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att. Japanese Culture - Video Games What's Coming Next?
att. Culture - Video Games – What's Coming Next?
You are here: att.JAPAN > General Information > Video Games What's Coming Next?
att.JAPAN Issue 54, December 2010

Video Games – What's Coming Next?

With technological innovation at amazing speed, diversification of platforms, changing preferences, etc., “video games” are now at a major turning point. What will be the next game to capture people's hearts?

 Tokyo Game Show 2010
The “Tokyo Game Show 2010” was held at Makuhari Messe, Chiba Prefecture, from September 16-19, 2010. The number of visitors to this year's TGS exceeded 200,000 – the best attendance figures on record since the event began. The Messe was bustling with visitors of various ages and nationalities. One of the most attention-grabbing exhibits at this year's event was a special booth showcasing “smart phone games,” which have recently enjoyed great hype and publicity. The sight of visitors playing games by directly touching the screens of smart phones gives evidence of a change in the gaming world and a shift away from the previously dominant formula of “TV/monitor plus console and handheld controller.”


 

 Diversification of Gaming Styles
Video games have become incredibly popular thanks to the proliferation of arcade games and home video game consoles. Nintendo's Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) and Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE) 's PlayStation were born in Japan and spread throughout the world. Portable video game devices, which can be carried around and played anywhere, have since overturned the traditional image of gaming styles where users sit back to play, and these portable games have contributed to the further growth of the video game world.

 

 Home Video Game Consoles
Home video game systems have continued to advance, and today there are three hardware devices competing against each other: Nintendo's Wii, SCE 's PlayStation 3, and Microsoft's Xbox 360. Each of these consoles offers Internet services for online competition or data exchange with other players as well as the purchase and download of games and software programs.

Wii has a stick-shaped controller and players play by intuitively waving, swinging and shaking this “remote control.” Upon release, this device completely changed the conventional gaming style of being sat in front of a TV. Some of the most popular Wii software includes titles such as "Wii Sports" and "Wii Fit." A new release in the "Legend of Zelda" series and the Wii version of "Billy's Boot Camp" are to be launched in 2011.

PlayStation 3 is a multimedia device through which users can play game software of more than 800 titles (including download version), browse the Internet, watch movies (Blu-ray Disc), listen to music, and chat online. A motion controller "PlayStation Move" went on sale in October 2010. PS3 game “Gran Turismo 5,” the latest title in the globally popular racing game series, was released in November 2010. "Final Fantasy XIV," which can be played online, is slated to be released in early March, 2011.


PlayStation 3 (c)2009 Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. All rights reserved. Design and specifications are subject to change without notice.

Final Fantasy XIV (c)2010 SQUARE ENIX CO.,LTD. All rights reserved.

Gran Turismo 5 (c) 2010 Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. Manufacturers, cars, names, brands and associated imagery featured in this game in some cases include trademarks and/or copyrighted materials of their respective owners. All rights reserved. Any depiction or recreation of real world locations, entities, businesses, or organizations is not intended to be or imply any sponsorship or endorsement of this game by such party or parties.


 

A new Xbox 360 accessory, "Kinect," was released in November 2010. This device has sensors to distinguish the actions and voices of players and reflect these things in the game, which means that players do not need to hold or operate a controller of any kind. Games specifically designed for Kinect will be released in quick succession, including "DanceEvolution," a rhythm action game from Konami.


Kinect

 

 Portable Video Game Consoles
Game Boy was a wildly successful portable game console that played a significant role in securing the position of portable games. Today, Nintendo DS, a console that players intuitively play by touching the screen with a pen-shaped stylus, is the predominant portable game device and has established new game genres, including "brain training," to become popular with all kinds of users, regardless of age or gender. “Nintendo   3DS," which is to be released in February 2011, is the world's first video game console to use built-in 3D imaging technology. Don't miss the 3D versions of the "Mario Kart" and "Resident Evil" series, which are slated to be released soon.

SCE 's PlayStation Portable (PSP) is following Nintendo DS. "Monster Hunter Portable 3rd" was released in December 2010 in Japan, and the series has sold a total of 13 million units.


PlayStation Portable (c)2009 Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. All rights reserved. Design and specifications are subject to change without notice.

Monster Hunter Portable 3rd (c)CAPCOM CO.,LTD.2010 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.


 

 Cell Phone / Smart Phone Games
Cell phones have evolved in unique ways in Japan – for example, with the attachment of various Japan-specific functions. Users can install their favorite applications via the Internet and play games ranging from simple puzzles and quizzes to full-scale adventure games.

Various game applications are also being released for smart phones, which are rapidly gaining popularity not only in Japan, but throughout the rest of the world as well. Classic role-playing games "Final Fantasy " and "Final Fantasy II" were released in Apple's iPhone App Store and became a hot topic in 2010, while other famous video games such as the "Puyo Puyo" and "Bomberman" series were also converted for play on smart phones.


Final Fantasy (c)1987,2010 SQUARE ENIX CO.,LTD. All rights reserved. ILLUSTRATION:(c)1987 YOSHITAKA AMANO


 

 SNS Games
Games are also becoming popular as content on social network service (SNS) websites, and major SNS services, such as MySpace, Facebook and mixi (a Japan-only SNS) now offer game applications. Sometimes playing with social network friends is enjoyable, and sometimes playing alone is fun. These games tend to be highly attractive and are easy for first-time users to play.


mixi


 

Games continue to transform on an almost daily basis. Which game are you addicted to?

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