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Tokyo Game Show Kicks Off

posted 19 Sept 2013, 07:26 by Mpelembe   [ updated 19 Sept 2013, 07:27 ]

Tokyo Game Show kicks off, pitting mobile phones against the more traditional video game boxes.

CHIBA PREFECTURE, JAPAN (SEPTEMBER 19, 2013) (REUTERS) -  The 23rd Tokyo Game Show kicked off on Thursday (September 19) with 352 companies from 33 countries taking part.

All eyes were on Sony's latest upcoming console, the Playstation 4 with long queues of people waiting to get their hands on the company's next-generation console.

Sony Corp aims to sell 5 million PlayStation 4 game consoles in less than five months from a launch that will coincide with the release of rival Microsoft Corp's Xbox One.

Sony, for whom the PS4 is central to restoring profitability at its hardware operations, will start selling the console on November 15 in the United States.

The Xbox One will go on sale a week later.

PS4 sales in Japan will begin on February 22 while preorders totalled 1 million as of August.

"It was really fun. I moved around and it was as if it was real! It felt like a new type of entertainment and it was truly fun," said 24-year-old Mai Kitajima who was trying out a motion-detection controller game.

Sony, like Microsoft, has extended its latest console beyond gaming by making it a living room entertainment hub controlling movie, television and internet content.

One of the games on show was Take-Two Interactive Software Inc's most lucrative franchise "Grand Theft Auto V."

The game is the fifth installment that became a focal point of debate about gratuitous violence and explicit content in the media.

"It was really enjoyable playing it. I would like to try the interrogation in the game as well as I have never done it in real life," said gamer, Shogo Chine, about one of the more controversial scenes in the game.

Despite the controversy, GTA came out guns blasting with $800 million in global first-day sales.

The sales figure marked a first-day record for the Grand Theft Auto series in which players freely roam, mainly via automobiles, in a game world based on real-life locations such as Los Angeles.

The video game industry, which has been struggling with flagging sales, is awaiting the November release of Microsoft Corp's Xbox One and Sony Corp's PlayStation 4, in the hope that new hardware will boost sales.

Sony also displayed the latest version of it head-mounted display, the HMZ-T3.

It can connect to any device with a HDMI port, which includes next-generation consoles and even smartphones.

"There are many devices out there. Some people might decide to use the Playstation today, or even theirsmartphone for games and if you can't meet their needs, the customer's choices become limited. We want to support people who want to seriously enjoy their games or any kind of visual contents, regardless of where they choose to be," said Sony Marketing manager Mayako Fukunaga.

Yuki Akiyama, a game designer, who tried out the headset, felt the immersive environment gave a fresh lease of life even to simple smartphone games, which surprised him.

"The game environment was totally emersive and you were surrounded by the game environment wherever you looked," Akiyama said.

The Tokyo Game Show will last till Sunday (September 22).