The Tokyo Game Show started on Thursday, returning to a fully in-person format for the first time since the outbreak of the coronavirus, with metaverse and virtual reality titles and technologies coming under the spotlight.
The annual extravaganza for video-game lovers, one of the biggest of its kind in the world, will be held at Chiba’s Makuhari Messe convention center, near Tokyo, through Sunday. The first two days are mainly reserved for media reporters and industry officials, with general visitors allowed in from Friday afternoon.
The Tokyo Game Show opens at Chiba’s Makuhari Messe convention center on Sept. 15, 2022. (Kyodo)
It was the first time for the show to welcome attendance from the general public after being held largely online for the past two years because of the coronavirus pandemic. The organizer expects to attract 150,000 visitors during the four-day period this year.
About 600 companies and organizations from 37 countries, including Japanese giants Capcom Co. and Square Enix Co., have participated in the event. Part of its contents can also be accessed online, according to the organizer, the Computer Entertainment Supplier’s Association.
Metaverse has become a buzzword in the game industry and beyond as more companies from game developers to banks have started to see a business potential in a virtual world that allows users to experience shopping, attend events and communicate with each other just like in the real world.
Facebook Inc., the operator of its namesake social media, changed its name to Meta Platforms Inc. last year to focus on its metaverse business, bringing public attention to the previously relatively unknown area.
With the country increasingly easing anti-virus restrictions, the number of participating organizations recovered to about 90 percent of that of 2019, which stood at 655. The number of titles exhibited came to 1,864, surpassing 1,522 in 2019.
The Tokyo Game Show is one of the world’s three biggest gaming events, along with E3 in the United States and Gamescom in Germany.
A visitor tries out a virtual reality game at the Tokyo Game Show at Chiba’s Makuhari Messe convention center on Sept. 15, 2022. (Kyodo)