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(Nikkei BP Group)

(No.1 High-Tech News Site in Japanese)

  • Sony to Sell Small Game Machine Similar to PlayStation
  • October 15, 1998 (TOKYO) -- Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. said it will begin marketing a palm-size compact game machine called PocketStation from Dec. 23.
    Users will be able to enjoy playing a wide variety of games on the PocketStation by downloading game software from a PlayStation. The new machine features an infrared communication function for data exchange with other PocketStations.

    PocketStation has a memory card to save game results and data from the PlayStation. It is equipped with a 32-bit RISC CPU, a liquid crystal display (LCD), sound devices and operating buttons. The machine also includes clock and calendar functions, the company said.

    The PocketStation measures 64mm high by 42mm wide by 13.5mm thick, and weighs about 30g. Its LCD, which is 0.8 in. by 0.8 in., displays images in 32 x 32 dot resolution, and in two gray scales.

    Users can carry the game machine with its hand strap around their wrist. The machine is charged by a small lithium battery (CR2032).

    Game software for the PocketStation will be provided by CD-ROM. Users must replay CD-ROMs on a PlayStation device and download the data to a PocketStation. In order to download software, users must insert a PocketStation into the memory slot of a PlayStation machine. Ordinary memory cards also will be available for the PocketStation.

    A total of 31 software titles will be available for the PocketStation, including Final Fantasy VIII (from Square) and Street Fighter Zero3 (from Capcom Co., Ltd.). Three titles will go on sale at the same time as the release of the new machine, followed by the other game titles.

    Continuous use of the game machine depends on game software. The battery lasts for about a month when the machine runs in the clock mode with no games played.

    Sony Computer Entertainment said it plans to start with a monthly production of 1 million units of PocketStation. The company has not disclosed its target for annual sales.

    Related story: Bandai Unveils Portable Game Player with Two-Way Screen

    (BizTech News Dept.)

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    Updated: Wed Oct 14 17:49:22 1998 PDT