Skyrim First Western Game to Get Perfect Score in Famitsu

November 29, 2011 -

Bethesda Softworks’ newest open-world single-player RPG The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim has managed to do what no Western game has ever done before: get a perfect score in Japan's most popular and prominent magazine, Famitsu. Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim has become the first Western game to receive a perfect 40/40 review score in the Japanese magazine - pulling off what games like with Grand Theft Auto IV, Red Dead Redemption, LA Noire, Modern Warfare 2, Modern Warfare 3, and Call of Duty: Black Ops, Gears of War 3, and FIFA 12 could not do.

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PlayStation Vita UMD 'Transfer' Pricing Revealed for Japan

November 11, 2011 -

With the pending release of PlayStation Vita in Japan, Sony has finally revealed how owners of UMD-based games will be able to get digital versions of them on their new PlayStation hand-held devices. All games will have to be re-purchased to be played on Vita, but those who can prove via UMD that they already own games will get a discount when re-purchasing the same content digitally.

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'Saints Row Penetrator' Altered In Saints Row The Third for Japan

November 11, 2011 -

Ding.Dong.Ditch. It looks like Japan is not comfortable with the giant sex-toy weapon in Saint's Row The Third. Even though the game received the highest rating it could for its content in the region (CERO Z - basically adults only), the "Saints Row Penetrator" had to be altered for the game to be released in the region.

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Report: Nexon IPO Worth $1.3 Billion

November 8, 2011 -

Free-to-play MMO company Nexon is planning an initial public offering on the Tokyo Stock Exchange next month, according to a TechCrunch report. The IPO is reportedly worth $1.3 billion USD, or ¥100 billion. The TechCrunch report is based on a report in the Japanese business paper The Nikkei. If the valuation turns out to be accurate, it could make Nexon the most valuable IPO in Japan this year. The IPO will be handled by Nomura Securities, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs, with Nexon expected to be approved for the listing by the end of the week.

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3DS Tops Japanese Sales Charts

September 22, 2011 -

It looks like after some tumultuous times at retail in Japan, the Nintendo 3DS is making a comeback. According to retail sales data from Media Create, the 3DS managed to move 58,837 units last week, while the PlayStation 3 sold 36,061 units - half of what it did the week prior. If anything the price cut is helping, despite the grumblings from the investor class. The PSP remained mostly flat for the week, while the Wii sold 5,000 more than it did a week earlier.

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Battlefield 3 Sole Western Award Winner at TGS

September 20, 2011 -

According to Andriasang only one Western game managed to break into the Future Awards ranks at the Tokyo Game Show - and it wasn't Call of Duty. EA's Battlefield 3 stood out like a sore thumb in the awards list, honored alongside such Japanese darlings as Final Fantasy XIII-2, Final Fantasy Type-0, Monster Hunter G, and Phantasy Star Online 2. The award winners are chosen based on attendee feedback - who are asked to choose their favorites among any game on display on the show floor or announced at the event.

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Tokyo Game Show Attendance Figures

September 19, 2011 -

The Tokyo Game Show is over and organizers have released the final attendance numbers, among other information. According to organizers, a total of 222,668 people attended the event during its four day run, up from last year's number of 207,000 attendees.

A new single day attendance record was set as well on September 17 when 86,251 showed up to take part on the festivities of the opening day. Sunday attendance was down slightly to 83,744 people, compared to last year.

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Nintendo Stocks Continue Decline on 3DS Fears

September 9, 2011 -

Nintendo stocks declined 2.3 percent - the biggest decline in more than two weeks - in Osaka trading on the growing concern that price cuts to the 3DS will not do enough for the company to meet its full-year sales target. Nintendo stock fell 2.3 percent to 13,160 yen, the biggest drop the company has seen since August 24. Overall, the stock has declined 45 percent this year.

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Fukushima Game Jam Announced

August 26, 2011 -

IGDA Japan is organizing the Fukushima Game Jam, a developer event that it hopes will stimulate game development following the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan last year. The Game Jam is organized with the help 9Leap, a student development contest and will take place from August 27 to 28 in Minami-Souma city. The event is modeled after Global Game Jam hosted by the IGDA each year, where development teams take a theme given by organizers to create a game in a limited amount of time.

