TOKYO — This year’s Tokyo Game Show, the world’s largest trade fair for video games, kicked off on Sept. 15 at the Makuhari Messe convention center in the city of Chiba, east of Tokyo.
This is the first “real” Tokyo Game Show for the general public in three years after the event was held online in 2020 and 2021. This year, too, the exhibition will be offered for gamers via the metaverse, in a virtual reality space. The event will be held for business participants through Sept. 16, and will be open to the general public from 2 p.m. that day.
The Tokyo Game Show 2022 metaverse platform is a virtual basement of Makuhari Messe. It can be visited for free of charge via computer or virtual reality headsets after downloading the official app. Visitors will be able to create their own avatar online and see exhibition booths presented by 22 companies while roaming around in the virtual space. They can also talk to each other using chat functions.
This is the second time a virtual reality space has been set up since last year’s show, which attracted some 210,000 people online over its four days. Last year’s event was also held both in person and online, but only invited guests were able to attend the in-person event. In 2020 the show was held solely online.
On the first day of this year’s event, Sega Corp. and other entertainment companies had booths showing off their state-of-the-art game products. Visitors appeared particularly interested in the virtual reality headset developed by U.S. tech giant Meta Platforms Inc., formerly known as Facebook Inc., which had a trial booth. A Meta representative told the Mainichi Shimbun that the best way for people to understand the product’s qualities is for them to actually use it.
This is the trade show’s 32nd edition. There are 605 exhibitors this year, including 293 companies from 37 countries and regions outside Japan. Some 150,000 people are expected to visit the venue.
(Japanese original by Akihiro Nakajima and Hironori Takechi, Business News Department)