Rather than focusing on individual game developer press conferences this year, there were a few different kinds of speeches and presentations at this year’s Tokyo Game Show involving the current state of the medium in Asia and plans of how the market intends to approach the industry in the near future and beyond. Sony were present, largely in collaboration with Square Enix, to present their own plans into how they also intend to approach the Japanese market, and with what games they plan to incorporate into it, but many other developers and company executives also collaborated on stage to share their opinions of what’s next for the gaming scene in Asia, and what steps are needed to be taken in order to maintain and increase revenue as well as consumer interest.
The Keynote Speech
To begin with, chairman of CESA, Hideki Okamura addressed the issue of how Japan’s influence on the gaming market has periodically become weaker over the last few gaming generations, and severe and intense the competition is from overseas developers in America and Europe. He remarked upon how Japan still has much potential in the market, but in order to realize that, their approach to overseas consumers needs to be improved and expanded upon. This was also alluded to towards the end of the show, whereby Twitch and YouTube personnel were also there to highlight the ever-growing popularity of social media and social interaction in gaming across the world, and how it will be further developed upon following the success of such Japanese gaming personalities as Hikakin, and in turn. How much of an impact their opinions and personal reviews can have on the popularity of the respective games in the country.
However, whilst I do believe the Japanese market has suffered somewhat, with certain factors such as the recent commercial decline of Nintendo over the last three years, and the commercial damage done to Konami, the situation is by no means irredeemable. Video gaming is still a cultural phenomenon in Japan, and there will inevitably be many young and aspiring game developers to emerge in the near future and beyond ready to deliver some of the most innovative and enjoyable titles we will ever see. A lot of well-known veteran developers have already seen what potential there is in improving relations with western gamers by taking advantage of Kickstarter, with the likes of Keiji Inafune and Koji Igarashi being given the funding and green light to develop Mighty No 9 and Bloodstained respectively.
There is certainly a lot of critical and commercial potential for Japan to have in improving their relations with gamers and developers overseas; especially America, since a lot of Japanese IPs such as Castlevania, Mega Man, Dragon Quest, Dark Souls and Final Fantasy have enjoyed immense popularity there in the past. Metroid had also always been popular over there since the very beginning, even when the franchise was largely obscure in both Japan and Europe. Not just Japan, but the rest of the world is more passionate about video games than ever before, having become much more accessible to many more people than ever before. I think it’s important that Japanese developers seek customer feedback and research the market in terms of what kinds of games people from other countries like to play, and accommodate for that.
The commercial side of gaming in Japan was also further alluded to in the presentation as Akahiro Hino, president of Level-5 Studios, was also at the keynote speech to offer his insight into how the studio has approached overseas markets, and how they have managed to find the success they have done, and how they intend to attempt to build upon that success. He announced the upcoming release of a new IP called Snack World, and also addressed the issue of relationships between creators and management, and how he believes that there ultimately one in the same; or at least that’s how they should be viewed as such.
He went on to unveil the so-called Emperor’s Judgement Initiative, and how it influenced their most popular IPs such as Professor Layton, Ni No Kuni & Yo Kai Watch; how they have pressed the importance of commercial success and made these franchises as popular as they could possibly have been. Concerning Yo Kai Watch in particular, he also addressed another issue that has been plaguing the Japanese market over the years in my opinion, especially concerning Nintendo games; the issue of demographic marketing, and how Japanese gaming IPs are not just intended for children, but for audiences of all ages, and how they can be made to appeal to older gamers as well as kids.
Hino left with some words of advice to both developers and managers. He advised managers not to overly protect their gamers and to open up, but at the same time, that developers must not underestimate or neglect what potential and abilities they have; and that questions must be asked, both by and of the two parties, in order to achieve the best possible understanding of each other. He concluded simply that gamers and management should be friends.
