A Sony PlayStation 5 home video game console, taken on October 29, 2020. (Photo by Olly Curtis/Future Publishing via Getty Images)
Gaming - News
What Was The Purpose Of PlayStation 1's Black Discs?
One curious thing that many people might have noticed about games made for the original Sony PlayStation was that the data side of the disks were black. This unique design feature prompted questions from gamers and collectors for years, but the answer for trading in the traditional mirrored surfacing for inky-black was that it was designed to try to stop piracy.
A video posted by the PlayStation Museum YouTube channel shows a tour of a Sony disk manufacturing facility in Springfield, Oregon, and it walks through the entire process of creating the disks. "Black ink is added to the plastic to give the CD its distinctive, cool, PlayStation only look," the video stated. "This also helps protect the CD from illegal copying."
Bootleggers still successfully replicated the games, despite the black coating. The black ink may have made this process more difficult, but it seems that Sony's idea behind the coating was that it would make it obvious which disks were official PlayStation games and which ones were not — this distinction blurred once blank, black-coated CDs became available for sale, however.