Sony Discontinues PocketStation

The era of memory cards trying to impersonate Game Boys officially comes to an end as Sony stops producing their PSX accessory.

Sony Computer Entertainment announced today that they have discontinued production of the PocketStation, a portable memory card/handheld system similar in style to the Dreamcast's Visual Memory units. The accessory, which garnered nearly five million users in its native Japan, will continue to be available in stores and on Sony's online site for 3000 yen (about $26) until the last batch sells out.

The PocketStation, a memory card sized handheld with five buttons and a 32x32 pixel monochrome screen, let users download mini-games and other extras from PlayStation titles and enjoy them away from the system. It debuted in Japan in January 1999 and sold out almost immediately, mostly thanks to the fact that Final Fantasy VIII had a PocketStation mini-game that allowed you to get rare items and weapons. Sony was going to release the PocketStation in the U.S., but changed their mind and cancelled the launch at the last minute�even though FFVIII and a few other PocketStation-compatible games had already been released in America.

The accessory got supported by several dozen PS games in Japan, including the Japanese versions of Crash Bandicoot 3 and SaGa Frontier 2. Its biggest hit was Dokodemo Issho, a game where you carried on conversations about daily life with three cute animal characters at home with your PS and on the train with your PocketStation. The game ended up turning into a series that has sold over 1.5 million copies so far in Japan.