Jun 27, 2016

Tokyo Game Show 2016 (Preview)

It's almost time for the 2016 Tokyo Game Show! If you are in the Tokyo area this September and are interested in video games, this is your opportunity to see the latest offerings from some of the biggest names in gaming. Last year's show had nearly 270,000 visitors as well as over 2,000 booths from exhibitors located both locally in Japan as well as over seas. 

What can you expect from TGS? Well, expect to see the latest and greatest in video games. TGS is a showcase for upcoming titles as well as announcements for new hardware and software. Beyond games there are panels and interviews with voice actors, game producers, and developers throughout the two public days. TGS also has the benefit of being later in the year, as opposed to E3 (held in June) and many companies use TGS to make major announcements and reveal new games. 
The big thing this year is VR. Expect to see Sony's PlayStation VR, the Oculus Rift, and HTC Vive making an appearance. Nintendo has stated they will be selling a new console next year but Nintendo has a history of not going to TGS, but rumors would indicate they will use this year to unveil their latest console, code-named NX. Sony and Microsoft are both launching upgrades to their consoles next year. While, the new Xbox(s) made an appearance at E3 this year I will be curious to see if Sony unveils it's newest console upgrade.   

TGS isn't just about walking around and hearing people talk about games! There is an opportunity for you to play the games. Many of the booths presenting games will give you the chance to try out their latest product or a version of what they are developing. 

Sony's PlayStation 4 on display before launch.  

You could spend an entire day there if you like. Other than the closing times, there is no one telling you when and where you need to go. Previous years have seen the exhibition of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One (before release in Japan). As well as multiple games. Like I said before, Nintendo historically hasn't attended the show (although this year could be different) but there are usually 3rd party developers showing off their software for Nintendo's systems.  

So is TGS worth it? I think it depends on what you are looking for. Don't expect E3. TGS is a much smaller show. When I attended the show in 2013 I was able to see the PS4, XBox One and a bunch of games all before they were officially released. I was able to play a few of the games as well. We didn't spend the whole day there and I didn't feel like I rushed through the show. We were there for maybe 4 hours, but that time is going to greatly increase if you get stuck in a long line to play a demo. Overall, I think it was a good experience. The 1,200 ticket price doesn't break the bank and it can be a fun day with friends if you share an interest in video games.   

The 2016 general admission days of the Tokyo Game Show run from September 17th through the 18th. Tickets are 1,200 at the door or 1,000 if bought in advance. Doors open to the public at 10:00 am and close at 5:00 pm. TGS is located at the Makuhari Messe Hall 1-11, International Conference Halls. It's about a 30 min train ride from Tokyo Station. More information can be found here on the official TGS website. 



Andrew Higgins has been living in Japan full-time since 2012. He is a junior high school ALT, softball coach, lover of okonomiyaki (Osaka style), and all things Girls und Panzer. He makes YouTube videos about living in Japan. You can follow his adventures at facebook.com/HigginsInJapan