Every September, all eyes in the video game world turn towards Tokyo. Known as one of the meccas of the video game industries in the world, it's no surprise that Tokyo also hosts one of the biggest gaming events of the year. Tokyo Game Show has been going strong just outside of the city of Tokyo since 1996 and continues to get bigger every year. 2019 was no different, and was one of the biggest events ever! With hundreds of exhibitors, plenty to do and see, and lots of video game fans all gathering together for one reason - to celebrate video games - you can bet the energy was high at Tokyo Game Show this year.
Tokyo Game Show Business Day 1 was packed to the brim with the latest parts of the video game world. From new games with everything from mobile to VR, the latest hardware, and some of the biggest names in the industry in attendance it was a plethora of gaming fun. Trying out new games, taking unforgettable pictures, and meeting like-minded people were just a few of the things to enjoy at one of the biggest gaming events of the year. Tokyo Game Show showcases not only the top Japanese games and Japanese releases but games and material from around the world. From the doors opening to the doors closing, we were busy checking out some of the latest and hottest news from the video game world - and bring it right to you!
|When it Established||1996|
|Length of Event||2 business days and 2 public days|
|Place/Location|| Makuhari Messe|
〒261-0023 Chiba Prefecture, Chiba, Mihama Ward, Nakase, 2−1
|COST|| ¥1500 (advance), ¥2000 (at the door) for public days only.|
Children under 12 have free admission.
Only one-day tickets are available
|Hotels|| Tokyo Game Show is held at Makuhari Messe, a large convention complex a short distance from Kaihimmakuhari station. Because the venue is used for so many events throughout the year, there are a lot of hotels in the immediate area. Be warned that most of them are business and luxury hotels, so they aren’t going to be cheap. But the benefit is you can walk to the event and have a place to rest if you need to during the day. However, staying anywhere in East Tokyo including the Tokyo Station area puts you at easy access to the event in less than an hour by train.|
You can check out Makuhari Messe’s recommended hotels in the area here - https://www.m-messe.co.jp/en/newcityguide/hotel
Company/Event Message for Fans/Attendees
“Welcome to “ONE WORLD, INFINITE JOY”, TOKYO GAME SHOW 2019.
Computer Entertainment Supplier’s Association (CESA) was founded in 1996 as a business organization primarily for home video game developers and publishers. Celebrating its 23rd anniversary, we are proud to host this event for the 29th time. First held as our founding event, it has grown into one of the world’s foremost game shows in scale and contents, with the latest in the game industry.”
“Amazing advances in technology allows games to instantly connect players around the world whenever and wherever you are. Sharing new exciting experiences among friends and fellow gamers enhances connectivity among people. “ONE WORLD, INFINITE JOY” reminds us of the value and opportunities that games could realize; that games can be even more fun and exciting. For game fans who cannot attend, we are extending this year’s video streaming platform and contents. Visitor or not, share the excitement at TOKYO GAME SHOW: stay connected in Asia and around the world.”
The e-Sports X (Cross) competitions will be held on two special stages. Including major popular titles, there are titles from a variety of genres that anyone from children to grown ups can enjoy. The heated games will be live-streamed from TOKYO GAME SHOW.
“Family Game Park is new to our show. Children of and under junior high school age accompanied by a guardian can enter free of charge. We hope families and younger children will take this opportunity to enjoy our event. It is the beginning of our outreach to families.
Indie Game Area was expanded two years ago. More independent game developers participate to announce new games, attractive to an even wider audience. Over 600 companies and organizations have exhibited at each event since 2016 and over 250,000 attendees came for the last six consecutive years. With the strength to reach the world, TOKYO GAME SHOW has grown into one of the world’s largest game shows. We owe this success to the sponsorship provided by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (MITI), as well as the effort and cooperation of members of CESA, the exhibitors, and all those involved.”
“CESA considers video games a culture of its own. We host Japan Game Awards presentation ceremonies during the three days of TOKYO GAME SHOW. Individuals who have contributed to the Japanese video game industry are presented by the Minister of Economy, Trade, and Industry Award. Games of the Year Division awards recognize titles which exceled the previous year. The Amateur Division is for those aspiring to become professional video game creators. U18 Division, for 18-years and under, was introduced last year to encourage the next generation of creators by recognizing their original creations. And Future Division awards are chosen from any of the unreleased promising titles presented and exhibited at TOKYO GAME SHOW 2019. We invite you to the awards ceremonies, to join the celebration of the award-winning games of the last Heisei Era and their creators and rediscover the wonder and possibilities of entertainment.”
“New developments in multi-platform and interactive communication technologies continue. We are confident visitors from all regions and countries of the world will find our show key to both business and entertainment. As we remain dedicated to contribute to the growth of this industry and Japan’s economy, we remain grateful to your continued interest and support.” -Hideki Hayakawa, Chairman of Computer Entertainment Supplier's Association (CESA)
(taken from the Tokyo Game Show official English website - https://expo.nikkeibp.co.jp/tgs/2019/en/visitor/greeting.html)
What to Expect
Business Day 1 of Tokyo Game Show was a comfortable level of crowded. There were plenty of people present, but there was always a lot of space to breath and talk to people as well. Everyone in attendance on the business day is either press or working in the gaming industry. They’re there to make connections, do networking, strike business deals, and bring all the news to the public around the world. That means that there were plenty of games to try, flyers to pick up, and events to attend. With everything from press conferences to trailer premiers, new game demos to huge announcements, Tokyo Game Show was the place to be for the latest news and developments in the gaming world.
