October 10, 2008 // 7:19 pm
- Tokyo Game Show is all about Sony... or at least it was. The annual event is in full swing now and that table has turned. Microsoft is usually as quiet as a mouse wearing slippers while the Japanese based Sony enjoys the love-in, but to date it has been Microsoft dropping bombs. Let us elaborate...
Back in the good ol' days (or not so good ol' days, depending on which side of the line you're on) at the Tokyo Game Show, Sony would come in first, Nintendo second, and Microsoft would be a distant afterthought.
Indeed prior to this year's TGS, the Japanese convention was dominated by Sony, plain and simple. Their booth was the size of a football field, they gave interview access to everyone who was anyone and, best yet, they delivered top notch treatment to game journalists.
Such was Sony's dominance of TGS that they would fly upwards of 10 Aussie journos to Japan and put them up in the most pimping of pimped out hotel suites to ensure coverage. We're talking the kind of hotel that doesn't start until floor 60, has a view that would leave God breathless, and includes features such a giant LCD and a glass-walled bathroom that allows you to watch said TV from the comfort of the bath... oh yeah.
Back in these Sony dominated times, Microsoft rarely even managed to register a blip on the TGS radar. Microsoft would try to make a splash by announcing an upcoming JRPG but would be blown out the door. TGS was so disheartening for team Microsoft that they left everything to their own X0 event, usually a week later just to get publicity. This year however, there will be no follow-up X0 event and we know why.
The formula is simple; to facilitate success in Japan a games company should make a memorable splash at the Tokyo Games Show. Microsoft has pulled out their trump cards in the shape of Halo: Recon and Tekken 6. A pre-TGS buzz was created by the Halo teaser trailer, which led to the still-fresh announcement of Halo: Recon; a standalone expansion pack that will add hours of new content to the Halo universe.
As if that news wasn't big enough, Microsoft also announced that Sony would be having its exclusive Tekken crown stolen, with Tekken 6 due to be released on both next-gen consoles. Combine these with the Square Enix news on the cross-platform release of The Last Remnant, as well as the Xbox 360's Star Ocean: The Last Hope, and Microsoft has created an awesome, market appropriate buzz at TGS.
So now the once Sony-dominated event has everyone talking about Microsoft and their upcoming product line-up. But it's not a case of switching positions either; Sony is still backing their presence at TGS. Their booth is as huge as always, and they have a good offering of first and third-party titles for the PSP and PS3 on display.
PlayStation Home, the community based virtual 'apartment' space for the PS3, also reared its head again at TGS, with a list of what companies will be lending their name to the feature. All in all, Sony's presence isn't too shabby, but at this point of the show, it's lacking in the type of bombshells that Microsoft has been making.
But without the aid of a TGS press conference, it looks as though Sony won't be unveiling anything to rival Microsoft's show-stealing announcements this time round. Is Microsoft finally starting to get some recognition in the Japanese market? They're certainly acting like they are!