There is big money to be made on games and other apps for mobile devices around the world. There has been a change at the top of the most profitable countries for apps with Japan taking the top spot. Previously, the top country for mobile app revenues was the US. Japanese consumers spent 10% more on apps than consumers in the US did in October.
In a country that has no shortage of vending machines, Google Japan has decided to join the fray. The company has announced three dedicated Google Play machines that will each sell 18 different gaming titles, which are a mix of free-to-play and paid-for titles. To use the machines, you'll need a smartphone running Android 4.0 and NFC -- and that's about it.
Over the last decade, people’s behavior during their daily train ride has completely changed. In the past, Japanese were known to be avid readers of paperbacks (bunko) and manga magazines, and would do so even on Tokyo’s notoriously crowded trains. Now, however, it is rare to spot someone on the train who is not staring into their cellphone. A large amount of them are playing social games.
Sony's PlayStation Vita may still be brand new, and Nintendo's Wii U has yet to even hit store shelves, but Japanese developer/publisher/social platform GREE doesn't need a new console. Or any console, for that matter. Its platform is virtual, and its growth strategy is extremely aggressive. "We're hiring more than 30 people a month," GREE's US CEO (and international CFO) Naoki Aoyagi told us in an E3 2012 interview.
Non-traditional methods of controlling games are all the rage in Japan these days. Sega made headlines last year with "Toirettsu" or "Toylet," a game that drunken male patrons can play in the men’s room, since it's entirely controlled via one's urine stream. Meanwhile, a just-unveiled project by researchers at The University of Electro-Communications near Tokyo will soon have players using their tongues on the Kinect.
The first arcades in Japan weren't video arcades, and they weren't even in game centres. In the decades following the second world war, gamers played electro-magnetic games in bowling alleys and on department store rooftops. Families would take shopping breaks, playing carnival-style shooting games or riding rinky-dink kiddy trains.
Sony's long-awaited PlayStation Vita portable game machine hit stores in Japan on Saturday as thousands of game enthusiasts lined up early in the morning to be among the first to buy it. Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. is predicting brisk sales, even though the launch may have missed some holiday shoppers. A successful debut would help the company offset the rest of its struggling business. Sony projects a loss of more than $1 billion for the fiscal year through March 2012, which would be its fourth straight annual loss.
Nintendo is readying an array of video games for the holidays in an aggressive attempt at catch-up for lost time from the sales delay of the 3DS portable machine last year. Nintendo Co., which makes the Wii home console and Super Mario and Pokemon games, showed some of the gaming titles featuring glasses-free three-dimensional technology at a packed Tokyo event hall Tuesday.
Sega displayed a new game concept for male bathrooms at Digital Signage Japan 2011. They actually displayed it in the bathrooms at this show, getting a lot of attention from attendees. "We think guys have experienced aiming at a variety of things when they go to the bathroom. Here we want them to progress through a game when they aim at a target in the toilet. We think this is a completely new concept where they can play a game without using their hands or fingers."
Nintendo Co. on Wednesday officially unveiled its anticipated hand-held Nintendo 3DS, which allows users to play 3-D games and experience enhanced networking services. The clam-shell device, which comes with a built-in camera to shoot 3-D photos, is priced at ¥25,000 and due to hit Japanese store shelves on Feb. 26, 2011, the company said. Unlike viewing 3-D movies or television, a special pair of glasses is not required to play the 3DS, which looks similar to the Nintendo DS but has screens on each upper and bottom side.