Tokyo, Japan, July 25, 2001 -- Hitachi, Ltd. (TSE: 6501) today announced
plans to launch an entertainment simulator (simulation-ride) distribution
service for commercial amusement sites. The new service, to start
from October 1, will use Hitachi's Satellite Data Distribution Total
Support Service (the HK Channel) to deliver simulation-ride contents
directly to the client.
It follows the conclusion of a broadly based development agreement
with Camber Entertainment of the UK, distributor of one of the world's
largest ridefilm libraries. The agreement will also see cross distribution
of Camber and Hitachi products in the North American, European and
Far East markets which will allow a very broad range of products to
be offered to amusement industry clients. The two companies will also
cooperate in the development of new products and ridefilm content
as well as technology transfer.
The size of Japan's amusement market, already estimated at over one
trillion yen, is expected to continue expanding, with most of the
growth centered on theme parks and large shopping centers. The emergence
of new technologies has steadily added to the high-tech orientation
of the attractions. Among them, simulation-ride systems, the most
strongly technology driven, utilize techniques from fields as diverse
as computer graphics, virtual reality, simulation and video. The dramatic
effects these systems achieve have won them a place in theme parks,
amusement parks, cinema complexes, museums and a variety of other
types of entertainment facilities.
Still, the customer drawing power of the simulation-ride systems at
most amusement sites is declining because of a shortage of fresh titles.
The industry therefore feels a keen need for a regular supply of exciting
new rides to entice customers back repeatedly. It also needs products
that are affordably priced in relation to expected revenues.
Hitachi's new distribution service is designed to respond to these
needs. The contents supply agreement with Chamber Entertainment, the
world's leading producer of simulation rides, gives Hitachi access
to a library of more than 100 ridefilms for distribution to amusement
sites via the HK Channel. The distribution process starts with encryption
of motion creation software for automatically generating motion synchronized
to the contents and images of the Camber Entertainment simulation-ride.
The encrypted software is then sent from the HK Channel Satellite
Control Center in Tokyo via the JCSAT-4 communications satellite to
a receiving server installed at the client's amusement site. By contracting
for and receiving only the contents and motion creation software it
requires, the amusement site can easily and economically offer customers
new and exciting simulation-rides on a regular basis.
A Ride Contents Administration Center to be established within Hitachi
Keiyo Engineering & Systems, Ltd. , a Hitachi, Ltd. affiliate,
will take charge of receiving orders via the Internet, billing, registering
ride contents with the HK Channel, administration, modifying existing
facilities at simulation-ride client sites, and after-sales service.
About Hitachi, Ltd.:
Hitachi, Ltd., headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, is one of the world's
leading global electronics companies, with fiscal 2000 (ended March
31, 2001) consolidated sales of 8,417 billion yen ($67.9 billion*).
The company manufactures and markets a wide range of products, including
computers, semiconductors, consumer products and power and industrial
equipment. For more information on Hitachi, Ltd., please visit Hitachi's
Web site at http://global.hitachi.com.
*At an exchange rate of 124 yen to the dollar.