The PocketStation is a Memory Card peripheral by Sony Computer Entertainment for the PlayStation home video game console.[3] Categorized by Sony as a combination of a Memory Card and a miniature personal digital assistant, the device features a monochrome liquid crystal display (LCD), infrared communication capability, a real-time clock, built-in flash memory, and sound capability. To use the device's memory card functionality, it must be connected to a PlayStation through a memory card slot. It was released exclusively in Japan on January 23, 1999.[2][1]

Software for the PocketStation was typically distributed as extras for PlayStation games, included in the CD-ROM, enhancing the games with added features. Stand-alone software could also be downloaded through the PlayStation console. The software is then transferred to the PocketStation for use. A built-in infrared data interface allows direct transfer of data such as game saves between PocketStation units, as well as multiplayer gaming.

The original Japanese ship date for the PocketStation was set for December 23, 1998, but it was delayed a full month.[1] Sony only shipped an initial 60,000 units of the peripheral when it was released on January 23, 1999.[4] It was initially available in two case colors: white and clear.[5] It proved extremely popular, selling out all over the region. Sony planned to release the PocketStation outside Japan, engaging in promotional activity in Europe and North America, but the release did not occur.[6] SCEA cited an inability meeting Japanese demand as the reason for the PocketStation's absence.[7][8] Despite this, a few games, such as Final Fantasy VIII and SaGa Frontier 2, retained PocketStation functionality in their localized versions.[9][10]

The PocketStation's most popular game was Dokodemo Issho, which sold over 1.5 million copies in Japan and is the first game to star Sony's mascot Toro.[11] The PocketStation was discontinued in July 2002 after having shipped nearly five million units.[12]

On November 5, 2013, it was announced that the PocketStation would be revived as an application for the PlayStation Vita, allowing users to play PocketStation format minigames for any classic PlayStation games that they own.[13] Originally it was only available to PlayStation Plus members, it was later released to the general public. It remains an exclusive to the Japanese PlayStation Vitas.

The PocketStation also shares similarities with Sega's VMU for the Dreamcast.

PocketStation logo
DeveloperSony Computer Entertainment
GenerationFifth generation era
Release date
  • JP: January 23, 1999
  • JP: July 2002
MediaPlayStation CD-ROM (used for content transfer)
CPUARM7T (32 bit RISC Processor)
  • 5× Digital buttons
Power1 CR-2032 lithium battery
Dimensions64 mm (2.5 in) (h)
42 mm (1.7 in) (w)
13.5 mm (0.53 in) (d)
Mass30 grams (1.1 oz)
SuccessorPlayStation Portable

Technical specifications

Compatible games

See also

  • VMU, a similar accessory for the Sega Dreamcast console (which was released 6 months earlier, on July 30, 1998 in Japan).


  1. ^ a b c "PocketStation delayed in Japan". Computer and Video Games. Future Publishing. 1998-12-09. Retrieved 2008-08-28. Sony has delayed the Japanese release of its PocketStation PDA from December 23 to January 23, 1999.
  2. ^ a b "超小型PDA「PocketStation」1月23日に発売延期" (PDF) (in Japanese). Sony Computer Entertainment. December 9, 1998. p. 3. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2006-09-13. Retrieved 2007-10-30.
  3. ^ a b プレイステーションの楽しみをさらに広げる (PDF) (in Japanese). Sony Computer Entertainment. 1998-10-08. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-10-10. Retrieved 2008-08-28.
  4. ^ IGN staff (January 28, 1999). "PocketStation Shortages Rock Japan". IGN. Retrieved 2009-12-02.
  5. ^ IGN staff (October 8, 1998). "TGS: Sony's Next Stop: Pocket Station". IGN. Retrieved 2009-12-05.
  6. ^ Mark J. P. Wolf (2008). The video game explosion: a history from PONG to Playstation and beyond. ABC-CLIO. p. 148. ISBN 978-0-313-33868-7. Retrieved 16 August 2011.
  7. ^ Commodore Wheeler (May 13, 1999). "Pocketstation Cancelled in the US". RPGFan. Retrieved 2009-12-02.
  8. ^ IGN staff (May 13, 1999). "PocketStation Slips Indefinitely". IGN. Retrieved 2009-12-02.
  9. ^ a b Square Electronic Arts, ed. (1999). Final Fantasy VIII North American instruction manual. Square Electronic Arts. pp. 38–40. SLUS-00892.
  10. ^ a b Square Electronic Arts, ed. (2000). SaGa Frontier 2 North American instruction manual. Square Electronic Arts. p. 26. SLUS-00933.
  11. ^ Fennec Fox (July 19, 2002). "Sony Discontinues PocketStation". GamePro. Archived from the original on 2011-06-07. Retrieved 2009-12-02.
  12. ^ GameSpot staff (July 19, 2002). "Sony ceases PocketStation production". GameSpot. Archived from the original on September 8, 2012. Retrieved 2009-12-02.
  13. ^ 2013-11-04, Play Chocobo World On Vita, PocketStation Is A Downloadable App In Japan, Siliconera
  14. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z "International Previews: PocketStation". Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine. 2 (7): 80–82. April 1999.
  15. ^ Genki, ed. (1999). Jade Cocoon Japanese instruction manual. Genki. p. 37. SLPS-01729.
  16. ^ IGN staff (November 30, 2009). "IGN: New Legend of Dragoon Info". IGN. Retrieved 2009-05-17.
  17. ^ 携帯型ゲーム機コンプリートガイド [The Complete Guide to Handheld Consoles] (in Japanese). Shufu no Tomo Infos. 2013. p. 102. ISBN 978-4072879290.
  18. ^ a b c d Parish, Jeremy (2006). "Forgotten Gem: Jumping Flash!". 1UP.com. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2008-11-23.
  19. ^ IGN staff (January 11, 1999). "Import Watch: Pocket MuuMuu". IGN. Retrieved 2008-11-23.
  20. ^ "IGN: Pocket Tuner". IGN. Retrieved 2009-05-17.

