Tokyo Game Show 2014: Prelim Observations (GALLERY)
Very Big Game Show
If you haven't been to Makuhari Messe before, know that 'convention center' doesn't quite do it justice. No, 'stadium' is a closer approximation of the venue's size and footprint on the northeastern edge of Tokyo Bay [MAP], part of the Tokyo Metro Area, but actually in Chiba Prefecture (not far from from Tokyo Disney Land).
We point that out to illustrate just how huge the hulking ark of a venue is, and what it therefore means when it's stuffed with all the trappings of the world's largest gaming and gaming culture event, Tokyo Game Show 2014.
Tokyo Game Show 2014 - Day 1
“Changing Games: The Transformation of Fun”
…the theme of 2014’s event, means, uhhh...definitely means something. To someone. While to us it isn’t entirely clear what the Computer Entertainment Supplier’s Association (CESA) was going for with that theme/catchphrase, in our estimation it’s best illustrated by two profound changes between 2013 and this year’s show:
Mobile Gaming Exhibitors:
This year’s mobile gaming titles more than double last year’s numbers; and by mobile, we mean smartphone-based. The number of titles dedicated to the PSP family and Nintendo (3)DS appear to pretty much be holding steady (a healthy uptick for the hybrid-ish Wii U bears mentioning, however). Meanwhile, iOS and Android titles have jumped from 114 to 259, and 112 to 246, respectively. The ‘Fun Transformation’ here appears to be gamers consolidating devices and getting a whole lot more comfortable with touchscreen interfaces, or, at the very least, that is what developers hope is happening.
This transformation is simple, and clearly related to the above: there are 81 indie gaming titles being exhibited this year, and that is, to the best of organizers knowledge, about 81 more than last year. Sure, probably it’s just that no one was counting last year, but the fact that organizers are now paying attention, and given the mobile gaming explosion, we’d guess that it’s still an enormous leap from last year’s showing.
Record Event; Record Coverage - Stay Tuned!
This year’s TGS boasts a record 421 exhibitors from a total of 32 countries (72 more exhibitors than 2013; again, the mobile effect). Along with the mobile/indie explosion, naturally the world’s largest developers, your Sonys and your Microsofts and their most popular titles, are blasting the room, and even the Oculus Rift has a presence - suffice it to say, we’ll have more to come.
You can jump through to the Aki Events page to get more venue and schedule details. Here are a few shots from opening day, and full gallery links are directly below:
Down from Above: Not too crowded on industry/press days.
Microsoft's expansive presence.
There are Gundam games. That is all.
Lots of business being done at the event, too.