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Opinion: Sony's PlayStation 1 Rocks

Looking for a hot commodity? See if you have an old Sony (SNE) PlayStation 1 gaming console. If you do -- and especially if it's the exact right model -- there's a large group of audiophiles who might be willing to pay up to $60 to buy it. That's assuming you don't want to keep it for yourself.

The original Sony PlayStation 32-bit gaming console, introduced in time for Christmas 1994, used CDs. Remember? Music and computer CDs were a hot commodity back then. For the record (pun intended), Sony was one of the originators of the CD, along with Phillips (PHG).

When it came to music reproduction, CDs replaced vinyl LPs and cassettes, only to be replaced by horrible-sounding, over-compressed music files meant for portable use.

But the music CD hung on. A lot of them have been released in the past 25 years.

There are still music CD players available on the market. Some are inexpensive devices -- some are super-expensive, audiophile-quality playback platforms. That fancy term means they sell for thousands and thousands of dollars.

Back to the PS1. I'm guessing that some audiophiles, who were between buying/testing multi-gazillion dollar machines tried using their PlayStation 1 boxes to listen to music. Some were flabbergasted by the results.

It turns out that because of Sony's expertise in CDs, they were pretty good at making CD players as well. The PS1 is no exception.

In audiophile circles, word spread quickly. Thanks to friends and audio visionaries - Michael Lavorgna, reviewer for John DeVore, speaker designer extraordinaire of DeVore Fidelity and others -- fellow audiophiles started gathering up all the special PlayStation 1 boxes they could find.

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