Pachinko is still everywhere, just about the only thing that is even more noisy than the electronics stores.
I couldn't believe Microsoft would have done such as thing but back then the "youthful" look was in. A lot of the adverts had pre-adolescent looking models and they were plastered everywhere.
That's not a matter of being "in". That's just a part of Japanese culture, unfortunately. Japanese men like youthful women (most of them seem to have a Lolita complex), so you end up with 30 year old women who look and act like they're 14. Considering that Japan is still one of the least emancipated "civilized" nations (though fortunately it is getting better), women pretty much have no choice to confirm to the stereotypes if they want to have any hopes of getting a husband or a job.