Harry was born in 1980. Therefore, the fourth book should be set in 1994. Yet, Harry mentions in his letter to Sirius that Dudley chucked his new PlayStation out of the window. The only problem is that the PlayStation wasn't on the market in Britain at that time.

  • 18
    I think it's kind of a waste of time to ask a question that doesn't truly have an answer based in canon. Pureferret offers an explanation -- it was a mistake -- but it's sheer luck that JKR happened to address it. I don't feel this is a useful question for the site. It's like asking why baby Harry is wearing a Blue's Clues romper in Sorcerer's Stone the movie. Because it was a mistake. Period. YMMV. :) Jun 13 '12 at 23:40
  • Irrelevant, I know, but I believe it has been shown on moviemistakes dot com that it isn't a Blue's Clues logo on Harry's suit, but just a blue bunny or bear or similar.
    – NiceOrc
    Jun 14 '12 at 3:35
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    And WHERE did he get a copy of "Mega Mutilation Part Three"?? I can't get my hands on it at any price!! ;)
    – Wildcard
    Aug 9 '17 at 3:53

"As obsessive fans will tell you, I do slip up! Several classrooms move floors mysteriously between books and these are the least serious continuity errors! Most of the fansites will point you in the direction of my mistakes. But the essentials remain consistent from book to book because the story has been plotted for a long time and it is clear in my mind."

—J. K. Rowling on the errors within the franchise

Dudley smashes his PlayStation before it was even released in Japan (Dec '94). This is simply an error on JKR's part, as I doubt she knew the history of PlayStation when she wrote GoF.

The other possibility is that Vernon had signed up for the product tester, and received a PlayStation and a few games before the official release in Europe (Sept '95).

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    I think I remember seeing a JKR interview where she specifically mentions the playstation as a mistake. She said something in it like, she's bad with dates (or numbers?).
    – Izkata
    Jun 13 '12 at 23:46
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    Love the suggestion that Vernon signed up for product testing :-)
    – AidanO
    Jun 14 '12 at 7:58
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    I see "classrooms move floors" in a (supposedly) magical world as a pro, not a con.
    – n611x007
    Jun 20 '12 at 10:56
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    "The PlayStation has too many bugs and inconsistencies... let's smash it!"
    – A. Darwin
    Mar 18 '16 at 10:44
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    @n611x007 It's also not very uncommon for a class to be in another classroom in subsequent years, when I was in high school I had to look up where all my classes were at the start of every year. Only things like chemistry, biology and physics classes would remain in the same place because of all the accessoires that need to be present there
    – Kevin
    Sep 5 '16 at 7:45

As the other answer mentions, Vernon might've signed up as a tester. But a tester of what ? It could've been one of the Nintendo PlayStations and then it'd be perfectly understandable to chuck it out in frustration because it was a prototype and those are usually not the most reliable. These were made in 1991 so the possibility is there -- although of course in 1991 Nintendo already broke up with Sony so the chances of one of these finding its way to England in 1994 to a non-industry person are fairly slim but maybe magic could explain it...

  • 5
    This seems like a comment on the other answer, not like an independent answer to the question.
    – chirlu
    Oct 9 '16 at 10:47

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