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.


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

The Japan Times

When it comes to culture and entertainment, Japan has a rich history spanning 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.


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.


Minecraft steps into virtual reality as Samsung Gear VR Edition appears in Oculus Store

PCWorld

Minecraft--the popular world-building game--is now available in virtual reality. Minecraft: Gear VR Edition went on sale Wednesday in the Oculus Store, selling at 7 to download. The game includes all the features of Pocket Edition, including a "creative" mode that lets you build out a world, "survival" mode for fighting, and a multiplayer option. While available in the Oculus store, the game is meant to be played on the 100 Samsung Gear VR headset, which in turn requires the use of a Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 Edge, Galaxy Note5, Galaxy S6 edge, Galaxy S6, or Galaxy S6 Edge. "Experiencing (Minecraft) in virtual reality changes it from an abstract activity to a visceral one," Oculus's John Carmack said in a blog post announcing the game.


Console makers banking on virtual reality

The Japan Times

NEW YORK – Gaming console maker Sony Corp. is betting big on virtual reality, with a new headset and a slew of games set for release later this year, while rival Microsoft Corp. is also developing its own hardware to make use of the immersive technology. Shawn Layden, president of Sony Interactive Entertainment America, touted the company's upcoming PlayStation VR in June just prior to the E3 video games trade show in Los Angeles. The headset is scheduled to hit shelves in Japan for 44,980 (about 450) and for 399 in the United States on Oct. 13, along with game titles based on "Star Wars" and "Batman" movies. Square Enix's action role-playing game "Final Fantasy XV" and Capcom's horror game "Resident Evil 7: Biohazard" will also be added later. Once connected to the PlayStation 4 console, the headset will enable a user to experience a three-dimensional world and interact with that environment during a game.