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About orenronen

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  1. The most significant factor is probably the fact that the Wonderswan Color cost around 7000 yen, while both Gamecube and Dreamcast were in the 25,000-30,000 yen area. WC was impulse-buy price, but for the big consoles lots of people waited for holidays or birthdays (or, since this is Japan, their bonus paycheck if they were buying it for themselves) to buy.
  2. Modern phone operating systems allow you to download arbitrary files using the phone's web browser and choose which application to open them with. iOS can definitely do this and I can't imagine Android can't.
  3. Getting likes (or any credit at all, really) is the least of my concerns (I understand and support your thoughts on the subject, though), so if you have something already scanned we can use as a test case send it my way and I'll give it a try.
  4. I'm willing to give this a shot. My interest in Japanese magazines is more academic than nostalgic, so I'll happily give some of my time to have more of them up, and I'm not particular about which ones. I have an Adobe CC subscription and a powerful machine, so I'm good on this front, but I've never done editing before so I'd need some initial guidance. I'm not a total newbie on image manipulation, though, so it won't be a lot.
  5. I kinda want to see how modern commercial Japanese OCR solutions deal with this kind of data. A quick search shows the leading products are Panasonic's 読取革命, NTT's eTypist and Sourcenext's 本格読取 (which uses Panasonic's engine). Prices range from about $50 to about $100, and they all promise modern intelligent OCR (i.e. one that uses some linguistic AI in addition to pure optics) as well as intelligent understanding of layout. The first two have demo versions available for download, but they're Windows only so I'll have to wait until I'm home to try them. In the meantime, I remembered app Google Translate has a manual OCR scanning mode where you can take a photo and help the engine by painting over sections of text. I tried it on the same Famitsu review from the other thread, super zoomed-in on my laptop screen. The OCR results are flawless. Sure, this is a very short text and it's fairly clear, but still, it's impressive.
  6. I am. If we're dealing with a constantly evolving translation model, it makes sense that newer versions aren't immediately available on all the servers. Nothing on this scale works that way, and we'll probably see changes that appear in one server propagated to the rest in a matter of hours. I think that when serious research is involved, nothing is of no importance. Ad copy (especially when it's not presented as an actual ad) tells us how a company tries to present a work. You can tell a lot about particular corporate cultures and even about game development by seriously taking a look at them. There's really not a single word in those magazines that can't be used in some capacity when researching aspects of game culture at that point in time.
  7. Google Translate has shown incredible progress in the last few years, but one of the problems that comes with that progress is that it can be deceiving. Depending on the text, Google Translate now can output text that's perfectly formed and mostly accurate, but then completely fails to translate one small part of it in a way that's not apparent (I've seen it even convey the opposite meaning of what was said in the original). If you rely on it for research purposes that's not good enough no matter how accurate the rest of the translation is. Even when the entire translation is pretty good, as is in your example, the few small glitches can cause confusion. For example, 役 was translated here as its common meaning of "role" instead of "(card game) hand", and if you don't know what kind of game Hanafuda is you might be led to think there's some unexplained role system here. Then there's the fact that Google Translate produces good results only on fairly dry text and the moment there's some colloquialisms or figurative language involved it still breaks down very fast. Anything but the most badly written fiction is pretty much completely out, but also articles and interviews that are more than dry reports. I followed up on your example and tried transcribing and Google-translating several different types of content from the issue of Famitsu @kitsunebi77 posted the other day. These are carefully checked hand transcriptions and don't have the imperfections OCR inevitably produces. Since I know Japanese, I tried to predict how well Google will do as I was typing and I got it right every time. I'll go from best to worst. First, here's where Google did a fantastic job for the most part: a news article from the news section at the front of the magazine: This is pretty good! This news article is clearly written for kids with some small colloquial patterns thrown around, but for the most part it's just informative text. The only potential source of confusion is the word "in" in the first paragraph (Toy Show *is* Japan's largest toy trade fair, it doesn't take place *in* it). The very last paragraph got a little messy in translation (and got confused about how to transcribe SNK and Neo Geo) but is still readable. There's also some inconsistency with "provisional name" and "tentative name" for the same expression in different places (I prefer the latter). Next, a short game preview from the PlayStation launch lineup. I'm pretty sure this is marketing text that came directly from Sony and wasn't written by Famitsu's editors. Not bad at all. The biggest mistake is translating 広野 as the name Hirono instead of as the word "plains". "About 10 stages" is also a mistranslation (the original simply states there are 10 stages). But overall, it's clear and you get what the piece is trying to say. Now let's see how Google does with something that's not purely informational. Here's the very first review in the review section, for the game "Super 4WD, The Baja": This isn't good. Famitsu reviews have a very small character count to work with so they're usually written in colloquial shorthand style that Google trips over as often as it gets right. We get words left untranslated, and the penultimate sentence is one you might reason out the meaning of, but you might also not plus it turned "バイク野郎" into a simple"biker" which I can't forgive. There weren't any interviews in this issue of Famitsu so I turned to a random issue of PC Engine Fan of the same vintage and pulled out the first question of an interview with the director of Cosmic Fantasy 4: This is obviously messed up, but not in the way you'd expect if you can't read the original. A savvy researcher might think that the sentence starting with "So when" came out a little strange but conveys the original thought. It does not - it's a complete mistranslation in every possible way. Ochi's last sentence ("But this time I'm ready to die") is something I think a lot of people would assume Google messed up but is actually perfectly accurate. The note following it is an incomprehensible mess though. Finally, the Famitsu review section includes a short "about myself" blurb for each of the four reviewers. Since the reviewers repeated from issue to issue and the readers were expected to know their personalities, this was usually devoted to "random stuff I thought about this week" from the reviewer in question. This is as colloquial as any text in Famitsu gets. Here's the guy who wrote the review from above: To be honest, I don't understand most of the references here myself. But the one I do weren't translated correctly and the rest are so mangled that you couldn't research them if you wanted to. I can take the Japanese text and spend some time on Google and Wikipedia and eventually get every single thing said here, but Google's results are just garbage. I don't see any of the issues here solved anytime soon. And even for the texts where the results seem excellent, they're only good as starting points for any serious research and should be confirmed with a real speaker, because unexpected inaccuracies are still the norm.