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3DS Sales Climb in Japan After Price Cut

August 16, 2011 -

Nintendo 3DS hand-held sales in Japan climbed to the second-highest levels since the system's release last February as the company cut prices by about 40 percent, according to data gathered by research firm Enterbrain Inc. Nintendo sold 214,821 3DS units in Japan last week, the most since the 371,326 units it sold in the last week of February when the system was introduced. Nintendo cut the price of the 3DS to 15,000 yen ($195) on Aug. 11 from 25,000 yen.

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Investors Mad at Nintendo for not Developing iOS Games

August 11, 2011 -

In one the oddest investor complaints ever, Nintendo's shareholders are reportedly mad at the maker of Mario, Zelda and the Wii, for not leveraging its core franchises on Apple's iOS platforms. Apparently investors haven't noticed for the life of the company's video game industry involvement that Nintendo does not swim in any other ponds but its own. According to a report from Bloomberg's Mike Firn (reporting from Tokyo), investors are now saying that it should develop titles for Apple's iPhone.

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Deus Ex: Human Revolution Slightly Censored for Japan

August 8, 2011 -

If you happen to live in Japan, you may or may not notice (you will now because we're telling you about it right here, so "you're welcomed") that the Japanese retail version of Deus Ex: Human Revolution has undergone two edits to protect audiences from "body organs and sexual objects."

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Atelier Meruru Rating Revoked in Japan, Shipments Halted

July 28, 2011 -

Japanese game publisher and developer Gust has halted shipments of its latest Atelier role-playing game, Atelier Meruru, after the Japanese ratings board CERO raised objections to some scenes. The board said that the game featured some scenes that do not fit its "A" rating.

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Sony Apologizes for Continued PSN Downtime in Japan

June 24, 2011 -

Sony of Japan has issued a small statement on the continued downtime of the PlayStation Network and its Qriocity services in Japan. The company had said that it would relaunch both at the end of last month, but that never happened. Sony's new statement offers Japanese players apologies for the long wait and that it needs more time "to make adjustments with the various related parties." The company offers no timeline for when these services will return as it attempts to appease customers, the Japanese government and credit card companies.

The hold-up relates mostly to Sony meeting the strict demands of the government and credit card companies. So far it has not managed to convince either that everything is safe and secure. Further, the government wants Sony to explain how it will give customers confidence again that its services are safe.

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New PS3 Model Confirmed for Japan

June 20, 2011 -

Confirming rumors from earlier this month, Sony has opened an official page for the new CECH-3000B model PlayStation 3. The new hardware will begin shipping sometime later this month in Japan.

The official page confirms details from a retail advertisement that was leaked to the public earlier this month. The new model will be available in Charcoal Black, will feature lower power consumption at 200 watts, will weigh around 2.6kg, and will include a 320 gigabyte hard drive. It will be priced at ¥34,980, the same price point for other PS3 models on the market in the region. Accessories include the usual - a Dual Shock 3 controller, power cable, AV cable and USB cable.

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Nintendo Stocks See Second Day of Decline on Wii U News

June 9, 2011 -

Nintendo has suffered its second substantial drop in its stock price just days after its E3 press conference where it announced the Wii U console and controller. On Wednesday the company saw a 5.7 drop in its stock price and today it dipped an additional 5.2 percent (as of this writing). The consecutive declines for the Japanese console maker came after the company announced its new console, but the exact cause is up for interpretation, according to one Japanese financial analyst.

According to Mitsushige Akino, a chief fund manager at Ichiyoshi Investment Management, the decline has more to do with a perceived shift in the broader videogame universe.

"The product itself is not bad–market expectations had been far too high," Akino told the Wall Street Journal. "..it is also a reflection of structural issues caused by a transformation within the market."

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Cosplay Calendar Proceeds Go to Japan Disaster Relief

May 31, 2011 -

If you’re jonesing to help out with disaster relief in Japan but haven’t yet found the right incentive, maybe a calendar chockfull of cosplayers dressing up as their favorite anime and videogame characters will be just the thing you’re looking for.

Well, it just so happens that Cosplay for a Cause is selling such a calendar, tapping into fans’ love of costuming to raise money to assist in Japan’s disaster relief aid after a tsunami smacked the country around back in March.

