Serial Guide

Sony's serials may look neat and organized at first and in the core they are, but when you take a better look at them, you will notice it's a giant mess. Every console they did something a little different and every region seems to have its own 'rules' on serial usage. On these pages, I'll try to explain it all but keep in mind: there are exceptions everywhere in Sony's catalog...


The basics

A Sony serial consists of two parts: the serial type and the serial number. Neither of those parts is unique on its own, but together they form a unique serial across all of Sony's consoles, handhelds, games, applications etc. The serial type is always 4 letters and the serial number is always 5 digits. The serial number is nothing more than a number; it's just an identifier in a series (although some information can be drawn from it, see the section on it down below). The serial type however, contains quite a bit of information about the product it's representing, except for the CUSA serial type (also more information on that down below).


Serial-type taxonomy

Below you can find the general overview of a usual serial. As the warning in the intro said: there are many exceptions and they will be covered separately later.

Standard PlayStation Discs

This table shows the structure and meaning of disc serials for PS1, PS2, PS3, PS4 (Asia-only), PSP and PSVita (Asia-only).

1st letter 2nd letter 3rd letter 4th letter
System Licensing Region Release category
S PS1 & PS2 C First party A Asia D Demo
B PS3 L Third party C China M Games
P PS4 E Europe S Games
U PSP J Japan T Test/Pre-production
V Vita K Korea X Misc (Demos, software updates, etc.)
U USA

PSN Games/Software (PS3/PSP)

During the PS3 and PSP era, digital PSN releases had different serials than their physicial counterparts. This changed with the PS4/PS Vita.

1st letter 2nd letter 3rd letter 4th letter
System 1st/3rd party Region Release category
N Digital P PSN E Europe A PS3 Games (1st party)
H Asia (Hong-Kong) B PS3 Games (3rd party)
J Japan C PS2 Games (1st party)
U USA D PS2 Games (3rd party)
E PS1 Games (1st party)
F PS1 Games (3rd party) + PC Engine
G PSP Games
H PSP Games
I PS1 Games (1st party) (Asia)
J PS1 Games (3rd party) (Asia) + PC Engine
L Trailers
O Themes
P Themes
X Minis
Z Minis

PS Vita (physical & digital)

The Vita's serials had no difference between physical releases and digital (PSN) releases. The serial structure became a little different though.

1st letter 2nd letter 3rd letter 4th letter
System ? ? Region & 1st/3rd party
P PS Vita C ? S ? A USA, 1st party
B Europe, 3rd party
C Japan, 1st party
D Asia, 1st party
E USA, 3rd party
F Europe, 1st party
G Japan, 3rd party
H Asia, 3rd party

PS4 Digital & PS4 USA/Europe Discs

With the PS4, sony (again) did something a little different. For USA/Europe there was (like with the Vita) no difference between digital and physical releases. However, this time they threw everything out the window and all digital and physical releases in both USA and Europe use a single serial:

CUSA

In the eastern regions (Japan, Korea, China and general Asia) they still used different disc serisls (which can be found in the first table above). The digital releases of those regions however, do use the CUSA serial.


Serial-number taxonomy

The serial numbers represent a lot less information than the serial type and without the serial type they are pretty meaningless. There is also way less standardization of the numbers and it looks like every region was allowed to come up with their own way of numbering the games. Nevertheless, for sake of completeness I will show the serial number regions below and I'll try to make as much sense of it as possible.

PlayStation 2

Europe

As usual, the Europe serials are pretty straightforward. They start at 50001 and go up from there. All serials are in the same range. The only exception is a bunch of games that are in the 82000 range, for reasons unknown (though most of them are multi-disc games, which might be the reason).

USA

SLUS games Starting at 20001 and counting up
SCUS games & demos Numbers in the 97xxx range
SLUS box serials Numbers in the 27xxx range
SLUS trade demos Numbers in the 28xxx range
SLUS demos Numbers in the 29xxx range

PlayStation 3

Europe

The system is, again, pretty straightforward. The serials once again start at 00001 and go up from there. The only exception are the BCET serials, they are (mostly) in the 7xxxx range.

USA

The BLUS serials in the USA are (relatively) standard. The numbers start at 30001 and all releases go up from there. The BCUS releases however... They are all over the place. The only thing they have in common is the 9xxxx range. Most games are in the 98xxx range, but there are some in the 99xxx range, in the 94xxx range and the 90xxx range.

Furthermore, in the USA they have used different serials for package variations. So things like Collector's Editions, accessory bundles Canadian cover variations, multi-game packs etc. have a different serial on the box/package than the actual included disc(s).