From Sega Retro
|Manufacturer: Sega AM1|
Toylets (トイレッツ) are an interactive urinal video game system developed by Sega AM1 and manufactured by Sega. Initially seeing a limited release in Japan in October 2011, the hardware is one of Sega's more curious endeavors, featuring interactive minigames controlled via the strength and direction of the user's urination.
Sega's Toylets consist of a two-part system, featuring a LCD screen placed above its respective urinal to display the game's software, and a specialized motion-tracking sensor mounted atop the urinal itself. Due to this, the system is compatible with most existing urinals, and has been installed on a variety of urinal bodies and styles.
A small sticker of a bulls-eye is affixed to the bottom of the urinal's main basin wall, and the Toylets' downward-facing sensor is then calibrated towards that spot. In addition to serving a technical purpose (providing the sensor with a clear, static reference for measuring stream motion and amount), the bulls-eye also encourages players to direct their streams towards the sticker and retain their aim for the entirety of their urination. Importantly, this reduces the amount of excessive urine which escapes the basin - resulting in cleanlier bathrooms and lower maintenance costs - and something used as one of the Toylets' key selling points.
As the Toylets' sensor must face downward towards the player's urine stream, Sega understandingly designed its waterproof case to entirely conceal said sensor. As opposed to the expected translucent black strip of most modern electronics, the hardware is built to operate through the plastic of the case itself, reducing any intimidating or concern over a motion-sensor pointed towards players' genitals - especially important considering the unfamiliarity of consumers to such a concept. The sensor's mounting bracket comes in three types according to the urinal shape, with Sega maintaining a list of non-compatible urinals for buyers to check before purchasing. While the physical shape of the mounting bracket is designed for upright male urinals, the hardware is theoretically usable by anyone, given proper calibration.
The screen itself contains a custom Sega hardware board running Windows Embedded CE 6.0 at a resolution of 800x600 pixels, all powered by a generic 100V power supply. It features a single monaural speaker for sound output, and a USB 2.0 port through which both players save their scores and venue-owners interact with the system. Additionally, Toylets feature a software-enabled power saving mode which drops the system's power consumption from 14w to 4w.
Games appear to have been sold to venue owners on dedicated USB drives, which can be directly inserted into the Toylets' screen to swap out different titles. Most installations were generally set to Free Play mode. However, by utilizing the optional coin box accessory, the system can accept payment for gameplay - with its price generally set to ¥10. The screen could also be adorned with a specialized frosted glass cover for more upscale venues.
A selection of urination-controlled minigames are available for play, with users' high scores recorded by the system in a similar manner to arcade games. Scores can later be downloaded and saved by inserting a personal USB flash drive directly into the system after gameplay has concluded. This direct user contact with their high scores not only allows for a legitimate competitive element among Toylets players, but more importantly serves as a form of digital souvenir for their time with the system itself. As Toylets were often installed specifically to draw in guests based on its unique premise alone, the ability to take home a small reminder of that experience notably added to the system's appeal and value - and something which also continues to preserve its unique legacy on a more intimate scale.
Between games, the LCD screen displays brief advertisements selected by the installed venue, with owners able to uploaded new advertisements to the hardware over USB. The in-game advertisement system is only able to display static screens, limited solely to .jpg and .bmp images.
List of games
- Main article: List of Toylets games.
- Main article: History of Toylets.
Sega of Japan officially launched Toylets in October 2011 as one of the first serious attempts to enter the interactive toilet market. Eight total games were produced for the hardware, with the company hinting at a possible international rollout. However, these plans did not come to fruition, and while reportedly well-received, Sega chose to discontinue all Toylets sales in May 2016.
- Main article: Toylets/Promotional material.
- Main article: Photos of Toylets
- Official website (Japanese)
- Japan’s Urinal Video Games – The Weird World Of The Sega Toylet article by Derrick at Sticky Mango Rice
- Toilet-Playing Game Consoles in Japan article by Sergio Carrilho at Sergio Carrilho
- You can now enjoy 'Toylet' at home article by Matthew Hawkins at NBC News
- A Short History of Creativity and Toilets article by Tracey McGarrigan & Ian Abbott at Orange and Cyan Arts
- How strong do you pee? Interactive urinal game article by arcticpenguin at Play as Life
- File:Toylet JP flyer.png
- Toylets/Technical specifications
- File:Toylet OS powersaving.png
- File:Toylets frostedglass 1.png
|Topics||Technical specifications | History | List of games | Promotional material|