J at pan Inc Magazine Presents:
G A D G E T W A T C H
The Hottest Gadgets and Gizmos from Japan
Issue No. 253
Friday September 22, 2006
(Long URLs may break across two lines, so copy to your
The Tyler Foundation for Childhood Cancer presents:
Sports Extravaganza 2006, September 29 - October 1.
Cricket and rugby celebrities from the UK, South Africa,
India, Australia and New Zealand will come to Tokyo for
3 days of sport, fun and fundraising!
Sports Dinner at the Grand Hyatt, Golf Day and
Celebrity Cricket match.
All proceeds benefit children with cancer in Japan.
Shine On! www.tylershineon.org
For more information on the Sports Extravaganza 2006,
please see: http://www.tylershineon.org/index.php/events/sports_extravaganza
Name: Nintendo Wii
Category: Video games
Price: 25,000 yen
Release date in Japan: December 2, 2006
The Gist: The "Wii" is the latest video game console from
Nintendo, and it's slated to be released on December 2nd
of this year in Japan. Fans of Nintendo are probably
already familiar with the console and its capabilities,
but we'll cover them here in Gadget Watch for those that
may not have heard about it. The Wii is Nintendo's
contender in the upcoming battle of the "big three" hardware
makers. Microsoft has already released the "Xbox 360"
worldwide and continues to develop its library and expand
its online capabilities, and plans to release a HD-DVD
player attachment later this year. Sony will be releasing
the much-anticipated "Playstation 3" in November, which
offers Blu-ray disc compatibility and a range of new gaming
and multimedia experiences. The final console to make its
debut is Nintendo's Wii.
Already being touted by many as the "rebirth of true
gaming," the Nintendo Wii focuses mostly on video games.
This is a step away from the direction that Microsoft
and Sony have been going with their consoles. Indeed,
a look at the technical specifications of the Wii might
be a bit disappointing for those looking for a new
centerpiece of technology in their home theater.
But for gaming purposes, the Wii should be plenty of fun in
a small package. Its price is low enough to enable
consumers to purchase it without having to think too hard
(unlike the ~70,000 yen price of the Playstation 3). Where
the Wii will deliver is in its gaming experience. Much of
the innovation behind Nintendo's Wii is in its controller,
dubbed the "Wiimote" by some. The Wiimote looks more like
your TV remote than it does a controller for a gaming
console. Its claim to fame is its variety of controlling
abilities; not only does it contain a motion sensor, it has
a pointer. Imagine being able to practice your golf swing
as you grasp the remote in your hands and go through the
motions like you would "in real life." Imagine being able
to play Duck Hunt without that silly looking orange gun.
Imagine being able to fly a plane by using the remote as
your joystick. These are the kinds of gaming experiences
that Nintendo is hoping will propel the Wii into success.
The Wii is also packed with plenty of online capabilities.
At the forefront is "Virtual Console," a service offered
by Nintendo that allows you to download classic Nintendo
Entertainment System (Famicon in Japan), Super Nintendo
Entertainment System (Super Famicon in Japan), and Nintendo
64 games for a respective 500, 800, and 1000 yen apiece.
Nintendo plans to release 30 titles for Virtual Console
before the end of the year, and will introduce 10 titles
per month thereafter. It's nice to see Nintendo finally
offer support for previous consoles' games, as this is
something that they never really did for their home
If you're looking for a low-cost and perhaps more innovative
alternative to Microsoft and Sony's offerings, Nintendo's
Wii should do the trick.
More info: http://www.nintendo.co.jp/wii/
Name: Logitec LDT-1S100U
Category: One-Seg tuner
Price: Open Price; estimated around 14,000 yen
Release date in Japan: Already available
The Gist: Speaking of low-cost alternatives, here's the first
"One-Seg peripheral," Logitec's LDT-1S100U. It's the first
peripheral that allows you to receive One-Seg broadcasts on
your PC. This is a nice option for those that want access
to One-Seg broadcasts but don't want to purchase an entire
new device -- all of the One-Seg implementations we've seen
to date required you to purchase a new laptop, new portable
DVD player, new mobile phone, and so on.
The LDT-1S100U plugs into your computer's USB 2.0 port.
Extend its integrated antenna, and you're ready to watch
One-Seg broadcasts using the included software. The software
decodes the H.264 signal of One-Seg broadcasts and will
automatically adjust the resolution of the video to match
your screen size. And that's all there is to it; the
1S100U unfortunately cannot record One-Seg broadcasts,
nor does it support data transmissions.
Included is a 1.4m extension cable with a stand for the
tuner, which is nice when your PC isn't in the greatest
environment for receiving One-Seg signals.
More info: http://www.logitec.co.jp/press/2006/0913_02.html
Name: Hitachi Wooo DV-DH1000S
Category: Digital video recorder
Price: 200,000 yen
Release date in Japan: Early-Mid October 2006
The Gist: If gigabyte after gigabyte of video storage space
whets your whistle, Hitachi's new "Wooo DV-DH1000S" video
recorder is like having a bucket of water thrown in your
face. Offering no less than 1 terabyte (1000GB in the world
of hard drive makers) of space, the DH1000S is Hitachi's
latest High Definition video recorder.
By sporting what the company calls a "Cutting edge design"
and Piano Black body color, the appearance of the 1000S
reminds one of "Kit" from Knight Rider. According to Hitachi,
the new design styling is just following recent trends
where TVs are no longer placed inside of some sort of
cabinet, meaning your video recorder also will not be.
The DH1000S offers up space for about 138 hours of digital
High Definition video recording. Of course, this capacity
can also be used for other purposes -- at the lowest
quality setting, EP (8 hour), 1000TB allows for about 1,700
hours (a full 9 weeks) of recording. If that doesn't do it,
feel free to use the integrated DVD recorder for the same
purposes. Recording features include "Favorite Auto-Record"
for automatically recording programs that match a certain
keyword, and "Deji Deji 2-ko Tori" for recording two HDTV
programs at the same time.
Owners of Hitachi "Wooo" TV sets will be glad to know that
the 1000S has support for "Wooo de Link," the company's
connectivity solution using i.Link. Wooo de Link allows
your recorder to be controlled from your TV, so you don't
need to worry about switching to a different video input
or some such. Interestingly enough, the 1000S also includes
two remotes -- a standard 59-key remote and a "Rakurimo"
with only 20 keys and enlarged "Watch" and "Record" keys.
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Email: macross at gol.com
Written by: Liam McNulty
Edited by: Burritt Sabin (editors2 at japaninc.com)
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