To me, there were great truths to be realized in more or less everything Hino said; especially about the issue of Japanese developers appealing to as many different demographics as possible. Part of the reason why Nintendo have suffered commercially in my opinion, is because too many people believe that most of their IPs are simply just for kids, and have lost sight of the fact that their games were intended to be played by not just kids, but by anyone of any age group. The Wii was physical proof of this. If there wasn’t a party game to be plugged on television, such as Wii Fit, Mario Kart or Wii Sports, then there were also more adult-orientated titles for people to play, such as Madworld, No More Heroes, Red Steel, Manhunt 2 and The House of the Dead: Overkill, as well as the House of the Dead bundle of II and III. I can only imagine the further commercial success the likes of the Wii and the original DS line of consoles, as well as the Wii U, would have had if that perception had have been different to what is was back then, and indeed to what is it now.
In regards to his comments about the relationship between developers and management, there does indeed need to be as good a relationship between the two as possible; if only to avoid the stifling of developer creativity, as well as commercial loss or the decline of business acumen. Developer-manager relations are indeed key to a game being either a commercial success or a commercial flop; a classic case in point being Duke Nukem Forever, which ended up being by in large terrible for that very reason among others. Author and public speaker Dr. Bob Nelson one said that you get the best effort from others not by lighting a fire beneath them, but by building a fire within. I can’t help but feel that quote applies to this very situation.
Asia Game Business Summit
Next, the Asia Game Business Summit took place, with seven different panellists taking to the stage; Tunghai Chien, president of Shanda Games, Cloud Zhang, COO of Perfect World Games, Ren Yi, CEO of DeNA China, Sharry Sun, Global BD director for Perfect World Games, Keiji Honda, director of Square Enix holdings, and special guests Akinori Nakamura, Professor of Ritsumikan University College of Image Arts & Science, and Hideo Shanada, research fellow of Nikkeibp Institute of Consumer Trends, Nikkei Business Publications.
The seven panellists were on stage to address the issue of how developers intend to approach the Chinese gaming market, and realize the full potential that it indeed has.
The presentation opened with Tunghai Chien’s opinion of the market, and what direction it seems to be going in at the moment. He claimed that it is a particularly hard market to crack, but emphasised that IPs are the most important element that Shanda Games have to rely in order to make their mark there; that RPGs and MMO games are the dominant genre in the country, yet mobile gaming is the dominant format. In particular, Shanda games’ own Dragon Nest has proven to be extremely popular in china, which was largely influenced by Japanese gaming, and they will be doing their best to build upon this success in the near future, as well as expanding it’s awareness overseas in the coming years.
Cloud Zhang went on record ot emphasize that it is the MMO genre, which is most important to Perfect World gaming in their approach to the Chinese market, and how the company have expanded not only in China, but across the rest of the world in regions such as America, Europe, & Southeast Asia. He also announced the company’s intentions to bring more of a European influence in their games to the country, as well as their desire to collaborate with Chinese developers and Square Enix to further develop their mobile gaming franchise Cross Gate, which has yielded profits of over 2 billion yen thus far. As mobile gaming in China is becoming evermore popular, he expressed his belief that the Chinese market will eventually surpass that of the US, and voiced his own observations that the three most prominent genres in the region are RPGs, Action and kart racing games of all things. He also highlighted the growth of so-called “hardcore” gamers in the country, as well as the influx of female gamers, as positive factors into the growth and development of China as a gaming market, and that Perfect World must consequently move with the times and find suitable developmental partners in order to bring as many appealing games as possible to the country in the future. Sharry Sun also added that four new IPs will be coming to Japan from Perfect World Games in the near future, and that Chinese gamers should be on the lookout for them.
Ren Yi of DeNA then went on to point out the global activity the company has been taking part in over the last few years; how they have taken their development to a global level, and how they now have a base of operations in China consisting of over 500 staff. The company now plans to advantage of what strengths they have realized over the last few years, including those concerning other forms of entertainment such as animation and sports, in order to bring as many new and exciting IPs to China, as well as the rest of the world, as possible. He also went on to emphasize the importance of relationships between different companies and developers in order to deliver of the greatest gaming experiences possible.
