After the tragic events of earlier this year, for a while the 2011 Tokyo Game Show didn't seem like it was going to happen. This hasn't been a good year for Japan. If you're a gamer, though, this year's TGS is a bright spot.
Here's what we're looking forward to this week at the 2011 Tokyo Game Show.
Sony's Press Conference Nintendo held its 3DS Conference earlier today. How will Sony respond at its pre-TGS press conference? Nintendo's snagging Monster Hunter for the 3DS was a huge coup on its part. Sony's going to need something big or bigger to shock and awe. Your move, Sony.
3DS Circle Pad This is one of the ugliest peripherals I we've seen in recent memory. But looks aren't everything, and this add-on could certainly add to the 3DS gaming experience via the extra slide pad. Bring it.
So Many PS Vita Games At the Sony booth, there will be somewhere around 80 PS Vita kiosks, pumping out approximately 40 new games, eighteen which are getting their very first airing. For a new pice of hardware, that amount of software is deeply impressive. Are the games any good, though? Or is this just strength in numbers?
Japanese-Only Games Hey! Creepy cute shooter Gal*Gun, the Persona fighting game or maybe something cool we don't really even know about will be there. Something like Ouendan. It'll be interesting checking out the stuff Japan thinks it's going to be keeping for itself but which may be too good to keep out of everyone's hands.
Cosplay Other gaming events have cosplay, and it's sometimes pretty good. But the Tokyo Game Show always has and still does bring out the very best in the art. Saturday — the first public day of the show, when the cosplayers turn up in force — should be a blast for fans of people who dress up as people who don't actually exist.
Old, Western Friends The Tokyo Game Show isn't all about Japanese games. There are Western games too, many of them with new content that we've never seen before. Of particular interest will be EA's presence, which will include an all-new singleplayer demo of Battlefield 3 that we'll be checking out on Thursday.
Toy Show Tokyo Game Show? More like Tokyo Swag Show. There is normally tons of video gaming merchandise on hand over the four days, from action figures to plush toys to clothing to model kits to, well, you get the idea. Lots of cool stuff that some people end up paying way too much for on the internet a few weeks after the show's finished.
Crowd Surfing There's something special about being at a big gaming show amidst crowds numbering in the tens of thousands. It's a smell, yes, but also a feeling of being among people who are happy about video games. Too often on the internet discussions about video games end up collapsing into piles of jaded, miserable insult-throwing, so it's refreshing to get out and see the smiles on peoples faces as they queue in crippling humidity just to play a demo for 10 minutes.
This year's Tokyo Game Show officially begins on Thursday. Sony will hold its pre-TGS press conference on Wednesday.