The Star Of Tokyo Game Show 2011

Sony’s new PlayStation Vita seemed to be the big star of this year’s Tokyo Game Show (TGS). And, of course, in this age of booming smartphones and tablets, mobile games shared that spotlight along with some titles that will be sure to please. Highlights:

PlayStation Vita is Sony’s next generation to the PlayStation Portable (PSP), and it will be available Dec. 17 (in Japan), along with 26 games (with more than 100 in development). The Vita has a battery life of about three to five hours when you’re gaming, and it does not use Memory Sticks or SD cards, but uses a proprietary memory card that will cost between $25 and $100, depending on the size (4GB to 32GB). I’m not surprised about that it’s a typical Sony practice to come up with another proprietary memory solution.

Unfortunately, Sony has no exact launch date for the U.S. Vita most likely at the beginning of next year. The retail price will be about $400 ($350 for the WiFi only version). It looks like the 3G provider will be AT&T if you purchase the Vita with data capabilities. I think this huge Vita push is Sony’s counter-action to Nintendo’s revitalization of the 3DS.

In the social/mobile gaming world, Hangame and Gree showcased a multitude of smartphone games. Hangame is a company based in South Korea, and NHN Japan publishes its games it had various booths around the show, including a cute darts game for the iPhone (a free download on the iTunes App Store). Other featured games include various puzzle games (and even a jigsaw puzzle), chess, crossword puzzles and racing.

Gree had one of the largest booths at TGS. Gree is a social networking service that began seven years ago, and this is the first time it had an exhibit at the Tokyo Game Show. Gree’s games are an additional feature to its social networking service, similar to what we already see on Facebook in the U.S. The company gives away games for free and once users become fans of the games, some pay for virtual items such as clothing or cute pets.

My favorite game there was the Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3. All my favorite characters appear (release date Nov. 15 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, and Vita in the future). My other pick is Namco Bandai’s Ace Combat: Assault Horizon. I can’t really tell thoroughly from just playing the demo at the show, but so far it looks like the graphics have significantly improved from the previous release, with more aircraft/weapons selections.

Finally, the other thing that caught my eye was the manga creation software ComiPo! It released a full English version that allows you to make your own high quality comics and manga. You can easily create your own stories and situations with one of the 3D characters included in the software. The program also offers 100 unique body poses and facial expressions along with multiple background images, items, sound effects and word balloons. You download a trial 14-day version at (Windows only), or you can buy the full version for $49.95.