From Sega Retro

Access logo.svg
Founded: 1979-04[1]
Tokyo, Japan

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Access Co., Ltd is an internet software company headquartered in Japan.


For most of the world, Access was the company responsible for allowing Sega Dreamcast owners to use the internet. While the hardware and physical network maintenance were handled by a combination of Sega and regional telephone operators, the software used to view websites, send emails and perform other network-related functions was licensed (if not entirely developed) by Access.

Access created the NetFront web browser, with version 2.0 being the first Dreamcast-compatible variant. NetFront was included with Dreamcasts from the very start, being a part of the original Dream Passport disc which was launched alongside the console in November 1998[2]. It was also the browser of choice for the Dreamarena service in Europe and Australia. In North America, however, Sega opted to use software provided by PlanetWeb, who had also helped bring the Sega Saturn online some years earlier.

Access also maintained its JV-Lite software, a lightweight Java virtual machine which could run on the Dreamcast. This was Sega's software of choice when it came to interpreting Java code, and was again included as part of the non-American Dreamcast web browsers (and indeed many games (in all regions)).

Following the demise of the Dreamcast, NetFront continued to thrive in (predominantly Japanese) mobile phones and PDAs, and appeared with other consoles such as the PlayStation 2 and PlayStation Portable. Variants are still used in embedded systems such as televisions and vehicles, and low-end mobile devices. JV-Lite became redundant much earlier, as varying forms of Java support became a standard in mobile devices in the early 2000s.