Its a sure thing that among the triple-A titles that rest in your console’s hard drive there will be some indie games floating around there too and there should be, as there are some really great games done by small publishers that you need to check out like Fez, Nuclear Throne, Rouge Legacy and many more. Ever since Microsoft allowed indie developers to make games that can be downloaded onto the Xbox 360, you can now download a plethora of games for the Xbox 360, Xbox One, Ps3, Ps4, PS Vita and PC but while the indie homebrew scene is finally going strong, Sony actually tried to open the door a lot earlier than Microsoft did. Are you ready? Good, because we are going to look at Net Yaroze, Sony’s first push into the homebrew scene.
During the time that the PS1 was fighting for the proverbial throne against the Sega Saturn and the Nintendo 64, Sony decided to give homebrew developers (basically bedroom coders) a chance to develop games for the PS1 with the Net Yaroze Playstation.
- Contents: The console complete with controllers, a Net Yaroze boot disc, a development disc so you can develop games using the supplied computer, a access card, a communications cable so you can test games out using the PS1 and finally,the required user guides. (Whew, Adam’s got to pay me overtime for that!)
- Computers: In order to code the games in the first place, a home computer was needed and you had the choice of either a IBM-PC or a Apple Macintosh. (Or a NEC PC-9801)
- Purpose: The computer was supplied so the user could code a game and compile it and then use the cable to send the game to the Playstation so it can be played.
- Original Cost: $750 (It did come with a personal computer after all! :P)
- Current Cost: Around £500-£3000 on Ebay (Due to the fact that these types of development consoles were limited and due to it having a matt black finish, its rare to see just a console with everything supplied on Ebay and even so, expect to pay out some serious money if you’re planning to add it to your collection.)
Even though Sony limited what people could do on the console by not allowing people to burn data onto a CD-ROM, people were still able to make good games that could be run on the console while some were… not as good as while some games were original, most were copies of original games like Pacman and Puzzle Bobble. A good thing about Net Yaroze is that several games were given away on magazines like the Offical UK Playstation Magazine and as someone who still has a lot of the demos that were given out with the mags I can confirm that many Net Yaroze games were also featured. So, lets round this article off by looking at some of the games that were made using the Net Yaroze dev kit shall we?
In conclusion, the Net Yaroze Playstation might not have been popular enough to make Sony continue it onto the PS2 but it definitely helped Sony handle things better when it came to the Playstation Store as now it’s able to keep a foothold in the indie scene just like Microsoft and Valve with Steam making sure people can download indie games on the PC. So while you hop on your chosen console and play one of the many indie games out there, maybe you’ll look back at a time when Sony tried to capitalise on it before Microsoft made it easier to play games made by people who just want people to enjoy playing their game. Stay tuned for the next indie showcase next Sunday where I look at 80’s home computers that doubled as consoles? Till then, see you again soon! :D