PlayStation Surprises Everyone, Announces It Will Actually Attend Tokyo Game Show This Year

PlayStation Surprises Everyone, Announces It Will Actually Attend Tokyo Game Show This Year

PlayStation is back on the Tokyo Game Show floor.

Tokyo Game Show, Japan’s biggest games industry trade expo, announced a long list of confirmed exhibitors yesterday. Among them was a surprise: PlayStation will return to the Makuhari Messe this coming September as an exhibitor. It marks the publisher’s first appearance at Tokyo Game Show since 2019.

What does that mean, “as an exhibitor”? It means PlayStation will have a booth on the show floor to exhibit its games. It has not done this anywhere in quite some time.

PlayStation has developed an aversion to trade shows like TGS over the last decade or so. In 2018, it became the first major publisher to pull the pin on E3, a blockbuster move at the time. It believed (correctly) that it could save quite a bit of money by aping Nintendo’s direct-to-consumer video strategy, and have press and influencers preview upcoming titles in smaller, more tightly controlled environments. The COVID-19 pandemic, which cancelled several years of tradeshows, only reinforced this strategy. It’s hard to deny it’s been a success — it certainly seems to have worked out pretty well for them so far.

The news also comes a fortnight after PlayStation confirmed it would not attend or exhibit at Gamescom in Cologne, Germany, this year. Like TGS, PlayStation has not appeared at Gamescom since 2019.

All of this begs the question: why the sudden change of direction? It’s hard to say.

One notable and recent change at PlayStation is that it is under new management. Back in May, it was announced that company veterans Hermen Hulst and Hideaki Nishino would take over the company following the retirement of previous Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan. Hulst heads up software, running the new Studio Business Group, while Nishino is in charge of hardware and runs the Platform Business Group. It may be that Hulst, in charge of games as he is, doesn’t feel the same way about trade shows that Ryan’s administration did. If PlayStation were to dip its toe back into the crowded expo hall space, where better to do it than at Tokyo Game Show, held on its home turf?

Of course, this could be a one-off appearance. The PS1 launched in Japan in 1994, and its 30th-anniversary looms. PlayStation could just be popping in to celebrate that. Fair enough!

The 2025 trade show calendar will be the one that really tells us if PlayStation is truly back on the events bandwagon.

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