Category Archives: SCI-TECH

Nintendo offers new Super Mario Odyssey details and demo of Square’s intriguing ‘Project Octopath Traveler’

Nintendo announced a few items today to hold gamers over until the holiday season — and to appease would-be SNES Classic buyers. It announced a few details of its most anticipated upcoming games and even a demo (remember those?) of a throwback title from Square Enix that caught everyone’s eye way back at the Switch launch event. Read More

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Nintendo will revive the NES Classic and continue selling the SNES Classic in 2018

Good news for old skool Nintendo enthusiasts — the company has said it will revive the NES Classic Edition next year, and it plans to continue selling the SNES Classic in 2018, too.
The company originally killed off the hit NES Classic Edition with an announcement in April and it had also said that the SNES version, which went up for pre-sale last month, would not live beyond this year. Read More

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5 Apps To Make Your Life Easier In Japan: Part II

Ah, smartphone apps, those overused, under-appreciated little guardians that help us navigate our way through this world! Whether it’s learning something new, deciding what to eat, keeping up to date with current affairs or figuring out how to get somewhere, it’s crazy to think we ever survived without them. As a foreigner in Japan apps are our saviors, helping us decipher languages and customs or giving us insight into the world we never even knew about. But with the abundance of choices out there, isn’t it hard to decide what is really worthy of the prime real estate that is out home screen?

Last year, we offered a list of our 7 Free Apps to Make Life Easier in Japan, but it’s time to revisit our stance. Here are our latest five picks!

1. Master The Lingo: Duolingo

It feels like it’s been a long time coming but the Japanese version of Duolingo is finally here! Now available on both Android and iOS, the language-learning app, which boasts 170 million users and over 20 different language courses, added Japanese to their repertoire in May this year. As people start to ditch the textbooks in exchange for easy to use and super fun ‘game-ified’ apps for learning or maintaining their language knowledge, Duolingo has become one of the best ways to keep up-to date while on the run. It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or someone who’s been living here for years, the app can adjust to your level, and given its segmented mini-topics is the perfect way to brush up while waiting for the train.

What makes Duolingo so addictive is its little ‘streak’ feature where users are encouraged to log in and pass a check test every day to maintain their ‘streak’ and a smug sense of self-satisfaction. …continue reading


Taito announces online claw game for remote play via phone app

taito online crane game claw

The claw game is a staple of the Japanese game center arcade, where it is known as the crane game. It has also withstood the tests of time quite well and remains popular, despite its obviously analog nature.

Innovations like this also help keep the game relevant and exciting.

Taito has created a new online take on the claw game. Scheduled to start from this autumn, players will be able to try their luck at grabbing hold of a toy or piece of merchandise in the box by controlling the crane arm remotely via a smartphone app or computer accessing the game website.

taito online crane game claw

If players are able to secure the prize, it will be then be automatically delivered to the player’s home.

The game can be played 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. Details of the app and website have yet to be announced.

We wonder how popular this will be, given that the appeal of the claw game resides in how it is played right in front of you — where you can see how close you are to securing the prize with the claw — and is best enjoyed particularly with a group of friends cheering you on. As neat an innovation as this is, it may not really capture the spirit of the original game.

A similar service, Net Catcher, already launched in Japan in 2015.

The Internet of Things has arrived and has, it seems, intriguing implications even for game centers.

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