Monolith Soft Inc. is a Japanese video game development company. It was owned by Namco and owned by Nintendo; the company was founded in 1999 by Tetsuya Takahashi with the support and cooperation of Masaya Nakamura, the founder of Namco. Their first project was the Xenosaga series, a spiritual successor to the Square-developed Xenogears. Multiple Square staff would join Takahashi at Monolith Soft including Hirohide Sugiura and Yasuyuki Honne. In addition to the Xenosaga series, Monolith Soft worked on other projects including Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean and Namco × Capcom, along with assisting on projects from other developers. While several of its titles have released on the PlayStation 2, the majority of its games have released on Nintendo platforms. Monolith Soft occupies four studios as of 2018, its main studio is in Tokyo that produces the company's original video game properties. The design approaches of Monolith Soft have shifted over its lifetime, with early games such as Xenosaga and Baten Kaitos being distinguished by a narrative-heavy approach, while titles have focused more on gameplay.
The company's stated goals are to create projects with wide creative freedom and to allow younger developers to contribute to these projects. The company is notable for its focus on promoting a comfortable working environment with little to no overtime in contrast to the majority of other Japanese game developers, alongside collaborating with other studios and companies. Monolith Soft was founded by Tetsuya Takahashi, a developer who had worked at Nihon Falcom and at Square, in which the latter was merged into Enix in 2003 to form Square Enix. While at Square, he and his wife Kaori Tanaka would contribute to the development of multiple titles including entries in the Final Fantasy series. Following their work on Final Fantasy VI, Takahashi and Tanaka created a proposal for Final Fantasy VII. Takahashi's ambition and drive prompted Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi Executive Vice President at Square, to appoint him as director. Takahashi wrote the script with Tanaka. Following the release of Xenogears, Takahashi became dissatisfied with Square's business approach at the time, which prioritized their major intellectual properties including Final Fantasy.
This left Takahashi with no funding or creative room to develop further independent projects or continue his planned Xenogears series. In 1999, Takahashi talked with Hirohide Sugiura, who had worked at Square and was beginning to feel frustrated due to a lack of creative freedom. After discussing the matter, the two decided to create their own company and pursue projects they wanted to create; when planning their new company and Sugiura decided that they needed a publisher with substantial market presence to help them rather than being an independent studio. Takahashi and Sugiura approached multiple companies for support, but most of the companies they contacted outright rejected their offer as they believed that Monolith Soft should be an independent company. However, Namco were interested in investing into Monolith Soft as a dedicated subsidiary, whilst handling logistics and marketing so that the core staff could focus on game development. An important supporter of Monolith Soft was Namco's founder Masaya Nakamura, who shared many of Takahashi and Sugiura's goals and ideals.
Monolith Soft is noted as being one of a group of video game companies—alongside Sacnoth, Love-de-Lic and Mistwalker—founded by Square staff who had worked on notable titles produced during the 1990s. The company was founded on 1 October 1999 by Takahashi and Yasuyuki Honne, who had worked at Square on both the Chrono series and with Takahashi on Xenogears; the company's offices were based in Yokohama. Monolith Soft's first project was Xenosaga Episode I, a role-playing game for the PlayStation 2. Xenosaga was a spiritual successor to Xenogears; as with Xenogears, the game was scripted by Takahashi and Tanaka, who planned out the Xenosaga series as a hexalogy. In 2001, Namco producer Shinji Noguchi and Monolith Soft's Tadashi Nomura conceived a new IP for the GameCube unconnected to Xenosaga. Titled Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean, development began six months after the concept was formed, with Honne acting as director; the game development staff of the company was now divided between the Xenosaga series and Baten Kaitos, the latter a project driven by the younger developers at Monolith Soft.
