The business days of Tokyo Game Show have wrapped up. Developers and publishers have made their big announcements and press have had their interviews, so even though the open-to-the-public days are this weekend, the big news has all been announced. Here is a short list of the stories and games that were heating up industry talk during the first two days of the show.
Not only did Konami unveil most of the main characters of Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, it showed off a massive 10-minute trailer – complete with tons of classic Kojima style false endings – and offered a massive booth on the show floor where players could try out the game. That’s typical, but the take-home demo of the game was certainly a new approach.
Show attendees could download the show demo onto their own PSPs at several kiosks around Konami’s booth and in a special (and quiet) Peace Walker play area hidden away from the main show floor. The three missions of the demo are playable either cooperatively or alone.
Capcom is showing off Monster Hunter Tri for the Wii this year, but given that the company’s competitors are falling over themselves to emulate the massively successful series, Hunter may finally have some competition. From Phantasy Star Portable 2 to Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, games on home and portable consoles are filled with Monster Hunter-like features. Loot dropping, character customization and giant bosses that require the aid of friends and teammates to take down are popping up in games all over the place.
Even Capcom’s getting into the act with Lost Planet 2, which now features four player co-op, towering bosses and a plethora of ways to personalize your character. The rise of these features across all genres marks a sea change for the Japanese industry. Imagine if every Western game, from Gears of War to Civilization integrated a Word of Warcraft-like dungeon raiding and loot system and you have an idea of what the Japanese gaming scene looks like right now.
Sony incessantly talked up the soon-to-be-released PSPgo during its Thursday press conference. Yet they were conspicuously silent about how PSP owners would play their old games on the UMD drive-less PSPgo. It turns out there are no plans to allow players to transfer their games to the new system at the present time. Boo!
Given that Sony had stated, however vaguely, that there would be some kind of system in place that would allow UMD-to-PSPgo conversions, this reversal came as a bit of a shock. This announcement could have a large impact on retail response and adoption rates when the system launches next week.
Capcom has done well for itself by porting older Resident Evil titles to Wii and it looks like it’s on track to do the same for the PS3. Resident Evil 5: Director's Cut will utilize Sony’s Eye Toy motion controller when released next spring. However, it’s not just Capcom who’s adding motion control to older titles.
Sony displayed a motion-controlled LittleBigPlanet at the conference, plus Pain and Flower will add Eye Toy support via PSN update. Sony also announced eight first-party games still in development that will support the motion controller, including Echochrome 2 and an untitled Ape Escape game.
During a Q&A session following his talk about adapting Gears of War to the Japanese Market, Epic president Michael Capps let it slip that the Xbox 360 will not play host to the next Gears of War game. While discussing the use of massive parallel processing in the next generation of Epic’s Unreal Engine, Capps said that the next Gears of War will not be ready until the next console generation.
“Whenever that is, if someone knows please tell me. That’s about four or five years away, I think.” If what Capps says is true, that means Microsoft will not have a big Gears of War to anchor its fall lineup for the next several years.
Next page – the choice games!