Organizers are calling this year's event the "largest edition" yet, with a record-breaking 787 exhibitors, 2,682 booths, and 2,291 titles representing 44 different countries. To give an idea of the scale, there were only 1,864 titles in 2022 by comparison.
Also for the first time since 2019, the event is taking up the whole of Makuhari Messe. You will find its booths and events occupying the whole of 11 Exhibition Halls.
Notably, this 2023 edition is the first since Japan's borders have opened to foreign tourists and COVID-19 restrictions lifted for events.
We caught up with IGN Japan editor-in-chief Daniel Robson at Makuhari Messe. He told us: "With TGS taking up the whole of Makuhari Messe, it's going to be a long overdue celebration of gaming. I think it's going to be really exciting."
A Changing Industry
As TGS's tagline suggests — "Games in motion, the world in revolution" — this year's titles reflect changes in the industry. Notable trends are the increase in video games for Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 5.
PC games have been slower to pick up in Japan compared to other countries. However, this year, their presence is climbing at TGS. Across the board, mobile and VR games are in high numbers compared to 2022.
New booths on the TGS floor also mirror developments in the industry. YouTube has a creators' lounge where influencers and personalities can meet, play videogames and create content. As a signal of the increase in mobile games, TikTok also had a booth showcasing interactive playing through its platform.
In the "Gaming Lifestyle Area," Japanese home goods company Nitori has a variety of furniture and gadgets for gamers to decorate their rooms to their heart's content.
This Year's Highlights
For business attendees and the wider public alike, there is a plethora of games to look forward to.
They include Square Enix's FINAL FANTASY VII REBIRTH, SEGA'S Sonic Superstars, and Bandai Namco's fighting game Tekken 8. SEGA also announced that the new game Like a Dragon 8 is playable at the event. All of these games have massive props, lights and screens. The end result is a rush of loud, colorful stimuli to the senses and many photo opportunities for excited fans.
With many of these titles, Japanese fans are able to get their hands on the game for the first time.
What the Fans Think
JAPAN Forward caught up with two visitors who had just played Tekken 8, and they were enthusiastic about their experience.
"Regardless of whether you are using a PlayStation 5 controller or a joystick, it's a really fun and engaging game," said one who calls himself To. "I've hosted multiple Tekken tournaments, and this one is looking really great. The graphics are incredible!" he concluded.
IGN Japan's Robson also had his personal preference for what to look out for.
"Personally I'm a big Sonic the Hedgehog fan. And this year, Sonic Superstars, which is coming out in October [...] has the multiplayer version which is playable at TGS," he explained.
"I am really looking forward to getting my hands on that and trying it out," he said.
Increasing Presence of Chinese Exhibitors
Companies from China are also making a splash at TGS, reflecting a trend in many new technology sectors.
"China is showing huge strength in the industry at the moment. There are some really cool games coming out of China," said Robson.
Whether it is to play the games, check out the new trends, or just embrace the infectious atmosphere, there is plenty to enjoy at TGS 2023.
- ‘So Excited To Be Back’: Celebrating at the Tokyo Game Show
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- Tokyo Game Show 2023: 5 Things to Look For
Author: Arielle Busetto