Keiji Honda took over to provide details of his vast experience in the Chinese market, and how he has been involved in it since 2001. He has always regarded it is a potentially important and potentially vast gaming market; in particular, he highlighted the great amount of energy that China as a society has in general, and how it has since gone on to impact gaming in the country. Due to it being such a difficult market to crack, Honda has been repeatedly frustrated by failure in the past, but since gaming has become more accessible over the last decade or so with the advent of mobile gaming, he believes there is much more potential to crack it in the future. Honda also voiced the idea of possibly bringing exclusive home consoles to the country, as Microsoft have been reportedly planning to do, as well as the possibility of implementing customer feedback in the country.
Professor Nakamura went on to highlight some very exciting statistics boding well for the future of the Chinese gaming market, such as it generating over 114.4 billion yen in 2014 alone, there being 267 million online gamers as of June 2015, that the country has had the biggest Internet population since 2008, that the number of Chinese gamers has now exceeded the entire population of America, and that as of 2014, there are 500 million mobile gamers. He also emphasized that there will also be growing opportunity for new developers in the future to create games for the Chinese market, and a greater chance of commercial success overall.
The next issue raised at the summit was the many differences between the Chinese and Japanese markets, and how both have and will impact one another. The panellists expressed their opinions through use of what they call the three Cs; Cost, Competition and Customs. They believe their presence must be expanded on both Google Play and iOS in regards to mobile gaming, and that the different costs of games in both countries have played a huge part in the direction the market has been going over the years, since as entertainment is more costly in China, piracy has occurred, impacting both markets greatly. They went on to express that both collaboration and localization will help to drastically increase the potential of both markets, and that implementing Japanese culture will hep to improve on the relationship between the two. Another key issue mentioned was the speed of which both markets evolve at, and how delays in the localization of games has had a negative effect on Chinese gaming in the past. But looking at another side of the story, Japanese developers believe that China’s mobile infrastructure has been far too weak in the past compared to their own. The panellists ultimately agreed that a much faster pace on the parts of both countries can have a much more positive effect on both markets, and that the speed of both development and localization would be key to cracking the Chinese market in the future.
They also emphasized that it would be difficult to break into for Japan using conventional methods of Japanese marketing due to both cultural and developmental differences, detailing the methods and formats that both markets started with in the first place; Japan largely using the cartridge format, and Chinese games mainly starting on PC. They believe that since Chinese publishers tend to follow trends, and Japanese publishers don’t, a level of flexibility is greatly required, as is a much larger scale of operations. An although quick decisions to need to be made on the part of management, they must not be quick to the point of producing complacency within the developer’s internal operations. In the future, they believe that both market’s adaptability to change will be pivotal, as well as their implementation skills; and that since Japanese media is already fairly popular in Japan, it must be taken advantage of in order to appeal to as wide a demographic as possible and for the medium to be as successful in the region as it can potentially be.
When asked on what more should be specifically done in the future, the panellists commented that if they put the Japanese market first above all others, then it could possibly lead to further attraction from overseas markets. As well as this, both the localization process and development process should be sped up, and that piracy must be cracked down upon. In addition, they conceded that Japanese developers need to learn to make critical decisions quicker than what they are doing now, and that organizational structure in general needs to change, citing any one process being passed around too much to too many different people within companies. They also believe that these companies should allow more freedom of development to take place, which can in turn potentially lead to more of an array of different ideas, and thus more potentially great games, and that Japan must work with not only local Chinese markets, but also with other overseas markets too.
On the issue of user preference and customer feedback, the panellists commented that they believe that Japanese IPs are most preferable, yet more varied conceptual design is required from developers, because of how differently Chinese copyright laws work in comparison to the rest of the world. In general, not only was there emphasis put on a greater amount of originality required on the part of the developers, but there was emphasis put on the importance of fun gameplay, and how it could and should be implemented. They reasoned that no one solution will be enough, and by proxy, the importance of collaborating with other developers will be great. In relation, they proposed that more influence needs to be given to the Chinese consumer in order for them to provide as much viable and valuable feedback as possible.