External links


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List of Square video games

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Metal Gear Solid

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Puyo Puyo BOX

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Racing Lagoon (レーシングラグーン, Rēshingu Lagūn) is a 1999 video game developed and published by Square. The game is unique in that it combines street racing with role-playing elements. The game's story follows a new member of a street racing team in 1999 Yokohama, Japan as he tries to learn about his forgotten past and a mysterious race that took place ten years prior to the game's opening.

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Rockman Complete Works is a lineup of video game remakes released only in Japan for the PlayStation in 1999. Rockman Complete Works contains the first six entries in the Classic Mega Man series, originally released on the Nintendo Entertainment System. The six games were released individually, each disc containing a port of the original Nintendo Entertainment System version as the game's "Original Mode", as well as a "Navi Mode"; "Navi Mode" features a hint system in the form of a supporting character giving tips to the player, an updated HUD, an arranged soundtrack, and other optional game modes. The games are compatible with the PocketStation peripheral, allowing the player to match up bosses from the games in a paper-rock-scissors minigame called "PokeRock". Players can also play against one another via the PocketStation's infrared sensor. All six games were later bundled with Mega Man X7 in the Rockman Collection Special Box for the PlayStation 2. A Sega Saturn port was planned, but was cancelled.

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Street Fighter Alpha 3

Street Fighter Alpha 3 is a 2D competitive fighting game originally released by Capcom for the arcades in 1998. It is the third game in the Street Fighter Alpha sub-series, which serves as a prequel to Street Fighter II, and ran on the same CP System II hardware as previous Alpha games. The game was produced after the Street Fighter III sub-series has started, being released after 2nd Impact, but before 3rd Strike. Alpha 3 further expanded the playable fighter roster from Street Fighter Alpha 2 and added new features such as selectable fighting styles called "isms".

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Toro (トロ), full name Toro Inoue (井上トロ, Inoue Toro), also known as the Sony Cat, is a fictional character created by Sony Interactive Entertainment. He is an anthropomorphized cat who participates in numerous events and tries to act like a human.Toro first appeared in the PlayStation game Doko Demo Issyo, and has since appeared in every PlayStation platform. While not as popular in the west, he serves as Sony's mascot in Japan - in particular, of the PlayStation Network.


The WonderSwan is a handheld game console released in Japan by Bandai. It was developed by Gunpei Yokoi's company Koto Laboratory and Bandai, and was the last piece of hardware Yokoi developed before his death in 1997. Released in 1999 in the fifth generation of video game consoles, the WonderSwan and its two later models, the WonderSwan Color and SwanCrystal were officially supported until being discontinued by Bandai in 2003. During its lifespan, no variation of the WonderSwan was released outside of Japan.

Powered by a 16-bit central processing unit, the WonderSwan took advantage of a low price point and long battery life in comparison to its competition, Nintendo's Game Boy Color and SNK's Neo Geo Pocket Color. Later improvements took advantage of quality upgrades to the handheld's screen and added color. The WonderSwan is playable both vertically and horizontally, and features a unique library of games, including numerous first-party titles based on licensed anime properties, as well as significant third-party support from Square, Namco, and Taito.

Overall, the WonderSwan in all its variations combined to sell an estimated 3.5 million units and managed to obtain as much as 8% of the Japanese handheld video game console market before being marginalized by Nintendo's Game Boy Advance. Retrospective feedback praises the potential of the WonderSwan despite its low sales and its brief time holding its own against Nintendo in the marketplace.

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