High-speed 5G network seen as ready to give big boost to online gaming

The Japan Times

CHIBA – Next-generation 5G networking was the big draw at Tokyo Game Show 2019, setting pulses racing with the prospect of a radically more immersive gaming experience. Offering data transmission speeds around 100 times faster than 4G, 5G is expected to enable more seamless imagery with lower latency, more vivid images and sharper motion. Industry experts say it will dramatically improve the quality of augmented and virtual reality games. "It was very smooth, responsive and consistent," said Omar Alshiji, a 23-year-old game designer from Bahrain, after trying out the fighting game "Tekken" at the NTT Docomo Inc. booth at the four-day game show in Chiba. The major mobile carrier installed 5G base stations at its booth this year, making the high-speed network available at the show.


High-speed 5G network seen as ready to give big boost to online gaming

The Japan Times

CHIBA – At this year's Tokyo Game Show, the big draw was next-generation 5G networking -- setting pulses racing with the prospect of a radically more immersive gaming experience. Offering data transmission speeds around 100 times faster than 4G, 5G is expected to enable more seamless imagery -- particularly lower latency, more vivid images -- and sharper motion. Industry experts say it will dramatically improve the quality of augmented and virtual reality games. "It was very smooth, responsive and consistent," said Omar Alshiji, a 23-year-old game designer from Bahrain, after trying out the fighting game Tekken at the NTT Docomo Inc. booth. The major mobile carrier installed 5G base stations at its booth this year, making the high-speed network available at the show.


Sony climbs as games outlook makes up for earthquake damage

The Japan Times

Sony Corp. shares rose as investors ignored a weak profit forecast, looking instead to the company's long-term prospects in entertainment and sensors needed for driverless cars and other emerging products. In New York, shares rose even after the company issued an annual profit outlook that fell short of analysts' estimates due to costs for repairs after the Kyushu earthquakes. The impact of the quakes and a slowdown in demand for image sensors that power cameras in smartphones -- including Apple Inc.'s iPhone -- are testing Sony's ability to generate more of its earnings from PlayStation gaming consoles, streaming services for its 65 million online users as well as movies and music. Still, profit at Sony's games and network services business will rise 52 percent to 135 billion ( 1.2 billion) on anticipated sales of PS4 consoles this year. "All the bad news is probably out for the time being, and we expect the focus to shift to the pace of recovery" in image sensor operations, Takeo Miyamoto, a Tokyo-based analyst at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities, wrote in a report on Tuesday after the earnings.


The Pokémon Go Effect: Nintendo Is Now Worth 9 Billion More

The Atlantic - Technology

Based on numbers (and hype) like that, investors immediately took note. Pokémon Go is a partnership between The Pokémon Company, Nintendo, and Niantic Labs (a gaming startup spun off by Google), and while The Pokémon Company is privately held, Nintendo owns a 32 percent stake. On Monday, Nintendo shares surged 25 percent in Tokyo, adding roughly 9 billion of market value to the company--taking its market capitalization to 28 billion. Aside from some hiccups in the gameplay--in Missouri, police reported that armed robbers were using the game to lure people to a parking lot, and in Wyoming, a woman exploring territory not charted in the game stumbled upon a dead body--there have been several heartwarming stories circulating on social media about the game bringing people together in the real world. Pokémon Go's current success has two implications: First, it underscores the potential of augmented reality for the average consumer, who isn't going to buy expensive gaming devices like an Oculus Rift.


Japan's 'Superhuman' sports games meld high-tech and athletics

The Japan Times

When it comes to culture and entertainment, Japan has a rich history spanning from ancient legends and sports to modern manga and video games. Now a new generation of inventors is drawing on this culture to create sports with a 21st-century twist -- helping players feel "superhuman" through technology or other special equipment. The Superhuman Sports Society, a Tokyo-based group of researchers and game designers, has certified 12 new sports since its launch in 2015, including Hado, or Wave Motion in English. In Hado, players in head-mounted augmented-reality displays and armband sensors dodge waves of light as they fire energy balls at each other in a virtual arena. The game is similar to the action seen in the "Dragon Ball Z" manga-anime franchise and "Street Fighter" video games.