The panel was then asked what they believe would make a great game for the Chinese market. They again cited MMO and MOBA games as being among the most popular genres of gaming in the country, yet there does need to be a much more meticulous approach towards developmental creativity, and providing more varied content. They also stressed the importance of developmental enthusiasm, and how valuable it would be for all development companies to bring their own new ideas to the table, so that all these ideas can be brought together through developmental collaboration. Relating to both the point of view of consumers and developers, they are emphasized that young people should open themselves up to new ideas, which should be implemented into new and upcoming gaming experiences.
The conversation then moved on to the issue of what is needed from overseas developers in order to crack the Chinese market. The panellists accentuated the importance of developer’s ability to understand China and it’s culture, as well as implementing ethnic diversity. Other factors were also touched upon, such as developer’s ability to carefully select potential partners, as well as having experience of working within other foreign markets and companies, and the element of trust must also be thoroughly examined and built upon. There are also a range of technological issues to be overcome that have occurred in the past, relation to the issues of development for different platforms, as well as the localization process, and that developers must stay true to the best aspects of their own games in order to best bring them to the Chinese market. And also, more mobile gaming platforms must be explored, as opposed to simply sticking to either Android or iOS, in order to expand on that in particular ever-growing aspect of the business. As well as gaming, the panel also emphasized the importance of exploring into other forms of entertainment, such as films and manga, and how they can be implemented into game development, which had proved to be a very popular method in Japan and overseas markets. By proxy, the panel voiced their belief that the Chinese market presents the greatest level of opportunity for the Japanese market, and that it would be easier for Japanese developers to take on a more advisory role as well as a developmental one.
Lastly, the panel were asked of their opinions of the future of the Chinese market, and what direction it will go. Their predictions involved such aspects as the increase of the pursuit of global potential, an increase in the level of customer feedback, a further increase in the popularity of mobile gaming, and finally, an increase in developmental opportunity. They also believe that the market will become much more accessible as new form of gaming are introduced into the country, and that the success of the market will become much more pivotal to the entire industry in general than what it s now. They also went on to voice their belief that as China’s economy will inevitably improve further, there will be much more disposable income available to the general public, and in turn, gaming revenue will rise sharply.
To me personally, this served as a perfect insight into the direction gaming will go in not only in China, but also the rest of the world. If the Chinese market is indeed cracked in the next five to ten years, it will also have a profound effect on the popularity of gaming, as well as the direction in which developers will take their games in the future. In my opinion, this conference will prove to be a pivotal moment in gaming history, and is one of many reasons why I believe 2016 will be a vital time for the industry, as not only will it ultimately decide the winner of the competition between Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft, but it will also be a potential decider in which other elements of the industry will start to continue to take precedent in the future; among those being VR gaming, indie gaming, mobile gaming and the Chinese market.
This conference simply made me many times more excited for gaming next year, since there is an endless stream of new and exciting things for me and every other gamer around the world to explore and experience, and will be a great opportunity to see what will happen to the medium in the future. Though I was disappointed to see neither Nintendo nor Microsoft at the Tokyo Game Show this year, it was an exciting enough experience with everything else that was expressed, unveiled or emphasized at this year’s proceedings. I do indeed have high hopes for every single gaming market around the world, including that of both China and Japan, as Japan has now publicly realized and acknowledged they have started to lose as much of a grip on the industry as they once had and will now try their best to regain that accolade once again. China could become the epicentre of gaming, America could further increase their presence after Bethesda holding their first ever E3 conference, and European developers could have more of a say with the rise of indie developers being attributed to many outfits in the region, such as Zoink, Housemarque, Mojang, Curve Digital and Image & Form. It’s very exhilarating to think what can happen in this industry, and I am indeed very excited to cover it in the distant future and beyond.