Baten Kaitos was co-developed with tri-Crescendo, which came about due to both submitting designs to Namco, which suggested they work together on the project. Following the release of the first Xenosaga game and Sugiura reassessed the internal structure of Monolith Soft, determining that the current lead developers were too old, clashing with their intended goals for the company to foster young talent. With this mindset, Takahashi stepped down from his lead role in the Xenosaga series, he continued to work for the company in a supervisory role by providing the series' scenario drafts, while younger staff continued the series development. This move allowed Takahashi a greater degree of creative freedom in a number of projects as opposed to being tied to a single series. In May 2002, Monolith Soft moved from Yokohama to the
Keita Takahashi is a Japanese game designer and artist, his most notable titles being Katamari Damacy and its sequel, We Love Katamari. The original Katamari game was a surprise hit and was praised for its quirkiness and charm. Takahashi is married to pianist and composer Asuka Sakai, who has worked with Takahashi on various projects. Takahashi has stated in numerous interviews that he had no desire for Katamari to be touted as innovative or creative – he set out to bring the concept of simple, silly fun back into video gaming. In an interview, Takahashi announced that he hopes to move on from video games, with an ambition of designing a playground for children. On October 28, 2009, the Nottingham City Council announced during the Gamecity festival that Takahashi was spending a month in the city working on designs for the play area at Woodthorpe Grange. In 2012, Takahashi revealed to an audience that the Nottingham project had been indefinitely postponed, due to budget concerns, he and his wife, Asuka Sakai, formed the company uvula in October 2010 to support his freelance game design career, as well as his playground designs.
In July 2011, it was announced. Katamari Damacy – Director We Love Katamari – Director Noby Noby Boy – Director, designer Glitch – Designer Tenya Wanya Teens – Designer ALPHABET – Designer Wattam – Designer Nakamura, Eric. "Noby Boy." Giant Robot Magazine issue 63. Uvula's official website Keita Takahashi on Twitter Interview with Keita Takahashi on Gamasutra.com Interview with Keita Takahashi on 1up.com Keita Takahashi on IMDb
Toru Iwatani is a Japanese video game designer, best known as the creator of the arcade games Pac-Man and Pole Position. Iwatani was born in Meguro ward of Japan, he was self-taught, without any formal training in visual arts, or graphic design. For example, he filled his school textbooks with scattered manga, which went on to influence the character designs in his video games, he joined the computer software company Namco in 1977. This was. There, he came up with the idea for a game called "Pakku-Man" and in 1980, he, along with programmer Shigeo Funaki, a hardware engineer, a cabinet designer and Toshio Kai for sound and music, finished the game, it was released to the Japanese public on May 22 of that year. It caught the attention of arcade-game manufacturer Midway, who bought the United States rights for the game and released the game in the U. S. as Pac-Man. Due to its innovative concept and continuing international popularity, it is regarded as one of the all-time classic video games. Iwatani returned to his Pac-Man roots in 2007 when he developed Pac-Man Championship Edition for the Xbox 360, which he states is the final game he will develop.
Iwatani went on to create a few other video games, including Libble Rabble, but none of them reached the amount of success that Pac-Man did. He was promoted within the ranks of Namco being responsible for overseeing the administration of the company. In a VH-1 Game Break interview, Iwatani said he did not profit from the creation of Pac-Man, saying, "The truth of the matter is, there were no rewards per se for the success of Pac-Man. I was just an employee. There was no change in my salary, no bonus, no official citation of any kind."Iwatani's greatest success after Pac-Man was Pole Position, which became a major arcade hit and is considered the most influential racing video game of all time. From April 2005, he taught the subject of Character Design Studies at Osaka University of Arts as visiting professor. Iwatani left Namco in March 2007 to become a full-time lecturer at Tokyo Polytechnic University. On June 2, 2010, just before visiting an event called the Festival of Games in the Netherlands, Iwatani was photographed showing the original sketches of Pac-Man, making it the first public appearance of these designs.
