Why did the Japanese connect a cell phone to the first PlayStation and what did it allow them to do? | Present

2024-01-23 14:46:37

This PlayStation service was exclusive to Japan. Photo: Xataka | This PlayStation service was exclusive to Japan. Photo: Xataka

December 3, 1994 is a very important date for video game lovers, since that day the first PlayStation was presented in Japan. Thanks to its graphics and its wide catalog of games, the success of this console created by Sony was overwhelming and it managed to sell more than 102.4 million of units worldwide. Did you get to have it? You probably didn’t know you could connect a cell phone to it.

What was the purpose of connecting a cell phone to the first PlayStation?

Most people think that the first Sony console that could connect to the internet was the PlayStation 3, since it had several video games that could be enjoyed online. However, this feature was present since the original, it was just not available at launch, it was enabled later thanks to an accessory and an agreement with a Japanese telephone operator.

According to Xataka, a portal specialized in technology, in 2000, 6 years after the launch of the PS1, Sony reached an agreement with the telephone company NTT DoCoMo, one of the most important in Japan. Due to this alliance, owners of the first PlayStation could access i-mode, an internet service that was quite popular at the time.

In order to connect your PS1 to the internet, Japanese users had to meet important requirements. The first was to buy a special cable (manufactured by Sony itself) that allowed the video game console and the mobile device to be linked. Likewise, it was necessary to have one of the eight compatible phones that the NTT DoCoMo company offered in those years.

Sony cable and disc. Photo: Xataka

After linking the cell phone to the PlayStation using the ports where the controllers connect, the user also had to insert a special disk (which came along with the cable) to access a start menu on the NTT DoCoMo phone. That is, people could connect to i-mode with their console and see the screen of their mobile device on their television.

What could you do if you connected the first PlayStation with your cell phone?

According to the publication, the Japanese who decided to try this service had access to several web pages that provided information on various topics: sports, weather, news, etc. Likewise, thanks to i-mode, PS1 users were able to read and respond to emails, although to write they had to use an on-screen keyboard that they controlled with the console controller, which was a bit complicated.

When it comes to online video games, the titles of the first PlayStation did not have online multiplayer like those of PS3, PS4 or PS5. Although there was one, called Doko Demo Issyo, that took advantage of this service and allowed additional content to be downloaded, as well as connecting players through chat.

#Japanese #connect #cell #phone #PlayStation #Present

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