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News from Japan - February 4, 2022

SEGA withdraws from arcade machines in Japan

Salle d'arcade SEGA, dans les quartiers de Tokyo

The Japanese company SEGA is withdrawing from arcade games in its country. After pioneering the arcade market in the 1960s, the company retired after 56 years of existence.

At the end of January, the company Genda Inc. bought the Sega cinemas. Thus, the rooms will not disappear, but will be called Gigo.

As early as 2020, Sega had sold 85.1% of its market share to Genda Inc.

Sega's withdrawal is explained for two reasons, according to the company: the health situation and the growing disinterest of players, who are turning instead to new technologies (virtual reality). Indeed, before the pandemic, the arcade market was already on a downward slope. When in 1986 there were 26,573 cinemas, in 2019 there were more than 4,022.

The history of arcades began in the 60s. The Sega company quickly became the leader, thanks in particular to its emblematic character, Sonic.

Between 70 and 80, during the boom of these machines, Sega was one of the main players in the sector with successful games (Daytona USA, After Burner, Virtua Fighter, but also OutRun). With its Genesis Mega Drive console, Sega sold hugely all over the world, ending Nintendo's dominance.


A cat manages the Ashinomaki-Onsen station

Le chat Love, chef de la gare d'Ashinomaki Onsen In the Ashinomaki Onsen station, in the northeast of Japan, you will find funny employees… Cats!

Indeed, Love is the head of this station, after his appointment in 2016. In his company, we find Sakura, station agent, and Peach, facilities manager.

As bizarre as it may seem, they lead a life of humans, welcoming travelers as they should, with a little hat as a distinctive sign.

Also, they even celebrate Setsubun, February 3, by throwing peanuts (with the help of their human colleagues). The latter chased away the demons, this year the coronavirus, hoping to find many tourists in this resort.


Testing an automatic car in Tokyo

La voiture autonome Tier IV

In central Tokyo, trials have been carried out for self-driving cars. These vehicles are the brainchild of a group of companies, including Tier IV. 

With its automated taxi, equipped with cameras and sensors, the driver on board does not need to touch the steering wheel. In the Nishi-Shinjuku district, the vehicle travels two kilometers and operates from the 5G wireless network. This allows the vehicle to receive traffic light data, for example.

The capital has plans to launch self-driving vehicle services, hoping to offer this in 2023.

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