Handheld systems such as the Nintendo DS and Sony
PlayStation Portable are very commonly seen on Japan’s mass transit systems.
You won’t be seeing those portable consoles on Japanese airlines, however. They
have been banned for airplane use according to the Hollywood
It is now against the law to use onboard aircraft any device
that is capable of any wireless transmission, which includes the latest
handheld gaming systems and cordless computer accessories such as wireless
Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport
concluded that portable gaming systems emit electromagnetic waves that could
potentially interfere with aircraft navigation and other systems.
Passengers will still be permitted to use gaming devices
such as the Game Boy Advance, which features no wireless connectivity
The report did not mention what the new law’s stance is on
laptop computers, most of which have some form of Wi-Fi capabilities built-in.
North American airlines current requests its passengers to disable all wireless
functions of computers and phones while in-flight.
Although there is no way to temporarily disable all wireless
activity on a Nintendo DS, all Sony PSP models feature a WLAN switch that
prevents radio transmission. Should laptop computers with disabled wireless
adapters be permitted for use in plane, then logically PSPs should also be
allowed – though the law likely blankets all wireless-enabled gaming handhelds
for the sake of simplicity.