“This calendar is full of high quality, never before seen photos, specifically done for this project. Each month will also come with a small illustration done by one of the 4 professional comic book artists involved in the project.

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Nintendo: Thick as a Brick on 3DS TOS

May 27, 2011 -

As a way to send Nintendo a "message" about the 3DS' Terms of Service (TOS), anti-DRM group Free Software Foundation urged the community to order the company a cardboard brick. The group put out the call for action on May 9, asking the community to send Nintendo a brick for a brick - referring to the 3DS TOS which gives the company the power to "brick" (permanently disable) the system. The goal set was 200 and today the group announced that it has surpassed that goal.

"The Nintendo 3DS is Defective by Design and your Terms of Service are dubious, devious, and defective for the following reasons," the website's opening remarks to the community read.

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Japanese PSN Reboot in May Still Planned, Says Sony

May 26, 2011 -

Citing a news story in Japanese publication Mainichi Digital, the fine folks at Adriasang report that Sony still plans on relaunching the PlayStation Network and other associated services in the month of May - even as the clock runs out on the month. With the last day of May coming up fast next Tuesday it is still a possibility but a fleeting one.

During its earnings briefing yesterday Sony of Japan said that they have not yet given up on a relaunch in May. Mainichi Digital reports that Sony officials said of the Japanese service, "We have not given up on a May restart."

Nikkei reported last week that Sony was planning to relaunch by the end of the month, but the company has been struggling to deliver information on security requested by the Japanese government and credit card companies.

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Play For Japan Charity Album Details

May 25, 2011 -

The Play for Japan charity has announced the tracks that will be on its benefit album set for release in June on iTunes. The charity is being put together to benefit victims of the Japanese earthquake and tsunamis earlier this year. Proceeds from the album will go towards helping those providing relief efforts in the region: the Japanese Red Cross.

The album will feature art by Yoshitaka Amano and music from various game composers including Akira Yamaoka, Chance Thomas, Inon Zur, Tommy Tallarico and more. A full list of tracks (provided by Shacknews) can be found below:

 

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Report: Credit Card Companies Holding Up PSN in Japan

May 23, 2011 -

While there was mention that the Japanese government was holding up the relaunch of PlayStation Network in the country, credit card companies are also in the mix, along with the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI). According to a new report from Asahi Shimbun daily (by way of Andriasang), both parties have specific demands of Sony before they will let the company get back to business in its home country.

According to the report, METI and credit card companies are demanding that Sony detail the protections it has put in place for credit card users. In Japan credit card companies are held liable for things such as fraud, so it makes sense that they demand extra security measures from Sony. In the United States the company has an insurance policy in place to provide protection from such problems.

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Report: PSN Japan Back Online This Month

May 23, 2011 -

Adriasang is reporting that the PlayStation Network will be back online sometime later this month in Japan. The government had asked the company to provide more assurances that it had better security on its service. PSN users outside of Japan have had access to some of the services since last week.

Delays in Japan were brought on by requests from the government and some credit card companies who wanted more information from Sony. Credit card companies are being hard on Sony because they would be held accountable in the event of card misuse. In America, Sony has insurance to cover that kind of damage.

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Play for Japan Raises $120,000 Through Charity Auctions

May 19, 2011 -

Play For Japan has managed to raise an impressive $120,000 for Japanese relief efforts since its inception. The charity was put together to support the victims of earthquakes and tsunamis in Japan. A large portion of the country was affected, with nearly 15,000 deaths attributed to the March natural disaster that put the country in turmoil.

Developers, publishers and fans donated game-related merchandise to charity auctions to raise funds for relief organizations such as the Red Cross. The large amount of cash raised to date is a good indicator that the auctions are a great success for the group.

Currently the group is auctioning a variety of God of War-related items. You can check those items out and bid on them here.

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Sony Services on Hold in Japan

May 16, 2011 -

While the PlayStation Network has launched in North America, Europe and other regions, the relaunch of Sony’s services in Japan has been held up by regulators in Japan. According to a Dow Jones report, the PSN will not be relaunched in Japan until Sony provides assurances to the government that it has added additional security to its network services.

