Tokyo Game Show 2013 Highlights

Here I am at the Tokyo Game Show (TGS) once again, two days after enduring the winds and rains of Typhoon Man-yi. I admit I was crazy enough to go out shopping in the storm, but at least I wasn’t as daring as the folks sitting outside the Ginza Apple Store through the storm to wait for the new iPhone!

Anyway, this year’s TGS was significantly larger than previous years, with 352 exhibitors (compared to 209 last year).

I already had seen many of the latest titles featured at TGS at the Electronics Entertainment Expo (E3) a few months ago, but that didn’t stop me from thoroughly investigating the entire show. I can say that Sony had, hands-down, the biggest and best display at this year’s TGS. The first thing that caught my eye was the PS Vita TV and the new Vita. If you’ve ever used a PS Vita before, you’ll have no problem with Vita TV.

Vita TV is basically a Vita without a screen encased in a small, white plastic box that plugs into your entertainment system. It plays Vita games, runs Vita game carts and does other Vita things (e.g., media streaming), but the only major difference from the handheld version is that Vita TV streams PlayStation 4 (PS4) games from within the same WiFi under its “PS4 Link” app. It will be released in mid-November in Japan, but no plans for the U.S. yet.

The difference between the old Vita and the new Vita is that the new one is lighter, slightly thinner, the buttons and touchpad are configured slightly differently, and it has a micro-USB charging cable (versus the proprietary cable from before). Additionally, the new one has an LCD screen versus an OLED. It will be released in Japan in mid-October for about $190, but as with Vita TV, no announcements have been made for the U.S. yet, but I would imagine it will be soon.

PS4s and Xbox Ones were everywhere to play all the wonderful new titles. Upcoming games to look out for include Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag, Wolfenstein The New Order, Call of Duty Ghosts, Rocksmith (teaches you to play guitar) and Final Fantasy XV – all from Square Enix. My favorites from Namco Bandai were Ace Combat Infinity, Soul Calibur Lost Swords and Disney Infinity. I was a little disappointed they weren’t giving out the Disney Infinity figures as they did at E3.

Last but not least, Titanfall from EA was awesome, and my picks from Sony include Knack, Killzone Shadow Fall, Deep Down, Metal Gear Solid V The Phantom Pain, and Gran Turismo 6.

Of course, there were many more, but these stood out.

Additionally, there were multiple companies featuring app games. These have come such a long way and possibly could be the future of gaming with the popularity of mobile devices. The biggest mobile gaming company there was Gree with a plethora of titles, followed by a huge number of smaller companies from all over the world (mostly Asia).

Needless to say, this TGS was a blast!