Yes, yes, we know. This is, like, WELL late. It's certainly been a while since we kicked off our 20th Anniversary PlayStation 4 competition giving three Giz UK alumnus the chance to nab a fairly rare (12,300 in the world) PS4 that looks like a PS1.
But we've had Christmas and now CES and nearly 1,000 entries to rummage through and all our pets' heads are falling off and… OK enough of the excuses already, patience is a virtue after all. We've made a decision! Well, three in fact.
Thank you for all your heartfelt yearnings, great photos and occasionally creepy anecdotes. As agreed, we've got a 20th Anniversary PlayStation 4 for three winners, one each picked from the site comments, our Twitter following and our Facebook community. Oh, and keep reading for a little extra, too.
We're going to count down our favourites, so here our top threes for each, based on PlayStation commitment, effort of entry and, some of the time, just how much they made us laugh.
Runner-up #1: Bhenny_5
"I guess I'll start with this spiffy Xmas jumper picture and then add that – and I'm not proud of writing this – I have a PS Vita, PS3, PS4 (all with PS Plus) and they get played on a Sony TV with a Sony surround system. Oh yeah, I have official Playstation wireless headphones too… I may need help!"
Runner-up #2: TheProphetOfGhee
"This happened a couple of years back I work with a guy who was an obsessive gamer – for his sake let’s call him ‘Ken’. We had a company meeting up north at a hotel, big dinner and presentations, you know the kind of thing. Anyway, he took along his PS3 and the first thing he did was rig it up on the hotel TV in his room.
"Well, it was a night of big drinking and a few of us met up the next morning for breakfast in the hotel dining room, Ken wasn’t among us but we thought nothing of it. Halfway through breakfast the fire alarm went off and we were ushered down a corridor. This luckily was just a fire alarm test, but as they had to evacuate the building, as we went passed ‘Ken’s room the manager knocked on the door but there was no answer.
We helped by shouting out for ‘Ken’. He tried knocking a couple more times and due to the commotion a few more of our company’s staff gathered round with concern. The manager then took out his master key and unlocked the door to check the room. And there was ‘Ken’, stark naked and spread-eagled on the bed, headphones on and playing COD! His colleagues' faces went from concerned to disgust in a split second.
"He never got over the incident and left the company soon after. He still plays COD, though."
AND THE WINNER IS… ModernBawhair
"25 December 1995. I'm nine years old and unwrapping a box. After I removed a few strips of paper, I noticed the PlayStation logo. I vividly remember screaming like the 'N64 kid' but, you know, I said "PlayStation!!!!" instead of "Nintendo 64!!!!"
"'OMG MY MUM/SANTA GOT ME A PLAYSTATION!!' - Me, probably.
"My mum said that I was to share the PlayStation with my little brother, who was two years old at the time, so we all knew that he was still too into Power Rangers and learning English to fully appreciate a powerful games console. 'The PlayStation is as good as mine!' I thought, deviously.
"With my excitement and volume being too much for my little brother to handle while he was opening up a Zordon toy or whatever, my mum said I could play with the PlayStation in my room for a while. So I grabbed just the console and ran upstairs to my room. Soon realising that I also required cables and controllers to enjoy the full experience, I stopped near the top of the stairs so I could go back down to retrieve the necessary instruments. In my adrenaline-fuelled excitement, the PlayStation slipped out of my hands and crashed down almost all of the stairs.
"That moment is still hard to describe. Relatively, for the same experience today, I'd have to have a Lottery ticket with the winning numbers and smoke the ticket accidentally or something. I don't even smoke.
"Back to 1995. I cried until Christmas dinner. Then cried after dinner. My brother is playing with his Red Ranger, having the time of his life. Little shit. I hoped Rita won. The damage? The CD lid came away from its base and, therefore, it wouldn't play. My Mum said Santa couldn't afford to buy a new one but she will see if we can fix it.
"At night, I was looking at the games I would have been playing, Rayman and Worms. Rayman looked like it would be the best game. I started sobbing again. My little brother, not quite understanding why I was acting like someone killed Santa, gave me one of his Power Ranger toys: Green Ranger. He wanted us to fight the imaginary monster and save Alpha. Even though I was still devastated at the loss of my only Christmas present, playing with my little brother's toys cheered me up. To be more accurate, I think it was the gesture that helped. I was nine and "so over" Power Rangers.
"Apparently I fell asleep really early that night. I can only imagine that the trauma of seeing a PlayStation die is too much for a nine-year-old to handle. Sometime between Christmas and New Year, a neighbour took a look at the PlayStation and demonstrated how to have it run a disk sans CD lid (tape down the plunger). Not only was I over the moon, but so was my mum. I doubt she had the cash to replace or repair a PlayStation at that time.
