Japan's Cell Phone Obsession

cellphonemania.jpg I always thought the phenomenon of cell phones had reached monumental proportions in the U.S., but it's nothing compared to what it's like here in Japan. A ride on the train will have you seeing at least ten to fifteen people on each car with phones out presumably texting or playing games on them. The there's the cell phone charms. They are HUGE over here. Practically everyone has one or two or thirty dangling off their phone. Some are so large they are bigger than the phones. For example, one gal I saw had no less than three small plush animals attached making it impossible to put in a pocket or the tiny purse she was carrying.

Of course, all these phones means a huge market for cell phone games. Almost every booth I went into at TGS had some sort of cell phone game in it and in most cases five or six. Resident Evil, Metal Gear Solid, Silent Hill and Square Enix all had multiple mobile games attached to them. There were also booths dedicated solely to cell phone games and nothing else. It was a strange phenomenon and something I haven't seen at any other convention I've been to this year. It will be interesting to see if the cell phone games thing catches on in the U.S. the way it has here in Japan. Do you think there is a viable market for this sort of thing and would you buy an MGS or RE phone game if it was made available to you?


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