You can expect to be busy and have plenty to do at Tokyo Game Show, especially on a business day. There were many stage events, including the first day of the Japan Game Awards 2019. Business Day 1 had the winners for Game Designers Award and the Minister of Economy, Trade, and Industry Award. Nearly every booth had some kind of presentation or press conference during the day, with schedules posted at the booths to help plan what you wanted to see. Attendees come from around the world for a reason - to be a part of one of the biggest gaming events of the year.
What to Bring in Order to Enjoy the Event
Tokyo Game Show is a large scale event and especially on business days, you’re likely to be there all day. You don’t want to bring too many things to carry around with you, especially when you’ll be spending some time queuing to watching presentations. But you also don’t want to get caught without something you need! Here are our top recommendations for what to bring with you to TGS for a business day.
First and foremost, do not forget your camera! There are a lot of cool photo opportunities to make use of, including the motorcycle from Cyberpunk 2077, an awesome staff from the Final Fantasy XIV expansion Shadowbringers, and full combat gear for the latest Call of Duty title. Besides taking some awesome photos of yourself, you’ll also want to grab some shots of the displays at the exhibitor’s booths, along with the beautiful women working at them who are happy to pose for a picture. Plus you never know who you might meet and make a connection with, so you’ll regret it if you can’t grab a picture together as well.
One of the greatest appeals of going to Tokyo Game Show on a business day is the connections that you can make with other people in the gaming industry. Japan is a culture of exchanging business cards, so be sure to have your printed and ready to go. You can never know how many to bring, so be sure to bring plenty. You will likely be meeting a lot of people and exchanging a lot of cards, and don’t want to be caught without yours when you get the chance to make a critical connection or some great networking for the future. Also, bring something to keep the business cards that are given to you safely inside so you can catch up on anyone you meet later.
What to Do While There/What is Available
Predictably, the biggest draw to attending Tokyo Game Show is trying out upcoming games! TGS has two ways for you to do this. If you arrive early, you can grab a numbered ticket that gives you a time to come back later and play the game you have chosen. These tickets disappear fast, though, especially for super anticipated titles! If you don’t get a chance to get one of these tickets, you can also choose to queue and simply wait for your turn to try a game. Just be ready to wait for quite a long time for some games. When it is your turn to play, you are given a 20-minute timer and can play until that timer runs out (or until you finish the length of the demo in the case of some games). There are basic instructions on a card in front of you for the game’s controls, and you can always ask the attendants if you get really stuck. For people visiting Japan, be aware that the instructions and the game itself (in-game menus, text, cutscenes, etc.) will be entirely in Japanese. Some of the most popular games to try out at TGS 2019 were Final Fantasy VII Remake, Monster Hunter: Icebourne, Project Resistance, and Personal 5 Royal. That’s naming only a few of the many games that were available to check out!
Even if you couldn’t get a chance to play a game yourself, it was easy to find a spot to watch others play through the many titles. Gameplay was also simulcast onto huge screens so you could watch everything in detail and enjoy at least the aesthetics of the games. Plus there were constantly game trailers playing, both newly released and older ones, for even games that didn’t have a big presence at the show (like the upcoming Star Wars: Fallen Order or GranBlue Fantasy: Relink). Many games had photo opportunities to excite fans as well, with cool chances to take a memorable picture of yourself. For example, you could pose with Cloud’s iconic buster sword or riding on the motorcycle Fenrir from Final Fantasy VII! There were also a lot of cool displays at many of the exhibitor’s booths to check out and snap a photo of, and sometimes even professional cosplayers to promote the games.
Many people associate TGS mostly with the biggest names in the gaming industry, but it has a space for smaller companies and organizations as well. The indie game community was alive and well at TGS 2019, with their own section of one of the halls were indie companies could showcase their latest games. There was almost no queue to try them, so it was easy to check out a lot of the different games available and get a chance to talk directly to their developers. There were also sections dedicated to international games, such as a huge area for game developers from Malaysia to showcase their work and a booth for the Dubai gaming community as well. While a lot of people will go to TGS primarily for the big names, its great to see independent and international representation is still alive and strong as well.
In addition to the software companies, a lot of hardware companies had booths set up at TGS as well. The big PC gaming companies like MSI and Alienware had huge displays of their latest models, as well as computers up and running games like Final Fantasy XIV to check out. There were also plenty of accessories for PC gamers to see, like amazing gaming chairs, headsets, mice, keyboards, cooling fans, and more. Along with the hardware companies, there was also a space to make connections in the gaming industry through gaming schools, developing companies, translation and localization services, and more. The Vantan Game Academy had a huge exhibition area with a lot of work by their students, as did the ECC College of Computer & Multimedia.
Cosplay is available on the public days of Tokyo Game Show and must abide by the event's rules and standards. However, on business days there is no cosplay zone or cosplay changing area. While we did spot a few attendees in cosplay, it is discouraged on business days. If you really want to cosplay to TGS, you should attend on either of the two public days.
Tokyo Game Show started with a bang on day one right from the moment the doors opened. The biggest companies, including Sony and PlayStation, Capcom, Bandai/Namco and more all brought their biggest upcoming products to get gamers hyped and ready for the next year of gaming. There were plenty of new games for players to try out across several consoles, new trailers unveiled, lots of cool hardware and gadgets on display, and plenty of people to meet and network with. There were also great photo opportunities, beautiful girls at nearly every booth, professional cosplayers, and some of the biggest names in the gaming industry. Everyone knew that TGS 2019 was going to be big with some really anticipated titles on the horizon, and the first business day certainly did not disappoint.
Did you make it to TGS on the business days or public days? What was your favourite thing that you got to see or experience? What games did you try out? Did anything cool happen to you? If you could have gone to TGS, what would you have been most excited to see or try? Let us know in the comments below!