[Gamasutra rounds up recent reports on the Japanese games industry from local news site Andriasang.com, 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 PS Vitas catching on fire, troubles for downloadable 3DS games, and the future for Japanese developers.
A Japanese government agency is investigating cases of PS Vita handhelds burning up while recharging -- 31 cases of the system catching on fire have been recorded around the world since it launched last December, according to a report from Yomiuri.
Sony does not intend to issue a recall, as it claims that these incidents are not the result of a product malfunction. The company believes this problem occurred because people had liquids or other objects inserted where the charging cord hooks up to the portable.
Nintendo's launch of full downloadable 3DS games through the eShop platform did not go smoothly in Japan, where the service was unavailable for a few hours shortly after New Super Mario Bros. 2 and Demon Training -- the first downloadable games -- went on sale.
Consumers were not only unable to purchase the games directly through the eShop, they were also unable to redeem their downloads from code cards purchased at retailers. The eShop has since recovered from those issues, and users can now download those titles without any problems.
Nintendo's downloadable games, though, were the subject of other complaints last week when consumers noticed that some major online retailers have been pricing download code cards higher than physical copies, instead of making them cheaper as many expected.
Several of Japan's most prominent developers shared their thoughts about the future of their companies and the game industry with Famitsu, including Grasshopper Manufacture's CEO Goichi Suda and Square Enix's Naoki Yoshida.
Capcom's Motohide Eshiro, who has served as producer for the popular Ace Attorney adventure series, predicts that Japanese developers will not be able to compete with overseas companies by simply copying their ideas; they must focus on creating new gameplay elements and concepts.
Toshihiro Nagoshi, creator of Sega's Yakuza series, noted that while the Japanese console game market is declining, so are other international markets. He said game developers will need to find a way to combat this, and also hinted that he'd like to create a free-to-play online game.
[This story was written with permission using material from Andriasang.com, a leading destination for English-language news on Japan's game industry.]