The next day, June 3, 2010, at the Festival of Games, Iwatani received a certificate from Guinness World Records for Pac-Man having the most "coin-operated arcade machines" installed worldwide: 293,822. The record was set and recognized in 2005, recorded in the Guinness World Records: Gamer's Edition 2008. Iwatani made a cameo appearance in the film Pixels, which prominently features Pac-Man as an antagonist. A fictionalized version of Iwatani, portrayed by Denis Akiyama appears in the film. Iwatani, Toru. Pakkuman no Gēmu Gaku Nyūmon. Enter Brain. ISBN 978-4757717527. Iwatani, Toru. Gēmu no Ryūgi. Ohta Books. ISBN 978-4778313265. Toru Iwatani on IMDb Detailed Toru Iwatani biography at PAC-MAN Museum Q&A: Pac-Man Creator Reflects on 30 Years of Dot-Eating at Wired.com
Ken Kutaragi is the former Chairman and Group CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment, the video game division of Sony Corporation, current president and CEO of Cyber AI Entertainment. He is known as "The Father of the PlayStation", its successors and spinoffs, including the PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, the PlayStation 3, the PlayStation 4, he had designed the sound processor for the Super NES. With Sony, he designed the VLSI chip which works in conjunction with the PS1's RISC CPU to handle the graphics rendering. Kutaragi was watched by financial analysts who trace profiles of the losses and profits of the Sony Corporation. Ken Kutaragi was born in Japan, his parents, although not wealthy by Japanese standards, still managed to own their own business, a small printing plant in the city. As Kutaragi grew into childhood, they encouraged the young boy to explore his mechanical abilities in the plant, he worked after school there. Aside from his duties in his parents' factory, Kutaragi was a high-level student.
Kutaragi always had the desire to "tinker" taking apart toys as a child rather than playing with them. This curiosity carried from childhood, leading him as a teenager to learn the intricacies of electronics. In fact, his love of electronics led to him enrolling in University of Electro-Communications, where he acquired an Electronics degree in the 1970's. After graduation, Kutaragi began working for Sony in their digital research labs in the mid-1970's. Although at the time it was considered a radical decision, Kutaragi felt that Sony was on the "fast track", he gained a reputation as an excellent problem solver and a forward thinking engineer, earning that reputation by working on many successful projects - including early liquid crystal displays and digital cameras. In the late 1980s, he was watching his daughter play a Famicom and realized the potential that existed within video games. At that particular time, Sony's executives had no interest in video games. Thus, when Nintendo expressed the need for a sound chip for its upcoming new 16-bit system, Kutaragi accepted the offer.
Working in secret, he designed the chip, the SPC700. When they found out, Sony's executives were furious. Only with Sony CEO Norio Ohga's approval was Kutaragi able to keep his job. While working with Nintendo, within Sony, gaming was still regarded as a fad. Despite this hostile atmosphere to video games, Kutaragi managed to persuade Norio Ohga into making two devices, a SNES add-on, the SNES-CD and a Sony branded console, which could play both SNES-CD games and Nintendo cartridges; these efforts resulted in a device called the "Play Station", a console that would be compatible with both Super Famicom games and software released on a new format called the SuperDisc. The partnership between Sony and Nintendo faltered due to licensing disagreements, but Kutaragi and Sony continued to develop their own console. Kutaragi recalled staying up all night working on the console design for several nights in a row "because our work was so interesting." Despite being considered a risky gamble by other Sony executives, Kutaragi once again had the support of Norio Ohga and several years the company released the original PlayStation.
The success of the PlayStation led to him heading up the development of more consoles like the PlayStation 2, its successor, the PlayStation 3. The commercial success of the PlayStation franchise makes Sony Computer Entertainment the most profitable business division of Sony. Despite being an upstart in the console market against veterans Nintendo and Sega, the first PlayStation displaced them both to become the most popular console of that era; the PlayStation 2 extended Sony's lead in the following generation, at one point holding a 65% market share with 100 million units shipped. Ken was recognized by many financial and technological publications for this success, most notably when he was named one of the 100 most influential people of 2004 in TIME magazine and the "Gutenberg of Video Games". In 1997 Kutaragi was appointed CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment America, accordingly moved to California. Since 1997, Kutaragi had been favoured to become the next Sony president, he enjoyed a close relationship with Sony CEO Norio Ohga, who had backed Kutaragi on the Sound Chip and PlayStation projects.
