Brain Age To Outsmart The 3DS?

Illustration for article titled Brain Age To Outsmart The 3DS?

Just because Nintendo's Brain Age took Japan by storm in 2006, that doesn't mean it can't do it again. Neuroscientist Dr. Ryuta Kawashima spills the beans that a new Brain Age is in development.

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Dr. Kawashima, whose floating head appears in the games, mentioned that a third Brain Age is in development in his new book "Goodbye Brain Boom". The brain game boom does not appear to be going anywhere with brain games recently released on Kinect in Japan

Kawashima does not mention any particulars about the game, noting that he has a confidentiality agreement. But given the success of the series, another Brain Age game sounds smart — brainy, even.

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In the book, Kawashima recounts how Nintendo president Satoru Iwata doesn't want to release a new Brain Age. That is, until they can do "something special".

There is speculation that the new Brain Age game, which Nintendo still hasn't officially revealed, is slated for the Nintendo 3DS. 3D could obviously put a fresh spin on what seems like well traveled territory.

Since the games were originally released, there has been debate whether the game actually works with some reachers saying it does and others saying it does not.

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Kotaku is following up with Nintendo and will update should the company comment.

▼橘寛基のGamersta! 第225回 『特別なアイデア』の第3弾 「脳トレ」の裏側 [BIGLOBEゲーム via N-Wii.net]

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DISCUSSION

farmboyinjapan-old
FarmboyinJapan

Brain Age will come, it will sell, but in Japan, it is (was) part of a movement that has certainly seen better days.

The Brain training zeitgeist was sometime in late 2005 (an ETERNITY ago in the world of Japanese cultural fads), when both of the Brain Training games were viewed as the second coming, and you couldn't turn on a TV, or go out shopping without being presented with some kind of brain training tidbit/trivia/gizmo/etc.

Japan has a society that has a thing for fads. They seem to come with the changing of the seasons, and when they come, ho boy...batten down the hatches and put up the storm windows...cause they take this country by force. But then, just like that, the media moves onto something else to hype, and everyone drops what they are doing to get on board for the next "big wave".

Kurt Cobain once said that it is "better to burn out than to fade away." And that is really what happens to all of these fads...they just run their course and go away...but seemingly at a much faster pace than in the west.

So while the next Brain Age will put up some good numbers, its really no longer at "fad status" in Japan, meaning fewer people are going to drop everything to rush out and buy a game system just to check it out (something that happened with the DS).

And here is a little tidbit about Brain Training. There is a story in baseball that on Thanksgiving 2003, the GM of the Red Sox, Theo Epstein, had dinner with Curt Schilling to convince him to come and play for Boston. Well, its said that on the launch day of the original DS in Japan, Iwata was not shaking the hands of early adopters, or at some party at Nintendo HQ, but was himself personally at Ryuta Kawashima's office, very much like a sports agent or manager, begging him to be involved in a brain training title for the DS.