Before PlayStation, Sony Tinkered With a "Prototype TV Game Machine"
Although the PlayStation was Sony’s first video game console, it seems as if the Japanese electronics giant was working on a prototype for a console all the way back in the 1970s. The project, which went by a working title of "Prototype TV Game Machine," was on display at the Sony booth during an exhibition, "Honda Sōichirō to Ibuka Masaru"—named after the founders of the Honda Motor Company and Sony Corporation, respectively—sometime between 2002 and 2005.
Unfortunately, not much is known about Sony’s prototype, except for its gameplay and controls, which are physically on the console itself and not handheld like modern gaming controllers. The left side buttons in red on the console translate to “Answer,” while the right side in blue mean “Recommend” or “Proceed” in English. It’s believed the games, which were either cards or cartridges, were simple multiple choice Q&As.
Needless to say, Sony didn’t get very far developing the concept, which was not ready for market in Japan. Approximately 20 years later, Sony would release the original PlayStation after a very public feud with Nintendo.