Roughly translating to "let's work together" in Japanese, the Net Yaroze was available directly from Sony for $750 in the U.S. (European and Japanese versions were also available). Games were coded on the PC or Mac, and could be transferred to a special Black region-free PlayStation for play, or distributed on the Internet for use by other Net Yaroze users. The goal, according to Sony's Phil Harrison, was to "go back to the golden age of video game development, which was at home, on your own or with a couple of friends, designing a game yourself."
The system's impact was severely limited, though. While some Net Yaroze demos were made available through PlayStation Underground and Official PlayStation Magazine demo discs, none of the Net Yaroze games were able to break out into wider distribution on their own. [Update 1: Apparently one game, Devil Dice, did make the jump from Net Yaroze to wider development. Thanks Coollead]
Keep reading for more about Net Yaroze's failure and what Microsoft can do to avoid the same fate.