Ohga's successor Nobuyuki Idei promoted Kutaragi to Deputy Executive President, Sony-Global chief operating officer, Vice-Chairman in 2003. On November 30, 2006, Kutaragi was replaced as President of Sony Computer Entertainment by Kaz Hirai, the President of SCE America. In addition to other management changes, Kutaragi was promoted to chairman of SCEI, retained his position as chief executive officer of the group. On April 26, 2007, it was announced that Kutaragi would retire and instead take up the role of Honorary Chairman. Taking over his position would be SCEI president and CEO Kaz Hirai, who would be promoted to president and CEO of Sony. On June 29, 2011, following the reshuffling of management, Sony announced that on June 28, 2011, Kutaragi had stepped down as honorary chairman of SCEI. Kutaragi relinquished active management of the business he created and built in 2007, when he stepped down as executive Chairman and Group CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment, he has remained at Sony as senior technology advisor.
Ken Kutaragi became president and CEO of Cyber AI Entertainment, Inc. He serves on the boards of Kadokawa Group Holdings, Inc. Nojima Corporation, Rakuten, Inc. In 2009, he became a visiting professor of Ritsumeikan University. Although Kutaragi's leadership of consumer electronics was
Japan is an island country in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies off the eastern coast of the Asian continent and stretches from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and the Philippine Sea in the south; the kanji that make up Japan's name mean "sun origin", it is called the "Land of the Rising Sun". Japan is a stratovolcanic archipelago consisting of about 6,852 islands; the four largest are Honshu, Hokkaido and Shikoku, which make up about ninety-seven percent of Japan's land area and are referred to as home islands. The country is divided into 47 prefectures in eight regions, with Hokkaido being the northernmost prefecture and Okinawa being the southernmost one; the population of 127 million is the world's tenth largest. 90.7 % of people live in cities. About 13.8 million people live in the capital of Japan. The Greater Tokyo Area is the most populous metropolitan area in the world with over 38 million people. Archaeological research indicates; the first written mention of Japan is in Chinese history texts from the 1st century AD.
Influence from other regions China, followed by periods of isolation from Western Europe, has characterized Japan's history. From the 12th century until 1868, Japan was ruled by successive feudal military shōguns who ruled in the name of the Emperor. Japan entered into a long period of isolation in the early 17th century, ended in 1853 when a United States fleet pressured Japan to open to the West. After nearly two decades of internal conflict and insurrection, the Imperial Court regained its political power in 1868 through the help of several clans from Chōshū and Satsuma – and the Empire of Japan was established. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, victories in the First Sino-Japanese War, the Russo-Japanese War and World War I allowed Japan to expand its empire during a period of increasing militarism; the Second Sino-Japanese War of 1937 expanded into part of World War II in 1941, which came to an end in 1945 following the Japanese surrender. Since adopting its revised constitution on May 3, 1947, during the occupation led by SCAP, the sovereign state of Japan has maintained a unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy with an Emperor and an elected legislature called the National Diet.
Japan is a member of the ASEAN Plus mechanism, UN, the OECD, the G7, the G8, the G20, is considered a great power. Its economy is the world's third-largest by nominal GDP and the fourth-largest by purchasing power parity, it is the world's fourth-largest exporter and fourth-largest importer. Japan benefits from a skilled and educated workforce. Although it has renounced its right to declare war, Japan maintains a modern military with the world's eighth-largest military budget, used for self-defense and peacekeeping roles. Japan is a developed country with a high standard of living and Human Development Index, its population enjoys the highest life expectancy and third lowest infant mortality rate in the world, but is experiencing issues due to an aging population and low birthrate. Japan is renowned for its historical and extensive cinema, influential music industry, video gaming, rich cuisine and its major contributions to science and modern technology; the Japanese word for Japan is 日本, pronounced Nihon or Nippon and means "the origin of the sun".
