The Tokyo Game Show opened yesterday — with all the usual fanfare — at Makuhari Messe in Chiba. Amid the pounding music, laser light shows and the 3G’s (Games, Geeks and Girls), we found what has been one of the most highly anticipated product debuts of the season: Sony’s new PlayStation Portable; the device is also Sony Entertainment’s first step into the mobile gaming market. Today’s program brings you close-up video of the PSP during its first public unveiling.
Subscribers will also get a hands-on look at a several new games for DoCoMo’s F900i-series of handsets. Program Run-time: 4:06
The Tokyo Game Show — Japan’s premiere video game event — kicked off its annual three-day run here on Friday, with a record 117 firms showcasing their latest products and nearly 500 new game titles unveiled. The Computer Entertainment Suppliers Association, show organizer, said cell phone handsets enjoy the third-largest number of release titles behind PlayStation 2 and personal computers.
Sony’s booth, with their yet-to-be-released PlayStation Portable, was at the center of local and foreign media spotlight yesterday. The firm is confident that the PSP will dominate the market with a wide range of new game titles, just as PlayStation did when it debuted a decade ago. “No matter what new game platform emerges, the main question is what kind of software users can play with,” Ken Kutaragi, Sony Computer Entertainment chief executive, told a news conference earlier this week in Tokyo. Game makers such as Konami also made PSP game titles available for play at their booths.
Sony has yet to announce the exact launch date of the PSP, but it will be on sale in Japan by the end of 2004 and internationally in the first half of 2005, according to Sony spokesperson Masami Nakamura. Ahead of this, however, the company has announced just over 100 game titles for the Japanese market.
Rival Nintendo said earlier this week it will release its new Nintendo DS portable console on 21 November in the U.S. and on 2 December in Japan.
As has been the case every year, Nintendo did not participate in the show. Instead, Nintendo stages its own events, such as the preview of the Nintendo DS that will be held in five Japanese cities in November.
There was also a growing presence at this year’s show of game software that can be used on cell-phone handsets. The rapid spread of 3G networks and small liquid crystal displays with ever-sharper images have allowed makers to create elaborate games for mobile handsets.
Mobile Game Fans: Keep an eye out for our upcoming interview with an as-yet unnamed Tokyo-based developer that is porting an internationally popular online community portal (with 15-million-plus users worldwide) to mobile.