When we brought you news on Japan’s latest feature-packed mobile phones yesterday we also promised to look into exactly how the new handsets will make use of their built-in gaming motion sensors. So, here it is - one of the first titles to appear is ‘You are Gundam’ from Bandai.
Contrary to the cynical coverage on many tech websites today, it does seem that the games are likely to actually be playable due to a strong element of audio feedback.
Naysaying aside, the similarities to the control method used in Nintendo Wii games are remarkable, although there’s no suggestion of anything untoward, as the technology in the DoCoMo 904i series phones is supplied by GestureTek of California.
In You are Gundam, available for ¥105 a month on the P904i and SH904i, progress through a series of scenarios is displayed onscreen and is accompanied by audio prompts. At the appropriate moment, the player is called upon to, for example, slash a weapon across an enemy robot. This is done by waving the phone vigorously to match the character’s movements. Ho hum.
Whether or not this passes muster is judged by the phone using the camera to work out real-world angles and velocities and applying those to the game scenario. If successful, fresh robot sushi is on the menu and the game carries on. Frankly, it all sounds pretty dull, but at least it’s obvious that Wii-like games on a phone are possible.
Bandai also announced another downloadable game but, as it involves using a phone-controlled net to scoop goldfish from a barrel (it’s a Japanese thing, yeah?), we’ll leave that one to its own devices this time. Needless to say, if this new breed of all-action mobile games takes off, Japan’s train journeys will never be the same again.
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