The Tokyo Game Show 2012, one of the world’s top gaming industry events, kicked off Thursday in Chiba Prefecture, with developers unveiling an increased number of titles for smart phones, at a time when sales of console games are slowing.
During the four-day video game software and hardware expo at the Makuhari Messe convention center near Tokyo, 209 companies from around the world will showcase a record 1,043 titles, according to the Computer Entertainment Supplier’s Association.
The annual event is expected to draw roughly 195,000 game fans, with 1,609 booths open for hands-on experiences of new titles and other products, the organizer said.
The event will be open only to the media and gaming industry for the first two days, then to the public on Saturday and Sunday.
This year’s game show sees a surge in the number of game titles for mobile platforms such as Apple Inc.’s iPhone, as social networking games further increases their presence.
Japan’s leading social gaming companies Gree Inc and DeNA Co Ltd said on Wednesday they would gradually phase out games that contain aspects of gambling as they face increased pressure from regulators.
The game under investigation by Japans Consumer Affairs Agency is called “complete gacha”, which charges users around $3 to $4 to turn over virtual cards. Completing a predetermined set of up to seven cards allows subscribers to claim rare cards or other valuable online rewards.
For gamers, this weekend will feel like Christmas. Tokyo Game Show (TGS), Japan’s biggest gaming event, began Thursday at Chiba’s Makuhari Messe convention center and will continue through Sept. 18 (on Saturday and Sunday it will be open to the public). More than 140 exhibitors are on hand, off-site parties have already begun to go late into the night and — most importantly — there are tons of new video games.
Game face: Research engineer Mikael Le Goff checks out Sony’s PlayStation Vita at Tokyo Game Show on Thursday. Japan’s largest video-game event continues through Sunday, and will be open to the public on Sept. 17-18. YOSHIAKI MIURA PHOTO
Not bad for a show that seemed impossible in the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 11. As the government pushed the summer of setsuden (energy conservation), an energy drain like TGS seemed improbable. Organizers responded to the crisis by implementing measures to reduce the total electricity consumption of the event by 25 percent: turning off escalators, using LED light bulbs and limiting power for exhibition booths.