Sony Playman: the handheld from an alternate reality

My gaming history isn’t as diverse as my peers but if I measured it by the number of consoles, Nintendo would win hands down.

I owned an original PlayStation long after they stopped making them and a PS2 when the PS3 was still popular but I was never really a Sony guy (even though I’ve owned a few of their products since). But if Dan Clarke (the man behind Arkotype) had been in charge, I might have.

On Twitter, he created a thread for his concept console called the Sony Playman.

Technical specifications

  • 3.8 inch LCD screen
  • Memory Stick storage
  • Digital control inputs
  • Slot loading MiniDisc™ Drive

It would have been interesting to see how well the Playman did in the 2000s as it competed with the Game Boy Advance line. I desperately wanted a MiniDisc™ Player around that time so I might have opted for that. Dan didn’t specify a price but I assume it would have retailed for around $99.99 but most likely on the higher end.

And if you’re wondering why it looks so similar to an Advance SP, that’s because the clamshell design inspired the look of the Playman, according to Dan.

Besides the wonder of a new console, Dan’s attention to detail is wonderful. He also posted pictures of his sketches and mentioned how he got “a bit obsessed with designing hinges”.

(all images courtesy of Dan Clarke)

  • Sony Playman logos
  • Alternative Sony Playman logo
  • Alternative Sony Playman logo
  • Alternative Sony Playman logo
  • Sony Playman sketches
  • Sony Playman sketches
  • Sony Playman logo and MiniDisc logo
  • Sony Playman link cable
  • Sony Playman cartridge
  • Sony Playman console side view
  • Sony Playman console side view
  • Sony Playman console side view
  • Sony Playman console front view
  • Sony Playman console (closed)

UPDATE: Designer Paulo Doi made a mock title screen for the Playman and it’s very cool.

UPDATE 2: And now there’s a Playman “with a bit of volume to it” from designer Colin Brannan.

UPDATE 3: Dan has kindly put together a case study on his website.

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