  8. FWIW, this copy of volume 5 doesn't seem to be complete - it only contains the section about Snatcher, but the cover lists many other games covered inside.
  9. The Backup magazine's back issues are also all currently on Amazon's Kindle Unlimited subscription service, which makes it significantly cheaper if you want to read them all. It might be difficult to subscribe to the service if you're outside Japan, though. As for GameLab, while it's true that the magazine ceased its monthly publication in 2017, they still publish 2-3 issues a year as well as books under the GameLab label. The next full issue is scheduled for December, and they just put out a pamphlet mini issue called "GameLab Doujinshi" sold at game-related douhinshi events.
  10. These are advertised as the "official" guides, and what I find interesting about them is that while one volume - the "monster and item" book - is by a Japanese author (Makoto Takeshita, who I feel like I've seen credited on other guidebooks), the second "dungeon solution" volume is credited to Sir-Tech Software and a Japanese translator. I wonder if the publishers had the rights to the western strategy guide but felt it didn't live up to the standard of Japanese guides so had to commission an entire second book to cover what they thought was missing.
  11. Zork 1, along with a handful of other Infocom adventures, were ported to the PC-98 in the early '90s by SystemSoft. These are impressive ports -- they've rewritten the text parser to take Japanese commands with Japanese grammar. Infocom's parser was never a simplistic VERB NOUN parser, and could handle complex commands with references to multiple objects, up to and including things like "TAKE ALL BUT THE BOOK THEN DROP THE CANDLE", and the Japanese one can too, which couldn't have been easy to implement. They're also commendable translations, and add a bunch of GUI shortcuts and things such as icon graphics for all objects. I didn't know about this guidebook, though - it's a fantastic find. Zork 1 was ported a second time in Japan a few years later, to the PS1 and Sega Saturn. That release added different graphics, a dynamic menu system instead of text input, and music. It has its own strategy guide.
  12. There's this one (Western Digital, and it's also a RAID case) for around $600, but external ones are consistently about $200 more expensive than in the US, sure, and most of them are only through external sellers. You definitely want to go internal with those sizes if you're looking for prices more in line with America (still more expensive, of course, but by a lesser margin). Besides, with those sizes you'd want to invest in a RAID, so you'll go for internals anyway.
  13. Wait, what? I just looked on Amazon, Rakuten and even Bic Camera's online store and they all offer 12TB (as well as 14TB) HDDs. If you buy on Bic they're way overpriced but on Amazon they're actually not that much more expensive than on the US site. Applicable for same-day shipping and Prime, so it's not some import seller either. Sure, you won't find them on the shelf in any physical electronics stores (though you probably can if you dig through specialty shops in Akihabara and the like), but that's just lack of demand from the average customer frequenting those shops. They're definitely available if you want them, though.
  14. I had a gut feeling things had gotten a lot better just in the past 2 years, so I opened the last week's issue and compiled a thorough list of Western games mentioned (not counting the upcoming game release listings): P6 - One page ad for NBA2K 19 P16 - Top 30: (1) Spider-Man, (3) Minecraft (switch), (7) Shadow of the Tomb Raider, (11) Conan Exiles, (14) F1 2018, (26) NBA 2K19 P18 - Top 30 anticipated releases: (23) Red Dead Redemption 2, (40) Assassin's Creed Odyssey P20 - Top 30 Downloads: (7) PUBG Mobile P28 - Reviews: The Messenger (switch), Mini Metro (switch) P84 - Game preview feature: Assassin's Creed Odyssey (8 pages) P116 - Feature on racing games: MotoGP 18 (2 pages), Assetto Corsa (2 pages), Ride 3 (1 page), V-Rally 4 (1 page). No Japanese games at all in this feature. P158 - Marketing Report column: 1 page analysis focusing on Spider-Man's sales. P159 - Masahiro Sakurai's column: He talks about the TGS Game Designer award, which Gorogoa won this year. P162 - Difficult Game Topics column: this week's topic is the NVIDIA GeForce RTX series. It's a technical article, and almost no games are discussed, but Crysis is mentioned in passing. P185 - Back cover editorial column: Discussing TGS. Red Dead Redemption 2 and Days Gone are mentioned as game featured on the show (among many other Japanese games). So just one ad among the dozens of ads for Japanese games in this issue, but a fair amount of actual coverage. Make no mistake, the magazine's still mostly about Japanese games. But it's an improvement.
  15. Found this thread from the latest Famicom Tsuushin upload - and thank you so much for these, by the way. Reading the small print, the Gavas system isn't as huge a scam as you're making it to be. The complimentary bucks that came with the issues are just a part of the story, and in fact, one couldn't use just them to get any but the cheapest prizes. Anything 1800 gavas or more (which is the value for a Disk System game) required special gavas, which one could get by submitting stuff to the magazine for their reader-contribution columns and having it printed. You could get up to 5000 gavas for a printed item (it differed for different columns and different types of contributions). It doesn't seem too far fetched that a talented kid artist could get several drawings printed and earn enough for one of the big prizes. Heck, you have to commend them for not allowing paying for big prizes with just complimentary gavas - this has to be an attempt to stop kids with access to money (or dedicated adults) from buying dozens of copies of the the same issue.