The character nichi means "sun" or "day". The compound therefore means "origin of the sun" and is the source of the popular Western epithet "Land of the Rising Sun"; the earliest record of the name Nihon appears in the Chinese historical records of the Tang dynasty, the Old Book of Tang. At the end of the seventh century, a delegation from Japan requested that Nihon be used as the name of their country; this name may have its origin in a letter sent in 607 and recorded in the official history of the Sui dynasty. Prince Shōtoku, the Regent of Japan, sent a mission to China with a letter in which he called himself "the Emperor of the Land where the Sun rises"; the message said: "Here, I, the emperor of the country where the sun rises, send a letter to the emperor of the country where the sun sets. How are you". Prior to the adoption of Nihon, other terms such as Yamato and Wakoku were used; the term Wa is a homophone of Wo 倭, used by the Chinese as a designation for the Japanese as early as the third century Three Kingdoms period.
Another form of Wa, Wei in Chinese) was used for an early state in Japan called Nakoku during the Han dynasty. However, the Japanese disliked some connotation of Wa 倭, it was therefore replaced with the substitute character Wa, meaning "togetherness, harmony"; the English word Japan derives from the historical Chinese pronunciation of 日本. The Old Mandarin or early Wu Chinese pronunciation of Japan was recorded by Marco Polo as Cipangu. In modern Shanghainese, a Wu dialect, the pronunciation of characters 日本; the old Malay word for Japan, Japun or Japang, was borrowed from a southern coastal Chinese dialect Fukienese or Ningpo – and this Malay word was encountered by Portuguese traders in Southeast Asia in the 16th century. These Early Portuguese traders brought the word
The PlayStation Vita is a handheld game console developed and released by Sony Computer Entertainment. It is the successor to the PlayStation Portable as part of the PlayStation brand of gaming devices, it was released in Japan on December 17, 2011, with releases in North America and other worldwide regions starting on February 22, 2012. It competed with the Nintendo 3DS as part of the eighth generation of video game consoles; the original model of the handheld includes a 5-inch OLED multi-touch capacitive touchscreen, two analog joysticks and shoulder push-button input, supports Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and optional 3G. Internally, the Vita features a quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 MPCore processor and a quad-core SGX543MP graphics processing unit. A revised model, the PS Vita 2000 series, released across 2013 and 2014, sports all of the same features with a smaller size, extended battery life, an LCD screen replacing the OLED display. Sony released the PlayStation TV, a short-lived, re-purposed version of the Vita that allowed for the play of PS Vita games on a television screen similar to a home video game console, though the PS TV variant was discontinued by the end of 2015.
The system's design was created to meld the experience of big budget, dedicated video game platforms with the up-and-coming trend of mobile gaming through smart phones and tablets. However, in the year after the device's successful launch, sales of the hardware and its bigger budget games stalled, threatening to end its lifespan. A concentrated effort to attract smaller, indie developers in the West, combined with strong support from mid-level Japanese companies, helped keep the platform afloat. While this led to less diversity in its game library, it did garner strong support in Japanese-developed role-playing video games and visual novels alongside a wealth of Western-developed indie games, leading it to become a moderate seller in Japan, build a smaller, yet passionate userbase in the West. While Sony has not released exact sales figures, late-lifespan estimates in sales fall around 15 to 16 million units. In the platform's years, Sony promoted its ability to work in conjunction with its other gaming products, notably the ability to play PlayStation 4 games on it through the process of Remote Play, similar to the Wii U's function of Off-TV Play.
Production of the system and physical cartridge games ended in March 2019. After the massive success of Nintendo's Game Boy line of handheld game consoles throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, with little in the way of market competition, Sony's massive success with its PlayStation and PlayStation 2 home video game consoles around the same time, Sony decided to enter the handheld market as well. In 2004, it released the PlayStation Portable to compete with the Nintendo DS as part of the seventh generation of video game consoles. After a slow start in the worldwide market, it was invigorated in Japan with multiple releases in the Monster Hunter series. With the series being less popular in western regions, it failed to revive the platform in the same way; the PSP ended up being a mixed result for the company. It was seen as a success in that it was the only handheld video game platform that had significantly competed with Nintendo for market share in a meaningful way, selling 80 million units in its lifespan the same amount as Nintendo's Game Boy Advance had during the sixth generation of video game consoles.
