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IBM's publicity-loving supercomputer Watson has a new job in Japan for wireless carrier SoftBank doing... something? Its job description is vague so far, but first it'll need to learn Japanese, no small feat for a machine that has remained mostly occidental so far. Watson is first and foremost a c...

February 10th 2015 at 10:04am 0 Comments
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Going to Japan? Here's a bit of advice: if you're absolutely terrified of eerie human-like robots, think very hard before visiting Nagasaki prefecture's Henn-na Hotel that's slated to open its doors in July. Why? Because the high-tech hotel will employ 10 robots, three of which are multilingual gy...

February 8th 2015 at 1:11am 0 Comments
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How do you make an iPhone Lightning cable at a tenth of the price of what Apple charges? In short, you can't. Cupertino holds claim to the design patents, not to mention that there's an authenticator chip built into the cable, which means Apple can charge to license out the design (in turn bumping...

February 5th 2015 at 4:30pm 0 Comments
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During Netflix's last earnings call executives announced plans to reach 200 countries (up from the 50 or so currently served) over the next two years, and now CNBC's Julia Boorstin is hearing that will include Japan by this fall. Hulu actually beat Netflix there back in 2011, but sold off its serv...

February 4th 2015 at 5:39pm 0 Comments
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Sega Sammy is restructuring to prioritize "Digital Games," a reform that'll see it make job cuts including "soliciting voluntary retirement" for around 300 employees; 120 employees are due to be approached about voluntary retirement next month. Sega of America is among those to be hit by layoffs as...

January 30th 2015 at 7:30am 0 Comments
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Going by its first trailer, Dragon's Dogma Online plays much like its name indicates. The newly unveiled RPG allows parties of up to four players to take on a variety of monsters, small and large - sometimes very large. Like in the original Dragon's Dogma, players can cling to bigger beasties and g...

January 29th 2015 at 4:45am 0 Comments
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Nintendo reduced its annual sales forecast by 6.8 percent today, leading to a 50 percent drop in the projected operating profit for its core business. Nonetheless, the ever-weakening state of the yen is balancing that out by boosting the company's overseas earnings. According to its revised foreca...

January 28th 2015 at 6:00am 0 Comments
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Dragon's Dogma Online is official, after Famitsu announced it's featuring the game in the latest issue of its magazine. The entry in Capcom's action-RPG series was much speculated after trademarks showed up in Europe and Japan last month. We're waiting on official details, but going by reports bas...

January 27th 2015 at 9:30am 0 Comments
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The first-off-the-line Anniversary Edition PlayStation 4 went for ¥15.135 million in an online charity auction last night, which converts to a stunning $128,000. Sony Japan's auction ended this weekend with the huge bid on the special grey console, which is unit "00001" of 12,300. "We apprecia...

January 26th 2015 at 8:00am 0 Comments
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Sony caused quite a stir with the unveiling of the 20th Anniversary Edition PlayStation 4, and gamers fell over themselves to get their hands on one of 12,300 pieces of gaming nostalgia. Those online sales and promotional '80s stores have now closed, but the company isn't finished yet. It's just p...

January 23rd 2015 at 7:22am 0 Comments
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In Japan, people still use feature phones. But despite the smartphone revolution, dumb phone innovation is not dead. Not when a phone can magically, (Transformer-ly) convert from a heart shape into something approaching a chubby handset you can actually talk into. Imaginatively titled "Heart", it'...

January 21st 2015 at 12:29am 0 Comments
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'Club Nintendo is dead, long live the new loyalty program,' is the message from Nintendo this morning, after the company announced it's closing its current rewards service. Users in the US and Canada have until the end March to earn Club Nintendo Coins and until the close of June to redeem them, si...

January 20th 2015 at 5:00am 0 Comments