Eli5: why were playstation 1 CD’s black and playstation 2 CD’s blue, instead of looking like regular CD’s? How did that work with manufacturing and reading the disc, and why were they designed like that?

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Eli5: why were playstation 1 CD’s black and playstation 2 CD’s blue, instead of looking like regular CD’s? How did that work with manufacturing and reading the disc, and why were they designed like that?

In: Technology

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*Why?* So that they would stand-out from the majority of consumer CDs and DVDs. I’ve seen the occasional audio CD with the read-side black as well, but it wasn’t common. The read-side being black or blue didn’t interfere with piracy attempts or anything like that, and there’s no way Sony would have thought otherwise since PlayStation discs with redbook audio can be read in a standard CD player there was obviously no data obfuscation employed at that level.

It was purely cosmetic, to look distinctive. The dyes were chosen to not interfere with the lasers used to read the discs.

There’s no technical reason. It was an arbitrary aesthetic choice to distinguish PS1 game disks from other CDs, which were usually silver.

There’s been a claim that the black colour was due to copy protection, but this wasn’t the case. The “wobble groove” PS1 discs used to prevent copying could technically be used on any CD, since it was physically pressed into the read layer. Black CD-Rs were also widely sold in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. These still would not work in an unmodified PS1. That’s because CD-RW drives can’t write to the portion of the disc where the wobble groove is located.

In the case of the PS2, CDs were blue to distinguish them from DVDs. The DVDs are the same pale bronze colour as the ones used for films. Blurays are a pale blue colour. I’m not sure if there’s a technical reason for that though.