Bandai Introduces Mobile Avatar Service

Bandai Networks has announced that as of today it will offer a custom mobile service based on their popular Gundam character through KDDI’s ‘Au one avatar’ platform. Members will be able to create and update their own unique avatar from an initial choice of three characters; “Mobile soldier Gundam”, “Gundam SEED DESTINY”, and “Fmofmo” which can then also be used across several of the carriers other Au one portal destinations.

Disney to Launch the iPhone in Japan

Disney to Launch the iPhone in JapanOnly those who have been totally blocked-out from all media sources over the last year would wonder what an iPhone is as the so-called “Jesus Phone” has been in the mainstream headlines since even before it was officially unveiled in January. However, for a combination of reasons, there has only been mild speculation about when – or indeed how – it would become available in the Japanese market. Citing the initial lack of 3G capability, not too mention an ‘unusual’ operator revenue share arrangement, the story so far has centered around deployments in the US and Europe. Full skinny after the jump!

CyberAgent Results Rise on CA Mobile

CyberAgent has reported consolidated results for the full year ended September 30, 2007, with net sales rising 26.4% on the previous year to 76,007 million yen, operating income rose 26.7% to 5,501 million yen, and ordinary income also rose 38.2% to 5,143 million yen on the year. These gains were driven by solid growth in site listing (search results) advertising and main portal site advertising sales in the advertising agency business, as well as sharp advances in the mobile business and commission and fee collection businesses such as the finance-related business and online game services.

DoCoMo Strikes Back with 905i-Series

DoCoMo Strikes Back with 905i-SeriesDomestic market incumbant NTT DoCoMo came out with all guns blazing during their press conference at the Grand Park Hyatt in Tokyo on November 1st. For the first time ever they combined the launch for both of their upcoming 700 and 900 series models – a record 23 handsets unveiled at once – and the announcement included several new service offerings as well. Marking another notable difference from previous line-up introductions was the absence of Natsuno-san, famed ‘father of i-mode’ and always energetic MC, from the stage.

The companies flag-ship 905i-series included 10 models which will all come fully loaded with high-speed HSDPA, 1Seg digitial-tv, DCMX m-commerce, GPS, 2in1 dual-sim identity and enabled with GSM chipsets to allow global roaming complete with voice-to-text translation capabilities for English, Chinese and Japanese. Further enhancements in handset design include increased multi-media applications in motion sensor gaming, flat-rate music subscriptions and i-motion videos along with updated i-area mapping and cell broadcast emergency announcement services and Flash Lite 3 pre-installed all coming as standard features across the board.

Taito Unveils Air Guitar for Mobile Phones

Talk about Mega Games, wish we had seen this at TGS in Sept., Taito has announced it will release a motion sensitive music application for DoCoMo 904i-series handsets (D904i excluded) in December. Their so-called “Intuition Band” game also makes use of the built-in camera sensor and a/v output allowing ‘players’ to create their very own mobile music! It will apparently also do other instruments, such as drum tracks (not sure about vocals?), and the company will be offering a free trial version via the i-mode menu from early November.

Opera's Widgets Become KDDI's Gadgets

We missed the this one somehow last week, KDDI has announced Opera Widgets will be available in December on three of their latest handsets; Toshiba W56T, Sony Ericsson W54S and Sanyo W54SA. Branded as “au one Gadget” by KDDI, the widgets provide instant access to services such as RSS feeds, game results, weather, traffic information, stocks, news, and social networking services. This is the first time Opera Widgets have shipped on mobile phones.

Digital TV for American Mobile Phones

According to this article, American broadcasters are quietly planning to beam the stations signal to cellphones, video iPods, in-car DVD players and other gadgets that would be equipped with TV tuners. The high-quality digital tv broadcasts likely would start in 2009. The new effort could pump fresh life into stations that have steadily lost viewers to cable TV, the Web, game players and mobile phones.

MangaNovel Launches Multilingual Offering

Toshiba has announced that they will bring the universe of Japanese manga to the global market with the launch of MangaNovel, an on-line service that allows readers not only to download and read manga in Japanese but to post and offer for sale translations of content in other languages. Apparently the product will be used at MIT to help students study Japanese pop culture and comics.

Tokyo Game Show 2007 – Video Report

Tokyo Game Show 2007 - Video ReportYet another successful event for in the massive Makuhari Messe convention center saw almost 200,000 pass through the gates for TGS 2007. Aaaah.. the chaos, the crowds, the girls games.. how could we resist! A sunny Saturday afternoon brought out the kids – for family day – and plenty of Cosplay actors were swarming between show halls to pose down for the camera’s. But the real action, coming from every major player in the gaming world, was inside. WWJ has been on-hand for this event pretty much every year since 2002, with the first-to-web video of the Sony PSP in 2004, and this time out was perhaps the most impressive yet.

The obvious evolution on display was without a doubt the next gen. motion-sensor enabled Mega Games at the DoCoMo booth. While KDDI rolled-out the heavy armor with Metal Gear Solid and BioHazzard for mobile RPG products, the display which seems to have grabbed the most attention was from SoftBank Mobile. Thanks to Darth and the Tokyo StormTroopers, who un-leashed the new Star Wars PodRacer game, we were hooked from Go!

Nokia Signs G-mode for SNAP Mobile

Nokia and G-mode announced at the Tokyo Game Show that they are collaborating to bring more mobile multiplayer games to the global market. G-mode is developing Chess a Moment, an online and turn-based chess game, based on the Nokia SNAP Mobile platform. Players can compete in up to eight live games simultaneously, and have up to 30 hours to ponder their next move. Nokia plans to distribute Chess a Moment on select Nokia handsets, and make the game available for global operator-assisted download, consumers can expect to get their hands on G-mode’s Chess a Moment in the fourth quarter of 2007.