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Business

Capcom smart card system caters to gamers riding the rails

Bringing the rail rider's route into the gaming experience.

OSAKA -- Capcom will soon make video games for Nintendo's 3DS handheld system that draw on players' train ridership and other data captured from transit smart cards.

The game maker and East Japan Marketing & Communications, a strategic and technology unit of East Japan Railway, have built a system using Sony's FeliCa contactless smart card technology to read transit card data into the 3DS. Ten different smartcard systems are compatible, including East Japan Railway's Suica and West Japan Railway's Icoca.

The system primarily uses ridership data such as station entries. Personal information such as the cardholder's name, the card's loaded balance and data on electronic commuter passes is not recorded.

The latest-model 3DS has a card reader built in. A peripheral enables earlier models to read data.

Capcom aims to use transit data to enhance gamers' experience, for example by rewarding players visiting certain stations with special items. This could be put to use in providing a boost to Japan's regional economies. The company has already begun developing the first game that will draw on the card reading system, a social game featuring more than 9,000 stations across the country.

(Nikkei)

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