With the success of online console titles like Phantasy Star Online, it's no surprise Microsoft has made sure the X-Box has enhanced online capabilities. With built-in broadband access and Ethernet card support, the systems will certainly be able to take advantage of some very advanced multiplayer software. Now, the company has announced they will enter a strategic partnership with NTT Communications in order to provide gamers with "the best online game content and gaming experience available," in the words of Bill Gates.
NTT Com, which is the leading telecommunications company in Japan, will be providing Microsoft with access to ADSL through OCN's broadband services. The X-Box division in Japan will co-manage the build-out of the online gaming service. This division will also be able to provide support for game developers working on online titles. The two companies are also exploring the possibilities of fibre-optic connections, which have the potential to provide speeds of up to 100 Mbps to create more compelling online video game experiences.
With this alliance now formed, gamers in Japan can look forward to some high-speed gaming. The only thing better than an online RPG is an online RPG with minimal lag, and now that looks like it will be a reality very soon.