Despite this, it had still only managed to sell a little over half of what its actual market competitor, the DS, had sold, over 150 million units by the end of 2011. Rumors of a successor to the PSP came as early as July 2009 when Eurogamer reported that Sony was working on such a device, which would utilize the PowerVR SGX543MP processor and perform at a level similar to the original Xbox. Through mid-2010, websites continued to run stories about accounts of the existence of a "PSP 2". Reports arose during the Tokyo Game Show that the device was unveiled internally during a private meeting during mid-September held at Sony Computer Entertainment's headquarters in Aoyama, Tokyo. Shortly after, reports of development kits for the handheld had already been shipped to numerous video game developers including both first-party and third-party developers to start making games for the device, a report confirmed by Mortal Kombat Executive Producer Shaun Himmerick. By November, Senior Vice President of Electronic Arts, Patrick Soderlund, confirmed that he had seen that the PlayStation Portable successor existed, but could not confirm details.
In the same month, VG247 released pictures of an early prototype version showing a PSP Go-like slide-screen design along with two analog sticks, two cameras and a microphone, though the report mentioned that overheating issues had since caused them to move away from the design in favor of a model more similar to the original PlayStation Portable device. Throughout 2010, Sony would not confirm these reports of a PSP successor, but would make comments regarding making future hardware. Shuhei Yoshida, President of Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios revealed that his studio, despite being more involved with software, had a continued role in future hardware development at the time. In December, Sony Computer Entertainment CEO Kazuo Hirai stated that Sony aimed to appeal to a wide demographic of people by using multiple input methods on future hardware; the device was announced by Sony on January 27, 2011, at their "PlayStation Meeting" press conference held by the company in Japan. The system, only known by its code name "Next Generation Portable", wa
Sunshine City, Tokyo
Sunshine City is a building complex located in East Ikebukuro, Tokyo, Japan. It has the 240 metre tall Sunshine 60 skyscraper at its centre. Sunshine City consists of four buildings: Sunshine 60, the main and tallest building, which includes corporate offices as well as restaurants; the complex sits on land, once occupied by Sugamo Prison. The lower floors of the complex cater toward passerby and customers with a large shopping mall and numerous restaurants, while the higher floors tend to include corporate offices and hotel rooms; the complex, opened in 1978, contains numerous attractions including an observatory located at the top of Sunshine 60 called Sky Circus, the Ancient Orient Museum, an aquarium, a planetarium, the Prince Hotel, two Namco-run indoor amusement parks, a convention centre, a theatre. When it was opened, Sunshine 60 office tower block was reputed to be the tallest building in Asia, it is an early example of a "city within a city," a self-contained area with places to live and shop all within one area.
Since Sunshine 60's Sky Circus observatory was opened, other observation decks have opened in Tokyo, such as at Roppongi and the Tokyo Government offices. Sunshine Aquarium is an aquarium located on the top three floors and rooftop of the World Import Mart building in Sunshine City, it features around 80 tanks with 37,000 fish representing 750 species. The Aquarium was renovated and updated in 2011; the Ancient Orient Museum is a small private museum in Sunshine City at the 7th floor of the Cultural Center, specializing in artifacts of the ancient Near East and Central Asia. It has a collection of Greco-Buddhist art of Gandhara, several pieces pertaining to the art of Palmyra and Persia. Namco Namja Town is an indoor theme park in the second floor of the Sunshine City shopping complex; the park was opened in 1996 by Namco, a Japanese company best known for producing video games, although the park itself does not focus on those games. Instead, it features themed dining, carnival-style games, a haunted house, a line of character mascots exclusive to the park.
Various promotions related to video games exist as well on a rotating basis. Namco developed two games based on the park. Namco runs J-World Tokyo, a manga-themed park which opened in 2013 on the third floor above Namja Town. J-World Tokyo will close on February 2019 due to poor attendance. List of museums in Tokyo Official website Japan-Guide: Ikebukuro Namja Town website Namja Town Guidemap PDF Ancient Orient Museum Media related to Sunshine City, Tokyo at Wikimedia Commons