This week in Japanese news: From Namco Bandai to 3DS stands

Gamasutra rounds up recent reports on the Japanese games industry from local news site, including Kid Icarus: Uprising's bundled 3DS stand, social game milestones, and more.
[Gamasutra rounds up recent reports on the Japanese games industry from local news site, a leading destination for English-language news on Japan's game industry.] In our latest round-up of Japanese game industry news not previously reported on Gamasutra, we look at the 3DS stand that will come bundled with Kid Icarus: Uprising (pictured), two social gaming milestones, and Gundam successes for Namco Bandai. Namco Bandai social games membership tops 10M Along with its many retail successes this year, Namco Bandai is celebrating in the mobile social space, as it crossed more than 10 million registered users for all of its social games in Japan -- over 6 million of which are from its three games based on popular mecha franchise Gundam. The publisher's other mobile social games include Tales of Kizna, Let's Play With Mobage! Tamagotchi, and others. Namco Bandai is forecasting annual sales of ¥10 billion ($130 million) from its social games, though it did not specify when it hopes to reach this milestone. Persona 3 social game tops 1M users Index Holdings, the parent company of developer and publisher Atlus, is also benefiting from the mobile social market -- its Persona 3 Social release, which is based on cult PS2/PSP RPG, has more than 1 million registered users. Originally released in August 2010, the game is playable on both Mobage and GREE's mobile social gaming platforms for feature phones, GREE's smartphone platform, and Yahoo! Mobage's browser service. Index intends to release a social adaptation for Persona 4 soon. Kid Icarus comes bundled with a stand Nintendo will bundle upcoming Japanese copies of Kid Icarus: Uprising with a special plastic stand for holding gamers' 3DSes steady while they play. The U.S. version of the Masahiro Sakurai-designed (creator of the Smash Bros. and Kirby series) title will also include the free stand. The accessory seems like an odd pack-in for a handheld game, especially as it comes on the heels of the system's contentious Circle Pad Pro peripheral, which already does considerable damage to the 3DS's portable nature. But many who've played early builds of Kid Icarus: Uprising have commented that the stand will make it easier for users to keep the 3DS's screen steady and view the 3D effect, as the game requires played to hold onto the 3DS with one hand while tapping on the touchscreen with the other. Gundam Extreme Vs. crosses half million mark on PS3 The PlayStation 3 edition of Namco Bandai Games' mecha-themed fighting game Gundam Extreme Vs. has shipped over half a million copies in Japan since releasing there on December 1. The publisher has not yet announced a North American release for the title. [This story was written with permission using material from, a leading destination for English-language news on Japan's game industry.]

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