We take a look at Tokyo Game Show had on offer.
E3, PAX, GDC, Gamescom and now Tokyo Game Show: it's been a huge year for video games and the trade shows they enable. Iâ€™m here at TGS 2011 to see what's new and where the future of Japanese gaming is headed.
Tokyo Game Show is held at Makuhari Messe, an hour from Tokyo City itself and 9269km from NZGamer.com Headquarters. It lasts for four days, with the first two reserved for business and press, and the remaining two opening the doors up to the public.
This year there are 193 exhibitors from 16 different countries, 715 exhibiting titles, and 1250 booth units. It is expected that over 190,000 visitors will attend the event over the four day period.
This yearâ€™s theme is "Game - Dancing Your Heart" with the slogan "Cheer up Japan with Games", a reference to the terrible earthquake and subsequent tsunami that hit Japan in March.
So just who are the big players at this yearâ€™s Tokyo Game Show? SEGA, Konami, Namco Bandai, Capcom and Sony naturally had the biggest stands here, but some new arrivals turned some heads, including GREE, XPERIA, and various social/cloud gaming outfits. Are these signs of Japanâ€™s future for games?
We had a good hard look at GREE, a cloud-based smart phone browser game service which is really taking off in Japan. Japanese television is crowded with advertisements for these simple and cute visual, text-heavy games you can run on any smart phone, from Android to iPhone. If it has a browser that lets you play the latest cloud games from Capcom, SEGA and Konami. There are even GREE games based off big franchises such as Biohazard (Resident Evil) and Yakuza, and while they may seem fairly basic, theyâ€™re proving extremely popular for the huge number of commuters in the area.
Another trend is co-op and party games, alongside Western-developed titles such as Harmonixâ€™s Dance Central 2, which now has Japanese-centric artists joining the party. Battlefield 3 also has a large presence here at TGS: the line quickly grew to over an hour wait time just to play on one of the eight machines for 10 minutes each. And Sonyâ€™s PlayStation Vita, to be released December 12th in Japan, also caused excitement, with a large release list including, WipEout, Everybody's Golf 3, Resistance, Uncharted and many many more.
Tokyo Game Show showcases to everyone not just in Japan but all around the world that video games are ever growing and evolving. If the purpose of the event was to showcase the sheer joy and excitement that video games â€” from both Japan and around the world â€” can bring, then I say mission accomplished.