GW-99

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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. 99
Friday, April 25, 2003

(Long URLs may break across two lines, so copy to your browser.)

* Editor's note: Gadget Watch will not appear during Golden Week.
We'll be back in two weeks.

=========================== HOT JOBS ================================
HOT JOBS from DaiJob.com's Ambition Consulting Team:

1) A leading worldwide marketer of lifestyle-oriented electronic goods
accessories is seeking a Retail Sales Manager for Japan. Requires
proven experience in the establishment and management of retail sales
distribution and experience in the consumer electronics category.
Fluent in Japanese and English, verbal and written skills.
Salary approx. JPY8m.

If this position is of interest to you, or you know of someone who may
be interested, please contact:
Jon Doherty at jon.doherty@daijob.com, or on 03 3499 3108.
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Name: Sony BDZ-S77
Category: DVD/AV
Price: 398,000 yen
Release date in Japan: April 10, 2003

The Gist: It's a world first, and it's set to change the DVD scene
forever, folks. Please welcome the BDZ-S77 from Sony, the first ever
released Blu-ray recorder! Blu-ray discs are the successor to DVD and
the living proof that for every marketing professional you manage to
bury 10 feet down in the Nevada desert (just a suggestion), another
100 will pop up and spring another gadget format on you. Just when
everyone is being persuaded to surrender their old videotapes and
convert to the heavenliness that is DVD, your marketing department of
your average consumer electronics conglomerate ups and produces yet
another new system you simply can't live without. But whether you
welcome Blu-ray with open arms or view it as the next threat to the
well-being of your pocketbook, the format is here to stay because it's
bigger (the Blu-ray discs are 23GB and the max capacity of discs is
said to be 27GB on one side), it's clearer (it can cope with high def
images without compression losses), and it's faster, with a transfer
rate of 36Mbps. The new format is backed by Matsushita, Philips, Sony,
Hitachi, LG, Pioneer, Samsung, Sharp and Thomson, so resistance is,
clearly, futile.

The BDZ-S77 has a built-in BS Digital television tuner, so the machine
can record two hours of programs in both 1080i and 720p and, if you're
quick, you can snap one up in stores such as Yodabashi or Bic Camera
in Shinjuku for under 400,000 yen (the manufacturer's suggested retail
price is 450,000 yen).

More info: http://www.sony.jp/products/Consumer/BD/index.html

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======================================================================

Name: Sony PS2 (new and improved)
Category: Gaming
Price: SCPH-50000:25,000 yen
Release date in Japan: May 15, 2003

The Gist: Sony may be guilty of making more revisions of its
PlayStation 2 games console than the WWE has newly crowned champions,
but the SCPH-50000 is the company's first PS2 with a progressive-scan
DVD player. Sony is clearly playing a spot of catch up with
Microsoft's Xbox here, since the newer machine has been capable of
playing in progressive scan from the very start, but it's still a
welcome move, particularly for any of those game console owners who
buy the dumb thing. But honestly, this is more than just a cynical
marketing ploy. Again bowing to consumer demand, the new PS2 can also
handle playback of DVD/RW discs, although not DVD-RAM discs. Movie
fans without a dedicated DVD player will be happy campers now, even if
they do have to shell out again for the SCPH-10100 component or
SCPH-10330 digital cable and then again for the SCPH-10420 remote
control unit. The new remote has added functions, such as the ability
to turn your console on and off, reset it or open the disc tray, but
who thinks you should be paying out again just for that? Nah, thought
not.

More info: http://www.scei.co.jp/corporate/release/pdf/030414.pdf

================================EVENT================================
ICA May Special Joint Event with Japan-America Society - May 20

The ICA and the Japan-America Society are pleased to announce a major
joint networking and business development roundtable event on the
evening of May 20. The event will include an executive networking
cocktail party, a gourmet stand-up buffet and a roundtable discussion
with three of Tokyo's top IT & business leaders.

SPEAKERS
TED MATSUMOTO -President - Qualcomm Japan
ROD TALBOT - President - JDA Software Japan Ltd.
TOSHI IWATA - Vice President - Cybird Co Ltd.

RSVP REQUIRED
If you would like to attend please RSVP on our sign-up page at:

by 17:00 Monday May 19, 2003.
Yurakucho Denki Building, Foreign Correspondents' Club
Cost: 3,500 yen (members) 6,000 yen (non-members)
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Name: Audio Technica AT-SP21
Category: AV
Price: Open (but approx 2,000 yen)
Release date in Japan: April 21, 2003

The Gist: They're portable stereo speakers and they'll fit in your
purse. They open clamshell style, like a mobile phone, and snap shut
(like a compact) when not in use. Not that I'm insinuating anything,
but I doubt the new AT-SP21 will appeal that much to men, given that
even Audio Technica lists the "color variations" as one of the
gadget's main features. And they are: black, blue, gun metal, orange,
silver and white. The speakers can connect to a CD or MD player via a
mini-stereo plug, they weigh 127g and have dimensions of
116x42.5x70.5mm. Just in case you need to know, the speakers are full
range, 50mm units with a maximum output of 800mW (that? MILLIwatts!)
into two channels and impedance of 8 ohms.

More info:
http://www.audio-technica.co.jp/products/dj-plus/speaker/at-sp21.html

===================== CHIBA FASuC INCUBATOR==========================
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Makuhari, halfway between the airport and Tokyo. For more
details, go to http://www.lincmedia.co.jp/fasuc/
OR email: toru.ohara@lincmedia.co.jp
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Subscribers: 3,474 as of April 25, 2003

STAFF
Written by: Max Everingham (max@everingham.net)
Edited by: J@pan Inc editors (editors@japaninc.com)

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