Lastly, Sony held their own press conference, in which they unveiled a series of upcoming games, which they believe, would appeal to Japanese audiences, as well as all overseas audiences too. Taking advantage of the absence of both Nintendo and Microsoft, as Microsoft did at Gamescom this year,
Bloodborne: The Old Hunters
To kick off, they revealed a DLC package for From Software’s hit game Bloodborne entitled The Old Hunters, which will feature new missions as well as new weapons, new dungeons and new monsters. To me, it’s more than safe to assume the difficulty will be just as frustrating, if not more so, but at least the DLC will serve to give the overall game even more variety in conceptual design, as well gameplay variety for those who were determined enough to play and complete the original game. With the commercial success of Bloodborne, a DLC package was more or less inevitable, but to me personally, it’s largely unappealing, since it isn’t a game anyone can pick up and play, unfairly.
Hot Shots Golf
Sony next revealed an upcoming golf game for the PlayStation 4 called Hot Shots Golf. Combining elements of Mario Golf, as well the customisation options synonymous with the PlayStation Home feature once implemented with PlayStation 3, it looks to me like a quirky and fun little title that could potentially prove to be fairly popular, but only for a time. It doesn’t look to have all the variety of games made of a similar ilk such as Wii Sports or Wii Sports Resort, so I think it will struggle to compete with many other games in the future, but it would probably make for an interesting party game for players to invest a few hours in at a time.
Gravity Daze & Gravity Daze 2
After that, a re-mastering of the game Gravity Daze, as well as the sequel Gravity Daze 2, were simultaneously showcased at the conference, with the second game seemingly playing out like an extension to the first, only on a much bigger scale and more variety in gameplay. Personally, I’d never played the first Gravity Daze, but looking at both it and the sequel, it looks like something I would be very much into. The game’s physics look extremely interesting, as well as it’s combat and control scheme. The diversity in conceptual design also looks to be on the same scale as any classic Final Fantasy game, which to me, would never be considered to be a bad thing.
After it’s showcasing at Ubisoft’s E3 conference this year, Sony went on to reveal further details regarding their upcoming title, For Honour; a large-scale MOBA game similar to Chivalry: Medieval warfare, but with seemingly more variety. But to me, even then, there only seems to be a moderate level of variety compared to how much variety the game could have potentially had in my opinion. There are only a certain amount of historical armies in the game when there are clearly more room for ideas. Perhaps this issue will be further built upon in potential DLC to be released later on in the game’s shelf life, but in it’s current state, I’m not entirely impressed by my first impressions of it.
Assassin’s Creed Syndicate: Jack the Ripper
Another, and extremely popular Ubisoft IP was also further alluded to in Sony’s conference, and a DLC package has already been announced for the upcoming game in the series, Assassin’s Creed Syndicate. It involves the infamous serial killer Jack the Ripper, who was at large in London around the late 1800s, and the trailer proved to be as harrowing as the legend of the man himself. Though to me, the main story of the games had all but lost most of its credibility and potential after Assassin’s Creed III, Ubisoft taking the series back in time makes the most sense, and with the unveiling of this DLC, this seems like an even more exciting time to have an Assassin’s Creed game set in.
Yakuza & Yakuza 6
Sega were also present at Sony’s conference to announce that the first instalment of their hugely popular series Yakuza will be receiving a graphical makeover for release on the PlayStation 4, and that a sixth game in the series is currently in development, which will greatly expand upon the classic gameplay of the first five, as well as be on a much greater scale. Again like Gravity Daze, Yakuza is a franchise that I have never indulged in, but now the first game is being re-mastered, to me, there would no better time to start getting into it; especially if can be effectively differentiated from the likes of Grand Theft Auto and Sleeping Dogs.
One Piece: Burning Blood
After a sneak peak of some other upcoming titles, such as King of Fighters 14, Just Cause 3, Phantasy Star Online 2 and Star Wars Battlefront, Sony next revealed the next future game in the One Piece series Burning Blood. One Piece has become one of the most prolific game series in Japan in the last three to four years, and from what I can see, it’s had some trouble breaking waves overseas. If the gameplay of the other games is anything what Burning blood appears to be at first glance, I wouldn’t be surprised. It seems to have RPG elements to it, but at the same time seems to be nothing more than a button-masher game looking at how combat is presented. There also seems to be some level of variety, sine different abilities are available to use in combat, but I think I would need more of an insight into how combat works before making any kind of judgement.
