BookShelf 1991, Languages of the World, National Geographic Mammals of the World and Mixed up Mother Goose. There were no games announced yet, but with Sony's money and connections within the video game industry, they were able to get third party support a little later down the track. Namco was one of the earliest third party companies to join. They too wanted to get back at Nintendo for their dispute in 1990. Other third party companies soon joined as well.