"We met with Sony on May 6 and 13, and basically we want two things from them," said Kazushige Nobutani, director of the Media and Content Industry department at the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

"The first is preventative measures. As of May 13, Sony was incomplete in exercising measures that they said they will do on the May 1 press conference," he said, although he refused to provide exact details of the measures for security reasons.

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Sony Japan: Services Fully Restarted By May 31

May 9, 2011 -

Sony Japan says that its PlayStation Network and Qriocity online services may not come back online until the end of May. Speaking to http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-05-09/sony-s-playstation-qriocity-ser... ">Bloomberg by phone, spokesman Shigenori Yoshida told the publication on Sunday that the services would remain offline and that the company is uncertain as to when they will be back online. Sony shut down the PlayStation Network and Qriocity April 20 because of security breach initiated by unknown hackers.

Yoshida added that the company is testing and adopting improved security measures and that the service would "restart the services fully by May 31."

Of course "fully" means fully operational with all services intact. Sony has said in the past that it would restart some of the services sooner than later.

We will continue to follow this story as it develops.

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Play for Japan Raises $100,000 for Relief Efforts

May 3, 2011 -

Gamers have shown that they care about Japan and its people by raising $100,000 in less than one month for Play For Japan (PFJ). Organizers of the global campaign designed to raise funds for the victims of the recent tragedies in Japan, announced today that the campaign has raised over $100,000 in less than one month of its launch on March 16.

"When we launched Play For Japan we knew the support from our peers would be there," said the Play For Japan committee. "We are blown away with how quickly individuals and corporations contributed, and to the degree in which they did. It’s impossible to express our gratitude enough. What we hope now is that the awareness continues. With any tragedy like this, the hardest thing is to sustain support once the event is out of the news. It will take a lot of hard work and possibly a decade to rebuild the country."

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World of Warcraft Cenarion Hatchling Emerges for Japan Relief Efforts

May 2, 2011 -

Blizzard Entertainment has released a new World of Warcraft companion to the pet store, with 100 percent of the proceeds going to relief efforts for Japan. World of Warcraft players that purchase the new pet can take comfort in the fact that they are getting a new in-game friend and that all the money they paid for it goes to help Japan with its ongoing relief efforts. The Cenarion Hatchling costs $10 USD.

The Cenarion Hatchling is the twin of the rare Hippogryph Hatchling pet players could randomly encounter in the first World of Warcraft Trading Card Game set, Heroes of Azeroth. Now he is available for your pleasure. For every Cenarion Hatchling purchased between now and July 31, Blizzard will donate 100 percent of the $10 USD "adoption fee" to the American Red Cross's Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami relief efforts.

For more information, check out this page.

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EA Raises $1 Million for Japan Relief Efforts

April 21, 2011 -

Electronic Arts announced that it has raised over $1 million dollars for Japan earthquake and tsunami aid. EA credits the success of the campaign through a combination of efforts among EA's internal studios, employees and gamers who worked hard to raise relief funds for the people impacted by the disasters. EA implemented giving programs through its titles, fan communities and social gaming platforms, all proceeds of which will be distributed via the Red Cross, Mercy Corps and AmeriCares.

EA SPORTS ran a donation program in FIFA 11 Ultimate Team where all proceeds collected in a 24 hour period on March 26 were donated to the Red Cross. Pogo.com and The Sims teamed up with the American Red Cross and encouraged their online audiences to support relief efforts by making donations to a co-branded microsite.

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Report: Sony May Shut Down in Summer to Save Power

April 18, 2011 -

According to a BBC report, Sony of Japan may shut down some of its facilities to conserve energy. The company is doing its part in the wake of the earthquake and tsunami that wreaked havoc on Tohoku March 11. Japan has been suffering energy shortages since last month due mostly to damage to nuclear and thermal power stations, most notably at the Fukushima Daiichi plant.

Last week the Japanese government set energy conservation targets and asked manufacturers to reduce consumption. For Sony to accomplish its goal of shutting down in the summer, it plans to bring forward various national holidays so that its workers can have some time off. Given that summer is when demand for electricity is at its peak, this is probably the best course of action. Employees will make up the time later in the year when the shortages are expected to be resolved.

