Net Jet

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Net Jet
Net Jet Logo.png
Net Jet Controller.jpg
Manufacturer Hasbro
Retail availability Discontinued
Media Jumper "keys"

Net Jet is a Windows PC-based game system introduced by Hasbro (under the Tiger Electronics brand) in 2007.[1] The game system is a controller that is somewhat similar in design to a PlayStation 2 gamepad. The Net Jet controller is plugged into the USB port in a computer, and automatically starts up and downloads games via a required Internet connection. A dozen featured games could be played on a trial basis, or unlocked via plug in "game keys" (which are essentially jumper blocks). The Net Jet came in seven different color variations.


Net Jet support officially ended December 31, 2009.

Operation and features[edit]

Unlike other self-contained game systems that fit entirely in a controller, the Net Jet itself can not play games on its own. It does not contain any circuity to display graphics, generate sound or play games, instead it relies entirely on the host computer to act as the "game console". For this reason, its performance was potentially hindered by slower and less capable computers. Games consist of a mix of real-time 3D texture mapping, to simple 2D Java and flash-based games.

The Net Jet makes itself plug n play by containing a small bit of firmware in the controller. When plugged in, a virtual CD-ROM image (400K in size) would automatically mount, download and install its software via the Internet so to display a menu selection screen. Any games selected would then also need to be downloaded and stored on the computer. The Net Jet is a proprietary controller, it can only be used for its own games and not as a standard PC gamepad controller (it was detected as a USB hub, as opposed to a game controller by the computer). The controller itself had 7 buttons (two shoulder, four front and one 'start'), d-pad and analog thumb stick.

Game keys[edit]

The Net Jet system is played by inserting a key into the controller. It came with a free demo key. The demo key allowed a user to try each of the Net Jet games for 30 minutes. Players would then have to store-purchase one of twelve different game keys in order to unlock each individual game already on the computer. Despite the actual games being stored on the computer's hard drive, without a key inserted the game system would not function.

Later on, the platform was bundled with some of what was perceived to be its marquee titles, such as Transformers Battle Universe or Bubble Bonanza for example.

Game keys primarily function as jumper blocks (an activation switch) to unlock games on the computer. Actual games are downloaded and stored, along with save game settings, onto the computer through an Internet connection. Games or save-status are not stored on the keys. The keys however permanently "remember" which three choice games the player selected via a 1K embedded EEPROM IC.

Featured games (keys)[edit]

Purchasing a game key also enabled a user to unlock three Internet Java-based games playable with the controller, called "Choice Games". With a game key, the user was also allowed to demo a variety of standard computer games (not compatible with the controller) that could at one time be bought called deluxe games. The user also received a free 30-minute game trial for each deluxe game, with the option to purchase the full game online. These deluxe games were played with the keyboard, and mouse, rather than the Net Jet controller itself.

Choice games[edit]

Deluxe games[edit]

Discontinuation[edit]

As of January 1, 2009, Net Jet was no longer legally obligated[4] to maintain or continue its website operation. Support however was extended a year past said date, as at start up the software displays a pop-up disclaimer stating the product has been discontinued and support ended as of December 31, 2009.[5] Should the website be removed at any time in the future, the product will no longer function.

The actual message from Net Jet software when controller is plugged-in:

"PLEASE NOTE: We hope you have enjoyed your NET JET Online Gaming System. Unfortunately, NET JET products have been discontinued. This site will no longer be available on or about December 31, 2009. We appreciate your interest in Hasbro products. If you have any questions, please contact Hasbro Customer Service."

References[edit]

External links[edit]