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January 23, 1999
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The PocketStation is microconsole created by Sony as a peripheral for the PlayStation. Released exclusively in Japan on December 23, 1998, it features an LCD screen, sound, a real-time clock, and infrared communication capability. It also serves as a standard PlayStation Memory Card.
Games for the PocketStation are stored on the same CD-ROM as certain PlayStation games. PocketStation games can enhance PlayStation games with added features. For example, using the PocketStation. a player may be able to 'level up' characters in one's favorite PlayStation game while riding the bus to work. A player can also download stand-alone PocketStation games. It allows a player to swap game data between PlayStation units and also allows multi-player gaming via the built-in infrared data link.
Although the system was not released in North America or Europe, there were apparently plans to do so - a feature on the system appeared in Official UK PlayStation Magazine, for example, and a few games (such as Final Fantasy VIII and SaGa Frontier 2) retained PocketStation functionality in their localised versions. As a result, the PC version of Final Fantasy VIII added a stand-alone Chocobo World minigame as part of the installation, which was also available on the Steam re-release.