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Enterbrain: Quake Has Impact On Japanese Sales

April 18, 2011 -

According to data from Japanese research firm Enterbrain, the Japanese game industry has been hurt badly by the March 11 disaster. Enterbrain CEO Hirozaku Hamamura showed a slide at a Tokyo seminar last Friday (translated by Andriasang) detailing the loss. Hamamura explained that the bulk of lost sales were due to the numerous game delays because of the earthquake. He mentioned games such as Yakuza Of The End, Steel Diver and Dead Or Alive Dimensions. Japanese publication Sankei News estimate that 7.3 billion yen (88.56 million USD) has been lost by the video game industry in the weeks since natural disasters in Japan.

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PHX CorpI'm going to do a test stream later today, if anyone is intrested07/31/2014 - 2:40pm
Andrew EisenYes, I'm such a big Nintendo dork that I read Nintendo's quarterly financial reports.07/31/2014 - 2:09pm
Andrew EisenCool tidbit - Mario Kart 8 sales account for more than half of total Wii U software sales for the last quarter even though it was only available for the last third.07/31/2014 - 2:09pm
Andrew EisenStill a pretty cool promotion. Unfortunately for me, I'm not interested in purchasing Mario Kart 8 and I already owned or didn't want any of the free games on offer.07/31/2014 - 1:43pm
Andrew EisenInteresting that EU had 10 games to choose from while North America only had four.07/31/2014 - 1:41pm
MaskedPixelanteIt certainly worked, I probably would never have bought Mario Kart 8 if it didn't come with a free copy of Wind Waker HD.07/31/2014 - 1:14pm
Andrew EisenI imagine will see similar promotions like "Buy Mario Kart 8 get a download code for one of these specific games" but almost certainly not for all of its (however you would define) biggest releases.07/31/2014 - 11:24am
MaskedPixelanteI wonder if Nintendo is going to be doing "buy one get one free" promos for all their biggest releases going forward.07/31/2014 - 10:48am
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.mcvuk.com/news/read/special-report-retail-revolt-over-pc-code-strippers/013614007/31/2014 - 8:27am
ZippyDSMleeWouldn't they be able to afford and get done in a timely manner a general gba emluator for the 3DS? It seems to me if they want to make money off sales they need to do it.07/31/2014 - 7:25am
Sora-ChanAmbassador program, that's what I was looking for. Anyway the other games that have been made no longer exclusive to the early adopters got updates in their software. It'll only be a matter of time more than likely for the GBA to get the same treatment.07/31/2014 - 5:35am
Sora-ChanI might be naming it incorrectly when I say "founder" i mean the program for earlier adopters.07/31/2014 - 5:34am
Sora-Chanthe 3DS's GBA emulator was a rush job due to the founder program. No other GBA titles have been released on the 3DS yet. If/When they do get around to it, they'll more than likely update the emulation software.07/31/2014 - 5:32am
Zenemulator...it's not just a slap job that makes "some" work..they do it for each which is why they work so well. I would rather have the quality over just a slap job.07/30/2014 - 5:48pm
ZenMatthew there is a difference between "worked" and "accurate". You play the Nintendo VC titles they play as damn close to the original as possible. The PSP would just run them as best they could, issues and all. And Masked...EACH VC title has their own07/30/2014 - 5:48pm
MaskedPixelanteOnce again, the 3DS already HAS a GBA emulator, it just can't run at the same time as the 3DS OS.07/30/2014 - 4:54pm
Matthew Wilsonyou cant street pass in ds mode ether, and if moders can make a gba emulator that runs very well on the psp as I understand it. you are telling me that Nintendo devs are not as good as moders?07/30/2014 - 4:49pm
Zenperformance. Halo 1 and 2 worked great because they actually did custom work on each of them...just like Nintendo does now lol07/30/2014 - 4:08pm
Zenexisting hardware while the GBA has to be emulated completely. Same reason the 360 couldn't run most Original Xbox games correctly, or had issues because they just did "blanket approach" for their emulation which led to game killing bugs or horrible07/30/2014 - 4:07pm
ZenSora/Matthew: It's not just Miiverse, but the whole idea of streetpass and things like that would be affected if the OS is not running. And just because a 3DS game can be downloaded and run does not mean that GBA can as easily. Those 3DS games use the07/30/2014 - 4:06pm
 

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