For the gaming world, September 20 will be a day to remember. They will remember it as the day that the Tokyo Game Show 2012 began in Chiba, Japan. With 209 companies appearing from across the globe, it was the biggest convention in gaming history.
Since 1996, this convention has been constantly evolving. Starting with 117 companies and only console and handheld games, they’ve made their way into being one of Japan’s biggest entertainment events.
Like any event, there are those who have a negative opinion of the Tokyo Game Show. For example, Capcom’s former head of research and development, Keiji Inafune,
targeted the variety seen in the convention.“There’s nothing new here in TGS 2012; there’s just too
many sequels” Inafune said. He expresses the difficulty in creating new games and franchises without a new system to work with for the past six to seven years. With no new
systems coming out, we are left with sequels and spin-offs compared to a new series.
Kimberly, a freshman gave her own opinion on the importance of gaming. “Video games are important to the entertainment industry because they provide well enjoyed entertainment”. This statement shows what people have realized in recent years. Video games are a true form of entertainment and not something to be looked down on.
Now that introductions are out of the way, its time to go over the current convention. The theme for this year is “Spreading smiles through games”. With 209 companies, their theme can be reached. The convention itself contains 11 separate areas with 6 made specifically for gaming.
The general exhibition area includes big hits from around the world. Based on reports, Sony is taking a large chunk of this area with a whopping 111 games across the company’s three core systems. Hits from Sony include their home-made brawler PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale, a fighting game taking its roots in Nintendo’s famous Super Smash Bros. series and Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, a spin-off of Hideo Kojima’s famous Metal Gear series.
Sony also decided to show off several new devices that will be coming out in the near future. The newest piece of technology is the HMZ-T2 3D, a device that would project a personal 3D image through a specialized headset. They also unveiled new models for their current systems. A new super-slim PS3 will debut later this month with larger memory. Their PS Vita handheld will also debut in red and blue.
Sony’s dominance was matched up against Capcom’s stunning lineup. Their heavy hitter was Monster Hunter 4, the sequel to Japan’s famous monster killing series. This series is famous for the difficulty in slaying the game’s mighty foes. These monsters can only be taken out with strategy
and precision and not pressing the attack button repeatedly. This game will be coming out 2013.
Nintendo and Microsoft failed to show up at the convention. Instead, Nintendo decided to let partner companies use their new Wii U console during their presentation. Even with their lack of appearance, they still managed to capture new potential buyers.
For those with families, the family area provides groups with a family-oriented experience. Namco Bandai and Sega took this opportunity by using a large portion of the area to reach the “softer” gamers.
Namco Bandai’s exhibition included 59 games. The most surprising news comes from the games per console. In the United States, the PSP is faced with a completely demolished release schedule. However, in Japan, the system is still outselling its successor, the PS Vita. Namco Bandai proves this by having their PSP lineup consist of 24 games. Highlights from their PSP lineup include SD Gundam G Generation Overworld, a strategy game based on Japan’s 1979 giant robot franchise, Mobile Suit Gundam and God
Eater 2, a post-apocalyptic game where you have to fight monsters.
Following the giant robot tradition, Banpresto, a small company owned by Namco Bandai, decided to display their game 2nd Super Robot Wars Original Generation. This game is a continuation of their mainline Super Robot Wars Series. This series features new mechs made by the company, compared to using shows made by other studios. New to the series is the ability to tag units together, doubling your unit count per stage. This game will be out on November 22 on the PS3.
Sega decided to try the strategy “quality, not quantity” in their approach to the convention. They decided to only debut two new games at this convention, Yakuza 5 and Phantasy Star Online 2. Yakuza 5 is the sequel to the Yakuza(Japanese mafia) series. Phantasy Star Online 2 is a futuristic online(Massively Multiplayer Online Game) that will feature cross-play between the game’s four consoles: iOS, Android, Microsoft Windows, and PS Vita. Cross-play is a feature that allows different devices to interact to each other through the internet. These games will come out in the US sometime in 2013.
Phantasy Star Online 2 is not the only mobile game presented at the convention. In fact, mobile games dominated 70% of the overall convention. In fact, 509 of the 715 games presented were for a mix of mobile devices. Could this over-saturation of mobile games be the sign of
a shift in the gaming market?
Whereas the games had the main floor, other new ideas were featured. The company, Neurowear, have decided to show off their two new brainwave operated products. Their “Shippo” tail and Necomimi cat ears dominated their Tokyo Game Show presentation. Through the use of a Bluetooth headset, the objects read your brainwaves and react based on your mood. With a smartphone app released in part with the products you will be able to track where your tail and ears reacted and post the results on Facebook and Twitter.
For the average person, they are fueled by a little dose of greed. People want the iPhone 5 because they like the idea of having the newest thing, not because they need a new phone. The people at the Tokyo Game show see this, and provide the merchandise you want to get your hands
on. Many booths have merchandise to help advertise their latest games. The merchandise often ranges from plush models to full on action figures. With all these choices, it’s a good thing Sega went out and gave people giant bags for free.
People in America typically dress in costumes on special occasions like Halloween and parties. The average convention-goer, however, has to add conventions to their list of occasions. This is especially true in Japan where people embrace the term cosplay, the act of wearing costumes imitating characters from works of fiction. In fact, the Tokyo Game Show had Cosplay Collection Night, a competition that took place on September 22.
The convention has come and went, but the fun isn’t over. The games shown at the convention will be coming out next year for your entertainment. Hits like Black Ops 2 and Fifa 13 are around the corner.