GW-167

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J@pan Inc Magazine Presents:
G A D G E T W A T C H
The Hottest Gadgets and Gizmos from Japan
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Issue No. 167
Monday November 1, 2004
(Long URLs may break across two lines, so copy to your browser.)

=============== Party with Chin Music Press ===================
Chin Music Press invites you to "Voices from the Void," a party to
celebrate the release of our first book. Join us for live readings
from Kuhaku & Other Accounts from Japan, a steaming nabe of stories
and art on being "found in translation" in the real Japan.

Party: Nov. 11, Pink Cow in Shibuya, 7-11pm (No cover charge!)
http://www.thepinkcow.com/

Read about Kuhaku here: http://www.chinmusicpress.com/

Check it out on Amazon.com: http://tech-geeks.org/tiny.php?url=1364

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leader in these 21st century industries. Japan is the world's 2nd
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from Chiba Prefecture, as well as the Japan market at large. Sign up
for our newsletter here: http://www.businesssupport-chiba.jp/eng/newsletter/

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Name: Playstation Portable (PSP)
Category: Handheld gaming system
Price: 20,790 yen or 26,040 yen for the "Value Pack"
Release date in Japan: December 12th, 2004

The Gist: Sony dropped a bomb this week called the "Playstation Portable."
You've probably heard of the device itself; the Playstation Portable (or
more commonly, "PSP") was announced by Sony Computer Entertainment some
months ago. But until this past week, nobody really knew what sort of price
Sony would charge for the system -- some even thought Sony would charge close
to 40,000 yen. At 20,790 yen for the basic package, Sony has given the PSP
a very attractive price point for the gaming public. More importantly, however,
a 20,000 yen price tag puts the PSP only about 5,000 yen over its primary
competition, the "Nintendo DS." The PSP represents Sony's first foray into
the handheld gaming market, and given Nintendo has dominated this market
for more than 10 years with various flavors of Game Boy, it should be
interesting to see how each company handles the competition.

Returning to the Playstation Portable, Sony has equipped the system with a
"UMD" (Universal Media Disc) drive capable of reading MiniDisc-sized UMD
discs. Though PSP games will be sold on UMD discs, Sony has larger plans
for the format -- Bandai has announced they will be offering the first
UMD-Video content. But the PSP doesn't stop at just games and video; MP3
files can be played using its built-in Memory Stick Duo slot. Sony estimates
a battery life of four to six hours for games.The PSP-1000 is a basic package
containing the Playstation Portable, a battery pack, and an AC adapter. It
will cost 20,790 yen after taxes. The PSP-1000K, the "Value Pack, contains
the Playstation Portable, a battery pack, AC adapter, 32MB Memory Stick Duo,
remote control with headphones, soft case, and hand strap. The Value Pack
is priced at 26,040 yen after taxes.

More info: http://www.scei.co.jp/products/psp.html
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Name: JVC HP-AL301
Category: Headphones
Price: 2,900 yen
Release date in Japan: November 1st, 2004

The Gist: Available in seven different color variations, JVC's new "HP-AL301"
ear-hanger style headphones are the "world's thinnest" to feature a wind-up
cable. How thin? About 19mm, or 3/4 of an inch for The American Inside You.
The headphones don't just wind-up a little, either -- the entirety of the
cabling can be wound up inside of the housing. This includes neck strap and
plug cord. It also has the ability to wind up in 2-3cm intervals, so if you
find the 1.5m of cabling too much, just wind it up as you see fit. Finally,
the "Soft Airtight Earpads" promise a 30% reduction (vs. current JVC headphones)
in sound leakage, so you haven't got to worry about people hearing how you
like Morning Musume.

More info: http://www.victor.co.jp/press/2004/hp-al301.html
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Name: Apple iPod Photo
Category: Portable audio
Price: 57,540 yen for 40GB, 70,140 yen for 60GB
Release date in Japan: First week of November, 2004

The Gist: If you've got a spare 6 or 7 "man" (Japanese for "ten thousand") lying
around, you just may be interested in picking up Apple's latest variety of iPod.
Scheduled to be released during the same period as the international release,
Apple will surely be pushing the envelope of "disposable income" for young
Japanese across the nation. Given the rampant success of the iPod and iPod mini
in Japan, it comes as no surprise that Apple will likewise be introducing the
iPod Photo to the country.

As its name implies, the iPod Photo offers all the capabilities of the current
iPods but adds photo capabilities to the mix. Using its 220 x 176 dot display
capable of displaying 65,536 colors, the iPod Photo can display up to 25
thumbnail images at the same time. As you would imagine, the color screen is
implemented all across the iPod platform; not only can you playback audio
during a photo "slideshow," CD jackets can be linked to MP3 files through use
of ID3 tags for display while playing back particular songs.
An additional capability added to go with the new photo feature is TV output --
connecting a special video output cable to the headphone port of the iPod will
allow it to output video signals to the TV. That means no more having to carry
around photo albums or VCD slideshows to show off your favorite images to others.
Also, just a couple shortcomings I couldn't help but notice -- the iPod Photo
has no video playback, nor does it have the ability to act as a "photo
storage" device for those of you into digital photography.

More info: http://www.apple.com/jp/ipodphoto/
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==================Saving Your Business Money=========================
How can you cut business costs in Japan? Try relocating your operations
to a local region. Many companies, both Japanese and foreign, are moving
their facilities outside of Tokyo to places where rents, salaries and
basic business costs are cheaper. But it can be difficult deciding where
to go. We will provide you with the latest information on relocating anywhere
in Japan, including the different incentives and financial breaks foreign
firms are eligible to receive.
Please visit:
http://relocation.biosjp.com
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Subscribers: 6,564 as of November 1, 2004

STAFF
Written by: Liam McNulty
Edited by: Burritt Sabin (editors2@japaninc.com)

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