Chris Deering, the former President of Sony Entertainment, has said that the company had originally conceived the idea of developing an online social community back in 1997 for the original PlayStation.
Speaking with MCV, Deering was questioned as to what he considered his biggest challenge to be at the company, to which he responded: “Getting Sony to believe that PlayStation could be a community online…”
“We had a secret test program in Europe back in 1997 on PSOne, running a text-based community chat group with a special box called Net-Station that hooked up PCs to the TV.”
“The project code name was ‘Moccasin 5’. It operated across the major countries of Europe, and had quite a following, even from the US,” said Deering.
He also revealed that Sony were planning to introduce a TV Channel for the PlayStation 2 back in 2002, although the idea was ultimately cancelled due the slow uptake of broadband Internet among the mass market.
“At Sony Europe, we later worked on a PS2 concept called ‘Central Station’, which was planned to stream its own PlayStation TV channel, back in 2002,” explained Deering.
“But uptake in broadband took longer to reach mass market than we expected, and we couldn’t get other regions to buy in.”