Mobile Suit Gundam: Extreme Vs Force
Mobile Suit Gundam: Extreme Vs Force was the next game to be revealed at Sony’s conference, seemingly playing out like many of the recently released Gundam games that have taken precedent in Japan for a good number of years now. Personally, this is yet another gaming series that I haven’t indulged in, and by in large, I regret not being given the chance to, since the combat in it looks extremely intense and enjoyable. The controls may come into question, but of course, It’s not for me to say, since I haven’t tried one of these games out yet. I did used to watch the anime when it was broadcast on Cartoon Network many years ago, along with Tenchi Muyo, and for now at least, I can’t see any reason why I wouldn’t enjoy playing the games.
Romance of the Three Kingdoms 13
Another immensely popular Japanese IP, Romance of the Three Kingdoms looks to me at first glance like a cross between Dynasty Warriors and Civilization; two franchises that I have again yet to try. Though there have been many clones to have come out, aside from the vast amount of Dynasty Warriors games to have been released since the fifth generation of gaming, this title seems to do right the exact same thing as the aforementioned franchises do, only it may hold something a little bit more unique in conceptual design than the likes of Dynasty Warriors.
My curiosity was caught when I first saw Toukiden at last year’s Tokyo Game Show, but this year, my curiosity has been peaked, since the sequel is apparently set in an open world, which by default, I would prefer greatly over any more linear game. I was already impressed with the outlandish conceptual design of the first game, but for the developers to potentially take aspects like that to a whole new level having a much bigger environment to play with, that was enough to make me want to try the sequel. It was most definitely one of the most exciting titles revealed at Sony’s conference, and I am holding out hopes for it receiving a European localization.
Looking like feudal Japanese take on the Dark Souls series, Nioh is a traditional action-adventure RPG with a heavy emphasis on large –scale combat and exploration across a linear, yet vast journey to traverse through. Personally, I can only hold out the same hope I had for Bloodborne; for it to be much more accessible and for it to not be a game made hard for the sake of it being hard. My prediction, however, is that my concern will once again be disregarded, since the entire concept perpetuated by From Software has proven to be immensely popular, and it will be made to be just as hard; if nor harder. So for the time being, I’m holding out any great hopes for this game.
World of Final Fantasy
One game I am holding out great hopes for at the moment however, is World of Final Fantasy, which was next, further alluded to at the conference. After seeing further footage of the game, I remain extremely excited for this title. Though it looks cutesy and innocent on the surface, I believe it could still possibly be a return to form for the series, reverting back to the classic turn-based combat of the original ten games; including Final Fantasy X-2 of course. After reading further about the Final Fantasy VII remake, and how combat will be reportedly drastically different from the original game, I harbour a certain level of scepticism about it, but I hold out high expectation for this title, and what scale the open world and combat customisation options there could possibly be at player’s disposal.
Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness
In stark contrast however, I feel extremely sceptical about the latest Star Ocean game coming out soon; Integrity and Faithlessness. The combat in this game doesn’t look any different or any better than the last games in the series I played, The Last Hope, and I don’t see how it could be any better of a game overall. I wrote an entire article earlier this year about how I despise the combination of turn-based combat and real-time combat, and how it doesn’t work at all, and this game to me, looks like yet it incorporates the same stupid system; much to my personal dismay.
Saga Scarlett Grace
Another game entitled Saga Scarlet Grace was also teased at Sony’s conference afterwards, but it only consisted of a trailer, and no gameplay footage was shown; therefore, I have no opinion of it as of yet. It could the greatest game of all time, or the biggest flop all time, but once I see footage of gameplay, I’ll have a much better idea to relay back to readers.
