All you ever need to know about Japan

After spending 10 nights in Japan I am now qualified to make sweeping statements about the Japanese culture. The following are immutable truths (told in a convenient pros and cons style) about this wonderful and bizarre country:

Pro
Suntory Boss is the boss of them all since 1992.

There’s no use denying it.

Con
Japanese people seem as pro-Japan as Americans are pro-America. I was asked by one of my gracious host’s fathers why we came to Japan. He was an awesome guy but really pushed hard for an answer he found satisfactory. I think the question was probably just mistranslated and he actually asked, “How awesome is Japan?” The same day, a man on the street approached us and told us in English that “Japan is number 1.” With proof like that who was I to argue. →  You’re tearing me apart lamers!

TGS 2007 — Fear and Loathing in Tokyo

Living in Japan allows me a certain freedom when it comes to my nerd-hood. Video game playing is all but encouraged, anime is the norm, and if you were to tell someone your life goal was to build and paint model robots, they would smile understandingly at you. Japan is indeed a land in which technology and entertainment hold hands and lovingly caress one another. As I type this, I am coasting at a leisurely 175mph on a bullet train as I watch scenery adorned with lush greenery and neon zoom by. One of the many nerdy perks to living in Japan is the knowledge that once a year, all of the big names in gaming (minus one) will converge in Tokyo and allow the public a glimpse of their brand new wares. →  Castle Readigami 2

Gaming Meccas of Japan Pt. 1 — Den Den Town, Osaka, Japan

Being a geek and living in Japan is kind of like mixing Ecstasy with LSD – it’s one hell of a trip. There are four places in Japan that should be on the must-see list for anyone who calls himself a nerd. The big one is Akihabara in Tokyo and I will be covering that in September along with The Tokyo Game Show. The third spot goes to Nintendo’s world headquarters in Kyoto but there isn’t much to see there because no one is allowed into the facility and tours are never provided. The fourth spot and topic of today’s installment is Den Den Town in Osaka.

Den Den Town can best be described as the poor man’s Akihabara. It is smaller in size, about four or five square blocks instead of an entire section of Tokyo. →  Now bear my arctic post.

Numbers are fun: Year end edition – The handhelds

A few months ago I reported that the DS was an unstoppable juggernaut that had put quite some distance between itself and the PSP. Elsewhere on this site we have mentioned that PSP software sales have fallen off. After looking at some year end numbers on handheld sales, I hold to the argument that the DS will be (already is?) the victor in this generation of portable video games I think it may be a bit early to buy Sony’s product a headstone. Lets go to the proverbial video tape.

Both handheld companies entered 2006 with approximately 3.7 million units of hardware sold (DS had slightly more, PSP slightly less, but DS also had a three month head start). In the US the DS then outpaced the PSP by selling 5.3 million units (combined DS and DS Lite) while PSP managed a very respectable 3 million. →  Garou: Mark of the Posts