Four of Japan's biggest comic book -- or 'manga' -- publishers are coming together to bring digital versions of their magazines to Nintendo's Wii console.
The companies, Kadokawa, Kodansha, Shueisha and Shogakukan, have formed a joint venture with a local software house that aims to be the first to bring digital comics to the hit console. The venture, called Librica, was formed in July and will deliver comics through the Wii Ware software channel to users. An Internet connection will be required to use the service.
Initially it will target the Wii but Librica said it is considering expanding the service goal to encompass the handheld DS gaming device. It will also offer other publishers the chance to join its platform when launched.
Launch timing and pricing for the service was not announced.
Comic books are hugely popular in Japan. In 2006 sales of comic books totalled