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Why Are PlayStation Discs Black?

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Have you ever wondered why your PlayStation disc is not the normal silver like a regular CD? Maybe you have wondered why every single game has a black disc and not another color? Well, in this article we will go over everything you need to know about the PlayStation discs and why they are black.

So why are PlayStation discs black?

There are many types of PlayStation consoles. Each has different specifications which supports different types of discs. The color of the disc depends upon many factors such as the technology of the time, storage space on the disc, and costs.

The difference between the CD and CD-R is the main reason for the change in color. The Original PlayStation used black discs as a way to know which discs were fakes as the black discs were harder to duplicate. 

If you want to know more about PlayStation discs, you will want to keep reading. You can also watch this short video to see how the PlayStation black discs are actually made. 

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Are black discs used for every PlayStation console?

Not all the PlayStation consoles use the black disc as it was only used for the original PlayStation console. This is because technology has become way more advanced since the original PlayStation released..

Today, the PlayStation uses Blu-Ray and digital versions of the games which are much more advanced than the black discs. The Blu-Ray discs have a lot more storage capacity as compared to black discs and this is the main reason they are used now instead of the black discs.

The PlayStation consoles today use different kinds of discs. The PlayStation 2 uses the blue disk instead of black. This is because pirated games can be easily put on discs that are just normal and that anyone can buy from a store. 

In the era of the original PlayStation, most of the games used black discs. There is no special reason for that. It is simply because of the technology of the time. These discs were simply inserted into the original PlayStation console for them to load the game. 

Reasons for using the black discs for the original PlayStation

Sony used the black discs for the original PlayStation. The black discs looked very different from the other ones and since they looked completely different it made it easy to tell that they were a PlayStation game. 

Therefore, to stand out in the gaming market with an original and unique product, Sony used the black discs. Also, black discs had better quality which made it a good disc for PlayStation. On top of these reasons we already know that black discs were hard to mimic, as people who pirated games were unable to get a hold of these black discs. 

Features of black Playstation discs

There are many features of the black disc. Although it did not have a lot of space requirements, it was completely okay because the size of the games of that time were not that large. These black discs supported small memory consumption and worked great.

The games of that era were also small so there were not many problems with putting a game on these black discs.  

Sony takes pirating very seriously, and even though these black discs were more expensive, Sony did not want others to make a pirated copy of its original games. To save itself from this issue, they used black discs. These discs did not have the feature to write pirated content on them as they did not allow burned content to be put on them.

This feature made these black discs a lot more important than normal discs of that time. Because of this feature, a lot of other rival companies also started to follow the same idea. 

Discs of the other PlayStation consoles

Not all the PlayStation consoles use the black disc. It was a technology of the past, therefore, it was used for only the original PlayStation.

The concept of the black disc changed with the release of the PlayStation 2. When the PlayStation 2 released, it did not use the black discs, but it went for green and blue discs.

This was because green and blue discs were easily available in the market at a cheaper cost. Because they went for the cheaper discs, Sony then had an issue with people using these readily available discs to pirate their games. 

The original PlayStation games could not be pirated as there was no way to get these black discs. The green and the blue discs allowed the games to be pirated very easily. This made way for an entire pirated game market that PlayStation did not want. 

This problem was pretty damaging for PlayStation from the revenue side. Since the same game was available at a much cheaper rate, people started to use the pirated games instead of buying the original ones from Sony. Everyone loves a good deal, and the discs were half the price. Some people knew they were pirated while others didn’t even know what they were buying as the discs worked perfectly fine on the PlayStation 2. 

Because of all of the piracy issues with the PlayStation 2, Sony came up with a way to format each disc to work with the format on their console. Similar to the way the black discs worked, the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 both use specific discs that have a built in code that works only with the PlayStation console. No one knows what this code is, and this makes the PlayStation3 and PlayStation 4 discs impossible to pirate. 

A complete list of the disc used for each PlayStation console is given below:

  • PlayStation Classic CD-ROM – Black Discs
  • PlayStation 2 CD-ROM – Blue Disks
  • PlayStation 3 CD-ROM – Yellow and Blue Discs
  • PlayStation 4 CD-ROM – Yellow and Blue Discs

Difference between CD and CD-R

A common disc or CD is replicated with content. Your content is added to it so that it gets a silver bottom. On the other hand, CD-R is called the duplicated version as it has a black bottom. It records the content but they are green, black or silver in color rather than blue in color. 

A CD-R type of disc is burned on when it is duplicated. Once this is done, it cannot be burned again. A burned disk cannot work on PlayStation 4 consoles because it is missing that specific code that PlayStation requires. The only way you can play a disc on the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 consoles is if the disc is specifically built by Sony, or has the specific firmware built in that allows it to play. This is why you can’t even play a pirated movie on the PlayStation console. It recognizes the disc is pirated, and immediately does not work. 


Now that you know why the original PlayStation discs were black, you can go back and look through your discs and see if you have any that are not authentic. You might be surprised what you will find in your collection. If you have the PlayStation 2 though, finding the pirated versions of these discs will be considerably harder as they work perfectly fine, and sometimes they would even come in the exact same case with the exact same artwork as the authentic PlayStation 2 games. 

No matter what PlayStation console you have, you can see that Sony takes pirating very seriously. They have cracked down on people pirating their games and allowing their systems to load any pirated disc.