"I played the shit out of Rayman! Then Worms… but mostly Rayman. My brother was still too young to understand how to play but he mashed buttons now and then and I remember letting him "play" Rayman with me while he held an unplugged controller. If I win, I'd like to donate this gift to my brother, Stuart. Who let me be the Green Ranger when I was feeling blue.
"TL;DR I broke my PS1 (Christmas gift). Brother cheered me up. PS1 got fixed. Want to donate PS4 to Brother."
@GizmodoUK Twitter Followers!
Runner-up #1: Jo Oxley (@Jo_Oxley)
"My own PS memories. I had to trade in my Megadrive, SNES and games to get a PSX in 1995."
Runner-up #2: Jeremy Jacobs (@misterjezmond)
"I never loved him that much anyway."
AND THE WINNER IS… Roger Sung (@Osaka_1983)
"The PlayStation brand provided me with hours of joy and freedom. The memories it has brought me are endless."
GizmodoUK Facebook Followers!
Runner-up #1: Jason Pupuke Bringans
"This is something from the way, way past. I used to be a computer games designer and was working on Alien Resurrection. We were trying to go gold so were doing hardcore bug testings and Fox had sent over two guys from the US to test and break the game. So we had been there for six days (Thursday morning to Tuesday night) sleeping when we could (not a lot).
"Anyway, it was late, late Monday night, the tester was sitting in his chair testing a bug, I was watching him… and his head suddenly dropped to his chest and he was asleep… dead to the world. The game character of Ripley ran into a wall and it was like she was treading water.
"It must have been about 10 minutes and then suddenly the tester woke with a judder, without a blink, or a word, he moved Ripley and carried on testing. We all broke down laughing so much some were crying."
Runner-up #2: Aman Singh
"Like gamers, the console has evolved. From classics such as Crash Bandicoot and Croc on the PS1, which featured fun and colourful characters to sporty and unconventional non-linear games on the PS2. One of the first games I purchased on the PS2 was Airblade and it blew my mind. The freeness and openness of the game was astounding. Though the jump in graphics and storytelling was pushed to new limits in the PS3 with Uncharted, Killzone and Call Of Duty. I've been a PS fan since the day I purchased my first Playstation 20 years ago... and here's to another 20 more glorious gaming years."
AND THE WINNER IS… John May
"I've been a PlayStation fan from the beginning, even remembering when it was meant to be the CD-ROM unit for the SNES. I purchased my PSX on day one in the UK in September 1995, taking the day off work to go pick it up from HMV and purchasing WipEout along with. However, my BIG Playstation story is that in 1998 I got married dressed as Parappa the Rapper as part of an article in the Official Playstation Magazine, where they dared people to do crazy things linked to the console.
It was the hottest day of the year and I was wearing an eight-foot dog costume but it was an incredibly fun and memorable day. I do remember my parents weren't too happy about the whole idea from the start, but in the end the day came round and everyone enjoyed the day as a most unconventional wedding. We even had the four controller button shapes as our wedding cake!
So for me the PlayStation has a host of fond memories, from the iconic start-up sound, the ground breaking WipEout game and Parappa, all having a fond place in my heart. Photos here of the wedding, in case you don't believe me…"
But that's not all. With the scrum for competition freebies usually a self-interested one, we didn't expect an altruistic campaign for someone other than the entrant to win. But yet that's what we had, with resident chuckle-creator, and "PS4 FTW!" blurting, Mr. T having a campaign created in his honour to make sure his Tourette's-like commercial support for Sony's console didn't go unrewarded.
EXTRA WINNER… Mr. T
"Jokes apart, I actually used to own Xbox 360 back in the day. But soon I realised, they suffered from the three ring of devils, controllers were running on AA batteries, there was no built in Wi-Fi adaptor, it couldn't play Blu-rays and Microsoft charged online subscription while Sony multiplayer was free for all – they even let anyone create multiple accounts which Microsoft didn't. So I did the obvious: switched to Sony PS3 and never looked back. PS3 was the right choice, indeed, as I soon realised it was also a superior console in terms of graphics. When Sony finally declared an upcoming PS4, I think it brought the fanboy finally out of me. That excitement reflects on my countless comments on Gizmodo. I would have no words how to thank should I win this tournament, most likely I would go absolutely NUTS!!!!
"Do I get some nuts then?"
Yes, yes you do T.
We'll be in touch with all winners following this post to sort out delivery this week. Well done all and sorry if you didn't win. We'll try and get something suitably impressive to shoot for again soon.