Sept 24, 2007
Three huge conventions in less than six months. Something had to give. This year's Tokyo Game Show has been utterly forgettable, bar the fact that Sony announced a peripheral that should have shipped with the console last Christmas anyway, and Konami finally let us all get hands-on with Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. And that's about it.
Admittedly, we didn't go. But that's a glaring highlight of the fact that there really wasn't anything to see at TGS that was worth the chonking great airfare. We didn't miss that much. And we're not alone in reckoning that Tokyo's gaming knees-up was a bit flaccid.
Christ Kohler, writer for Wired magazine, was similarly downbeat: "As I've been telling everyone who will listen, this year's TGS really seemed to me to be like one of Microsoft's X0n events, where they bring journalists out to foreign countries to distract them with an international vacation and a screwed-up biological clock, then show them the same games they could see in America just as easily."
Above: Dual Shock 3, the talk of the show. The only talk of the show
Elsewhere, at website Gamasutra, we have writer Christian Nutt's verdict: "The consensus among the western press is that the show seems smaller and lower-key than in prior years, despite its potentially increased importance in the wake of E3's dissolution. The trend of companies saving big announcements for private events seems to be likely to continue, if this year's TGS is any indication. While some new games debuted for the first time, few major publishers announced large-scale next generation projects at the show."
Then again, what were we expecting? This year's E3 and Leipzig shows have been big, but they've hardly changed the world of gaming in the same way that our first hands on with Wii at E3 2006 did. Being last in line, TGS simply suffered from - for the most part - having to make do with leftovers and playing host to a scattergunning of very low key game announcements (Bomberman Land for DS, Wii and PSP, anyone?).
With PlayStation 3 now nearly a year old, but the proper 'second wave' of software yet to kick off; Xbox 360 leading the pack but needing a new flagpole launch after this week's Halo 3; and Wii eagerly awaiting the heavily-covered but yet-to-be-released burst of new games before Christmas, what could TGS have really offered us in the way of revelations? Not much, that's what. If you really need a cherrypick list of the highlights, though, here's your poison:
Dual Shock 3 controller for PS3
Secret Agent Clank for PSP
Ninja Gaiden II for Xbox 360
Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots