Japan

Nintendo Switch sales eclipse PS4 launch in Japan

Nintendo Switch sales eclipse PS4 launch in Japan

The Nintendo Switch seems to be off to a strong start in Japan, selling a half million units in its first weeks of availability. This, notably, means that the Switch is selling faster in Japan than the PS4 did during its own launch. Obviously, it's too early to call, but with the PlayStation 4 being the best-selling home console this generation, it's definitely an encouraging sign.

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Tokyo 2020 Olympic medals to be made from discarded devices

Tokyo 2020 Olympic medals to be made from discarded devices

Japan is a country known and notorious for its electronics so it probably wouldn’t come as a shock if it has an overabundance of unused gadgets and trinkets. Most of those end up on the trash heap or, worse, collecting dust somewhere in some forgotten box or corner. The Japanese government and the organizers of the 2020 Olympics have a better idea. Why not give those unused electronic devices to them and they will turn one man’s junk into the ultimate treasure: an Olympic medal.

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Google’s AR translator turns Japanese into English in real time

Google’s AR translator turns Japanese into English in real time

Google has made it easier than ever to read Japanese: all you need is a phone. Using the Google Translate app’s camera feature, users can point their phone at a bit of Japanese text and see it on their screen in real-time, only with English where the Japanese text previously existed. In that way, it functions essentially as an augmented reality translation app, marking another step toward breaking down the language barrier.

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Japanese mayor says “spamusement park” planning will move forward

Japanese mayor says “spamusement park” planning will move forward

In Japan the mayor of a city called Beppu located on the island of Kyushu, an area known for an abundance of hot springs, came up with an idea to get younger folks interested in visiting his town and to promote the hot springs in his city. The mayor and his team made a video that was posted to YouTube that shows what he called a "spamusement park", note that is SPAmusement not SPAMusement. No potted meats with odd gelatinous coatings at this park.

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5,000 Dead fish frozen in ice skating rink in Japan’s “Space World”

5,000 Dead fish frozen in ice skating rink in Japan’s “Space World”

Space World theme park has shut down its first-ever 5,000-fish frozen in ice attraction, apologizing for breaking Japan's weird boundary. While strange, odd, or otherwise disgusting attractions aren't at all unheard of in Japan over the past several decades, it would seem that partially-protruding fish heads in ice aren't up to code. Space World's ice skating rink has been temporarily closed to remove the fish.

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Japan is getting new Star Wars smartphones from SoftBank

Japan is getting new Star Wars smartphones from SoftBank

A new Star Wars movie is coming out soon, so that means lots of tie-in merchandise. And few countries love big-name brands and media properties more than Japan. Put the two together and it means Japan is getting exclusive Star Wars-themed smartphones in celebration of the release of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

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Japan to build world’s fastest supercomputer for industry research

Japan to build world’s fastest supercomputer for industry research

Japan has announced plans to build the world's fastest supercomputer, doing so to help some industries in the nation perform research vital to growth and expansion. According to the nation’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, this supercomputer will cost the equivalent of about $173 million USD; sources go on to claim that it’ll be able to perform 130 quadrillion calculations every second with the project set to start as early as 2017.

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Xperia X Compact gets waterproof, pink models in Japan only

Xperia X Compact gets waterproof, pink models in Japan only

At this rate, people will begin to wonder why Japan is getting some of the nicer stuff. It’s not like they’re subjected to more water than the rest of the world. And yet, that market is exclusively getting at least two waterproof models of high-end smartphones. Hot on the heels of KDDI’s LG V34, NTT DoCoMo has put up the product page for the Sony Xperia X Compact, which is practically the same elsewhere, except for its IP68 rating. And as if to add insult to injury, it also comes in pink!

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Kindle update makes Manga readable : 5 best to try

Kindle update makes Manga readable : 5 best to try

Amazon Kindle devices will have a manga update in the next few weeks that allows swift reading. Amazon has heard the cry of manga fans everywhere, bringing faster page turns to the platform. This update will work for all titles - everything from Black Butler to Vampire Knight. Each of the digital editions of these titles will be able to push through your mind at high speed, at last.

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Spotify arrives in Japan debuting new lyrics feature

Spotify arrives in Japan debuting new lyrics feature

After years of waiting, streaming music listeners in Japan finally have the option to check out Spotify. The service arrives in the country, said to be the world's second largest music market, this week, albeit as an invite-only beta for the time being. It's likely that the hold up for Spotify's Japanese debut was due to difficulties in reaching deals with local music labels — streaming music hasn't yet caught on like it has with the rest of the world — but the service is using the launch to show off its new lyrics features.

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Japanese LED basketball court steals the show at B league season opener

Japanese LED basketball court steals the show at B league season opener

In the US, a basketball court is always made of wooden planks that are painted with the correct lines and markings and then waxed to a high sheen. In Japan, they do things very different for at least one of the courts where the B league will play games. Unlike practice courts made from LED screens that were used in the past, this time out the LED court at the Yoyogi National Gymnasium was used for an actual game.

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Apple Pay to debut in Japan, New Zealand, Russia this fall

Apple Pay to debut in Japan, New Zealand, Russia this fall

At the big iPhone 7 event yesterday, Apple revealed that mobile payment system Apple Pay would finally be coming to Japan later this year. As was reported recently, the latest iPhones for the Japanese market will include support for Sony's FeliCa tap-to-pay technology, meaning Apple Pay will be compatible with the train and subway transit cards across the country, as well as with vending machines and retailers.

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