Monday 25 September 2006
If Japan's videogame market is in decline, you wouldn't guess it from the way the Makuhari Messe convention centre was packed wall-to-wall with an eager public last weekend - all eager to see PS3 in action or Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi's return - on Xbox 360.
As expected, it was Sony's show - and it needed to be, after the somewhat shaky run PS3 has had so far. Sony provided a varied and often honestly exciting software line-up, covering all the genre bases with RPGs, racers, shooters, fighters and sports games - and the quality of titles, on the whole, was above average (if perhaps a little below hyped-up expectations).
But there's time left to fix the games' niggling glitches: after all, we remember PSP Ridge Racer at TGS 2004 with a single track and no cars, and then turning up two months later as an absolute stormer.
That said, Mr. PlayStation Ken Kutaragi's keynote speech was dry even by his usual standards, and even though the TGS briefing is for investors, not gamers, it wouldn't have hurt to answer just a few of the questions still haunting Sony's latest black box. The topic of PS3 online, for instance, was politely avoided and we can't help but think Sony don't really know the answers yet either.
Above: Interest in PlayStation 3 was intense during TGS and wrestling through the hordes to play Sony's powerhouse was a game of attrition in itself