Tokyo Game Show 2004 – smartphone games, mobile games at the center

Tokyo Game Show, Japan's games industries www.eurotechnology.com

Tokyo Game Show 2004: smartphone games, mobile phones games the most exciting topic

Games are one of the drivers for mobile phones – and mobile phones are a driver for games. So the Tokyo Games Show is the place to go…

Tokyo Game Show 2004: Docomo’s mobile game partners

DoCoMo – as usual at most trade shows I attend in Tokyo – had one of the most impressive central exhibits with beautiful corners/desks for 15 selected i-mode game partners, out of over 4000 i-mode content partners thats a very select few:

Outline of DoCoMo's exhibit at Tokyo Game Show TGS2004
Outline of DoCoMo’s exhibit at Tokyo Game Show TGS2004

Out of the selected 15 few, the makers of Final-Fantasy had the top spot and 3-4 times more space than all others – clearly an enviable spot on i-mode. Not surprisingly Final Fantasy is consistently at the top of the i-mode roleplaying game ranking:

SquareEnix booth at the DoCoMo exhibit of Tokyo Game Show TGS2004
SquareEnix booth at the DoCoMo exhibit of Tokyo Game Show TGS2004

Tokyo Game Show 2004: SONY PSP – PlayStation Portable

Probably the center of the show was SONY’s PSP preview (PSP = PlayStation Portable). With a 333MHz CPU the PSP would have been a supercomputer and subject to serious trade-friction talks between US and Japan trade negotiators not that long ago…. how times change. IEEE802.11b WiFi “HotSpot” connectivity brings the PSP into the serious communication segment – what holds someone back adding VOIP to a PSP, undercutting the business models of most mobile operators… The PSP is clearly disruptive innovation in action…

SONY PSP mockup at Tokyo Game Show TGS2004
SONY PSP mockup at Tokyo Game Show TGS2004

everyone wanted his/her hands on a PSP:

All hands reach for SONY's PSP at Tokyo Game Show TGS2004
All hands reach for SONY’s PSP at Tokyo Game Show TGS2004

People love car races. I counted at least five stunning car race games. The most impressive display for me was SONY’s “Gran Turismo 4” to be released December 3, 2004. But I am no expert in car racing games – yet.

SONY's Gran Turismo at Tokyo Game Show TGS2004
SONY’s Gran Turismo at Tokyo Game Show TGS2004

Mobile phones without NOKIA? In Japan, that’s essentially so. NOKIA tried to enter Japan’s markets several times – I tried a DoCoMo-NOKIA NM502i for a few months. NOKIA had a nice display at the Tokyo Game Show, the emphasis was on helping Japanese game developers enter GSM markets via the NOKIA platform.

NOKIA exhibiting at Tokyo Game Show TGS2004
NOKIA exhibiting at Tokyo Game Show TGS2004

Are these women ATARI’s software engineers?

ATARI at Tokyo Game Show TGS2004
ATARI at Tokyo Game Show TGS2004
ATARI at Tokyo Game Show TGS2004
ATARI at Tokyo Game Show TGS2004

…and ATI:

ATI at Tokyo Game Show TGS2004
ATI at Tokyo Game Show TGS2004

Purchase and download our report on “Tokyo Game Show 2004” with 150 photographs here

…and our report and analysis on “Japan’s game industry” with about 140 pages here:

www.eurotechnology.com/store/jgames/

Copyright·©1997-2013 ·Eurotechnology Japan KK·All Rights Reserved·

iTunes versus Chaku-Uta downloads – Mobile Music Rocks…

It’s tempting to compare iTunes and Chaku-Uta statistics to get a feel for the meaning of the Motorola-iTunes deal. Here we go:

KDDI-AU Chaku-Uta ring-tone downloads versus global Apple iTunes sales
KDDI-AU Chaku-Uta ring-tone downloads versus global Apple iTunes sales

More about Japanese telecom sector and mobile in Japan: Eurotechnology Japan report on Japan’s telecom sector

More about Mobile Music in Japan: “Mobile-Music” report

Copyright·©1997-2013 ·Eurotechnology Japan KK·All Rights Reserved·

Global Mobile phone ring tone market

Global mobile phone ring tone market (source: Consect LLC, WSJ) in 2004:

W Europe: US$ 1.5 billion (37.5%)
Japan: US$ 1.0 billion (24.0%)
Korea: US$ 0.5 billion (12.5%)
US: US$ 0.3 billion (7.5%)
ROW: US$ 0.7 billion (17.5%)
———————————
Total: US$ 4.0 billion (100%)

see: “Mobile Music in Japan” (report, pdf file)

Copyright·©1997-2013 ·Eurotechnology Japan KK·All Rights Reserved·

21.6 million 3G subscribers in Japan (31 August 2004)

The mobile phone subscriber statistics for August 2004 in Japan came out:

3G subscribers:

KDDI/AU: 15,511,800 subscribers, conversion rate to 3G: 86.1%
DoCoMo: 5,900,200 subscribers, conversion rate to 3G: 12.6%
Vodafone: 237,600 subscribers, conversion rate to 3G: 1.6%

Copyright·©1997-2013 ·Eurotechnology Japan KK·All Rights Reserved·

KDDI/AU has 80% of users on 3G

80% of KDDI/AU users are now converted to 3G, and KDDI/AU does not sell any 2G phones any more: only 3G and 3.5G (2.4Mbps data download).

Conversion to 3G in Japan: AU leads, DoCoMo and Vodafone follow. Vodafone's 3G conversion has stalled because of lack or attractive handsets in Japan and too low investment in 3G base stations
Conversion to 3G in Japan: AU leads, DoCoMo and Vodafone follow. Vodafone’s 3G conversion has stalled because of lack or attractive handsets in Japan and too low investment in 3G base stations

Here is KDDI/AU‘s newest 3.5G phone – the W21SA, for 2.4Mbps data download:

KDDI 3G mobile handset W21SA
KDDI 3G mobile handset W21SA

More about Japan’s mobile telecom sector:Eurotechnology Japan report on Japan’s telecom industry

Copyright·©1997-2013 ·Eurotechnology Japan KK·All Rights Reserved·

Economist on 3G: "Vision, meet reality"

Just read an article in the Economist:

“Mobile 3G telecoms: Vision, meet reality”

which quotes ITU’s 2000 vision for 3G (ITU = International Telecommunication Union):

The device will function as a phone, a computer, a television, a pager, a videoconferencing centre, a newspaper, a diary and even a credit card…it will support not only voice communications but also real-time video and full-scale multimedia. It will automatically search the internet for relevant news and information on pre-selected subjects, book your next holiday for you online and download a bedtime story for your child, complete with moving pictures. It will even be able to pay for goods when you shop via wireless electronic funds transfer. In short, the new mobile handset will become the single, indispensable “life tool”, carried everywhere by everyone, just like a wallet or purse is today.

Interestingly, every single detail of ITU’s 2000 3G-vision has now been realized now by DoCoMo in Japan.

Copyright·©1997-2013 ·Eurotechnology Japan KK·All Rights Reserved·

Wireless Japan 2004

NEC tag multimedia concept phone shown at “Wireless-Japan 2004”:

Concept model phone by NEC at WirelessJapan-2004 exhibition
Concept model phone by NEC at WirelessJapan-2004 exhibition

“Wireless Japan 2004” – much was expected: for example, it wasn’t surprising for anyone that DoCoMo’s i-Mode-FeliCa wallet-phones were center stage of the DoCoMo exhibit with lots of partners demoing wallet-phone applications.

There were some surprises: In recent Wireless-Japan shows usually the KDDI/AU-design project prototypes were at the center of attention – this year I could not find any. For example, at Wireless-Japan-2002, KDDI/AU showed “Infobar” prototypes a full 16 months before market introduction. Did KDDI/AU decide to keep future design-project releases secret until they hit the market? Could well be so, given Japan’s increasingly ferocious mobile phone competition. Another surprise was Vodafone’s absence – Vodafone in recent years used to have the biggest show.

On the other hand this time most handset makers showed impressive concept phones, Matsushita/Panasonic under the heading “Beyond 3G”. The image shows NEC’s concept design study of a flexible multimedia phone: this phone has two screens which can be bent together, and used jointly as a larger screen.

Copyright·©1997-2013 ·Eurotechnology Japan KK·All Rights Reserved·