Microsoft Corp. has teamed with NTT Communications Corp. to enable Xbox-based online gaming in Japan this fall when the console is released there. Microsoft hopes that the Web connection will help in its battle with Sony’s PlayStation 2. NTT will provide high-speed ADSL services. Sony has announced plans to use NTT DoCoMo, Japan’s biggest mobile operator, to connect the PlayStation to the Web.
In related news, Microsoft has announced that Sega Corp. will provide eleven game titles for the Xbox launch. Though the games will be available in the US as well, Bill Gates has characterized the Sega deal as a sign of Microsoft’s commitment to the Japanese market, where analysts have criticized the company for being weak in games tailored for that region. Presumably, games written by a Japanese company will meet that requirement.