Resident Evil: Umbrella Corps
After the brief showcasing of a few more upcoming games, Dark Souls III, Project Diva: Future Zone and 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rin, Sony revealed the next upcoming instalment of the Resident Evil series; Resident Evil: Umbrella Corps. It will be a multiplayer shooter with a massive emphasis on online play, as well as weapon variety and an overall creepy atmosphere, alluding to the rest of the franchise. At first glance, it looks like Capcom are possibly jumping on the Call of Duty bandwagon, but if gameplay turns out to be much more varied than that, then it could go leaps and bounds ahead of it in my opinion. I don’t it would matter if you happened to be a fan of the series or not; it doesn’t seem to have any kind of stable story to it, but only a basic premise, which for the franchise at this point, wouldn’t be too bad of an idea, since the story of the series has suffered from a few setbacks in recent instalments in my opinion.
Exist Archive: The Other Side of the Sky
Next, viewers were treated to a sneak peak of another JRPG coming soon to PlayStation 4; Exist Archive: The Other Side of the Sky. At first sight, to me, it looks like a cross between Child of Light and Star Ocean; interesting 2D side scrolling exploration with a terrible combat system. Though the combat looks fairly intense, the way it is handled in game will most probably come into question from me, since at this moment in time, I see nothing for me to be able to positively differentiate it from the likes of Star Ocean or some of the most recent Final Fantasy games.
Danganropa V3 was the next game to be revealed after that. Though no real gameplay footage was shown, I can’t help but talk about the conceptual design of the game, which looks by in large wonderfully disturbing; like a cross between PaRappa the Rapper and Killer is Dead. But beyond this, like Saga Scarlet Grace, I can offer no more of a comprehensive opinion than that.
Dragon Quest Builders
After Dragon Quest’s creator Yuji Horii took to the stage and gave gamers another look into the upcoming Dragon Quest Heroes II, he also announced a new game in the series to be released; Dragon Quest Builders. An RPG with an emphasis on building and creating, it looks to me like Horii is possibly jumping on the Minecraft bandwagon, but to me, it looks much more straightforward and easier to get into by proxy than the latter. I’ve had trouble in the past trying to get into Minecraft, but I think this game seems much easier to cope with, yet also much more varied in terms of it’s combat.
After a brief look into both Airship 2 Call of Duty: Black Ops III, an insight into how western IPs are becoming evermore popular over in Japan, Sony revealed a few details regarding some new upcoming features to be implemented to PlayStation 4 in the future. Firstly, the beta of the new could-based gaming service PlayStation Now will be available in the country soon, with an array of different PlayStation 3 games to be tried out upon release for those who haven’t yet played them. In addition, Sony’s upcoming Virtual Reality headset once dubbed Project Morpheus has been unveiled under a new name; PlayStation VR. After watching some subsequent gameplay footage of some of the titles to be released for use with the headset, I must say that my initial scepticisms have been somewhat alleviated. The concept looks to be taking shape nicely, and could possibly make for something other than another failed VR peripheral like the Virtual Boy. But as a gamer, I still remain somewhat weary of the product, and it is far too early in the day to determine for myself whether or not it will ultimately be either a success or a failure for Sony.
And Lastly, Sony revealed that the PlayStation 4 will soon be undergoing a worldwide price drop, making it much more accessible and affordable to an even wider variety of gamers in the future. To me, the time is just right for Sony to do this, because at this moment in time, The Wii U and Xbox One are only both going to get cheaper, and their games should only get more varied if both of them know what’s good for them. But since the PlayStation is far superior than either one of those consoles, having a price drop at this point, is only going to further boost consumer interest, and if they choose to implement it before Christmas, they will surely have a huge edge ahead of the other two consoles during the holiday season.
So, that’s my account of the Tokyo Game show 2015. What titles are you most excited for? What do you think will happen to the Chinese market? What are you opinions of Japan’s current approach to gaming? As always, I look forward to reading your opinions, and that I hope you enjoyed reading this article as much as I enjoyed writing it.