Mobile Playstations
 Yoshiko Hara, EE Times
Wednesday, 14 June 2000

While the Playstation 2 gaming platform is fashioned to support broadband network services, Sony Computer Entertainment is giving the original Playstation a new role as a platform for mobile phone networks.

"Playstation has sold 73 million units in the world," said Ken Kutaragi, president of Sony Computer Entertainment. "We believe that it still has a large potential. We are going to offer it by remaking it into a new form."

The company will introduce a new model of Playstation, named Psone, that is about one-third as large but has all the functions of the original. PSone will hit the Japanese market on July 7, and North American and European markets in spring.

A 4-inch TFT display attachment will be offered next autumn to support mobile applications. Sony will introduce a connection cable for a controller port this spring that will ready PSone for mobile services. As with the latest Playstation 2, the controller port will attach the Playstation console to mobile phone networks.

Sony will initially support connections with NTT DoCoMo's mobile service, and will eventually expand coverage to other carriers. The company will offer new applications that utilise the mobile connection, and at the same time expects third parties to bring new services to the platform.

PSone is slightly bigger than a portable CD player, but the initial models will not be battery powered. For now, PSone will be powered for in-car use by the vehicle's battery. Battery operation will be available when satisfactory battery capacity is developed.