Tokyo Game Show 2012 spreads smiles through games
By Daniel Rutledge
Once a year hundreds of thousands of gamers and those in the gaming industry head along to the Tokyo Game Show.
It’s one of the world’s three largest gaming events along with E3 in Los Angeles and Gamescom in Germany.
The 2012 Tokyo Game Show was the biggest yet, with 223,753 recorded visitors over the four days it ran, 209 exhibitors and 1,609 booths showing off the latest games and gaming technology.
Although Xbox and Nintendo did not have booths this year, PlayStation had a big presence at the expo, showcasing new look consoles, a mass of upcoming games and upgrades to the PlayStation Plus service.
Tokyo Jungle is one of the crazier PlayStation titles released this year, featuring a range of animals running amok in the Japanese capital after all humans have left it. Despite the wacky trailers which were popular online, the game’s creators made it with serious intentions.
"We tried to make a serious game about what Tokyo would look like if there were no people and it was taken over by animals," says Tokyo Jungle director Yohei Kataoka.
Many punters I spoke to at the expo were excited about the explosion of new games you can play on mobile devices.
"I came to see iPod games and stuff," a young Japanese gamer told me. “There’s a new baseball that’s very interesting, I really want my mum and dad to download it.”
The Tokyo Game Show is mainly for the Japanese market and features heaps of titles that will never be released in the West. For foreigners, the experience of being there itself was often more exciting than the games.
"The thing that strikes me the most is just the sound, like there's such a buzz," one tourist explained.
"I saw a lot of people in crazy costumes.”
Indeed – the Tokyo Game Show has hundreds of cosplayers – fans who dress up like their favourite game or cartoon characters – roaming around each day. At this year’s event more than 200 cosplayers performed on stage on the Cosplay Collection Night.
Some fans came to the event just to take photos of the cosplayers… and the promo girls.
The motto of the Tokyo Game Show was “Spreading Smiles Through Games” and it’s safe to say that this was certainly achieved.