Tokyo Game Show 2008
Last weekend, the annual Tokyo Game Show was held in Makuhari Messe Convention Center in Chiba (just outside Tokyo), where otaku game players gathered to get a first hand look at the latest and upcoming games.
Thursday and Friday were business (press) days with attendance about 25,000, while the weekend was open to the public (cost was 1,200 yen, elementary children were free), with attendance up from last year of over 70,000 each day – that’s a lot of people and it was crowded indeed, with long line-ups at the exhibits and shows, as you can see from the pictures below. But we are in Tokyo, so crowds are always expected.
The major game platform developers like Sony (Playstation) and Microsoft (Xbox360) were prominent with huge booths, but Nintendo (Wii, Gamecube) was absent, why (especially since Wii is a big seller in Japan)?
There were many software developers like Konami (Japanese game developer of the very popular Metal Gear Solid series), Level 5, Tecmo, Electronic Arts (EA), Capcom, Sega and others. Below is a picture of part of the EA booth with their new Need for Speed Undercover game car and the Level 5 play area.
I was surprised to see cellular phone providers such as au KDDI and NTT Docomo, but I guess games are big on cell phones here in Japan.
There were also a few international booths from Canada, Beijing, Holland and Taiwan – not as well known companies though and were relatively empty 😦
Game player geeks have families too, so there was also a Kids’ Area.
Booth girls gave away free promotional material and brochures. There always seemed to a crowd (some press) gathered around them taking pictures.
Costume play, also more commonly known as cosplay for short, was also very popular as many mimicked the characters in the games. As you can see from the pictures below, it was very colorful and looked like a Halloween party (hey, Halloween is only a couple of weeks away, cool). As you can imagine, lots of people (and press) took pictures and there were signs (in both English and Japanese) to ask for their permission before taking a picture.
A very popular costume was Chun Li of Street Fighter, and one of the most impressive costumes (at least the head gear) was Raiden from Metal Gear Solid 4.