Japan's GungHo buys 70% stake in PlayPhone

On the tonight, exciting news jumped. Japan's GungHo Online Entertainment buys 70% stake in PlayPhone, and make them the subsidiary. Press release is here, but currently only available in Japanese.

Now, GungHo is known as a company of megahit mobile game Puzzle and Dragons, but unfortunately it has a hard fight in the North America market. It is the second that they got the overseas company. It is the second that they got the overseas company. They got Finland's  Supercell just one year ago. Probably they make efforts in overseas advance more.


Mixi's savior mobile game "Monster Strike" entered the North America market

This week, Japanese mega hit mobile game “Monster Strike” entered the North America market. mixi opens English official site, Facebook page and Twitter account completely.

This is the game that saved mixi from the bottom. mixi was The Social Network operator most popular in Japan before. However, their The Social Network declined and deteriorated, so they introduced open platform earliest in Japan and added social games. Unfortunately they were overtaken by Mobage and GREE and fell behind the support of smartphones. mixi was driven to a dying state.

However, the situation changed completely after Monster Strike was released in October, 2013. Profit and the stock prices of mixi were V-shaped turnaround. The number of downloading already passes 14 million, it was released in not only Japan but also Taiwan, and releases in Korea in December. One mobile game saved a company … the mobile game market is really dynamic.

Monster Strike is an RPG having elements of billiards and the pinball. Players transfer own character like pinball and hit on enemies and attack it. You can download it free in App Store and Google Play.


Japanese singer Kumi Koda releases a music video for Oculus Rift

Japanese singer Kumi Koda released VR music video using Oculus Rift. It is exhibited in TOKYO DESIGNERS WEEK started on October 28. Probably it is world's first VR MV.

This is one of the projects of the 15th anniversary of her debut. It was produced as a music video of "Dance In The Rain" released as a digital single on November 5. Audiences can watch world view of the number from a different viewpoint by Oculus Rift and stereophonic sound. Herself gave ideas from a planning stage. It was already exhibited as an art work in art festival in London "TENT LONDON" and it got a good reputation.

Japan's Meisei High School opens a virtual world branch school in the next spring

This may revolutionize a system and the style of the Japanese school. Meisei high school, the private correspondence upper secondary school in Chiba, Japan opens a cute virtual world branch school in the next spring. Of course students can obtain a graduation qualification on this.

Students can make their avatars, study to watch videos of subjects with a PC, smartphone and tablet, and ask teachers questions by email.

Of course students must take examinations. Interestingly, even a virtual classrooms are prepared for.

When they study hard and get the good score in examinations, they get virtual currency "MS point". They can buy outfitting items for avatars using it in the school shop and decorate one's avatar using them. In other words, earnest student becomes cooler. This is completely opposite to the reality world! :)

Friends are essential to school life. Students can talk by real-time chat.

The curriculum is three years, and of course the school expenses are necessary(but it is cheaper than real high schools). This is a new form of correspondence upper secondary school. The conventional system is lonely and boring. However, space and other students exist in the virtual world, and seems to be fun. It can be called gamification of the learning.

Ideal fusion of AR and VR: Sony Cat Toro appeared in the reality world by PTAM

A certain Japanese developer uploaded cute demo video in Japanese video sharing site Nico Nico Douga. It is right ideal fusion of AR and VR.

Sony cat Toro Inoue dances to a song of Hatsune Miku in a real room. It is really Kawaii(super cute)!! He has a shadow, and there is presence, but there is no AR marker and specific image which should be necessary for AR technology. Because the developer used PTAM(Parallel Tracking and Mapping).
This is a program that compose 3DCG in mapping of the 3D space researched and developed by Georg Klein of Oxford University. Because AR marker and an image are unnecessary in this, developers can utilize contents more freely.

The developer who let Toro appear practically considers put Oculus Rift and PTAM together next. Now, VR is the most enthusiastic in Japan.