Older arcade-style games became particularly popular on mobile phones, which were an ideal platform for arcade-style games designed for shorter play sessions.Graphics improved as handsets became more powerful, as demonstrated by the mobile version of Ridge Racer in 2003, though such titles typically cost twice as much as other mobile games.One example deals with the astrological symbol for Libra (♎).It resembles a cooked and puffed mochi, and is sometimes used in a happy new year's message as mochi are often eaten then.Another virtual pet game utilized a fingerprint scanner built into a handset to interact with a pet.Another mobile game that year was an educational game that utilized a mobile's microphone to help children with their pronunciation skills.
Technologies like 3G Mobile Broadband were common in Japan before any other country.
When the i-mode service became available, the mobile phone culture began flourishing in earnest as this service offered an E-mail application.
Magazines and television regularly make specials focusing on the current trend of how mobile phones are used by young people.
Namco began attempting to introduce mobile gaming to Europe in 2003.
Other mobile games released in 2003 included a Tamagotchi-like virtual pet game by Panasonic where the pet can be fed with photos of foods taken with a camera phone.