Tokyo Game Show 2011: The Cheap Seats Guide

By Brenna Hillier
12 September 2011 07:38 GMT

The third and final of the three major annual consumer shows is alarmingly nigh. Here’s your guide to the Tokyo Game Show 2011.


September 15-18, Makuhari Messe, Chiba, Japan

Considered one of the “big three” consumer game shows, along with E3 and gamescom

Founded in 1996 as a biannual event; now in its 16th year in total and 9th as an annual show.

Attended by a growing number of major Western publishers and independents, but remains highly Japan-centric.

2011 sees a record number of exhibitors.

Before the show officially opens doors on Thursday, a number of important events vie for your attention.

The action kicks off on Tuesday with the Nintendo 3DS Conference 2011. The big N has politely refused Western press attempts to get in, but will live stream the show on Ustream and Nico Nico; both links can be found on the conference’s website. We’re expecting more information on the handheld’s second circle pad attachment, but don’t be surprised if there’s a hardware revision announce, too.

Tune in on September 13, 12:00 noon. That’s 1:00PM Sydney time and 4:00AM BST, but 8:00PM PDT and 11:00PM EDT on September 12.

Not to be outdone, the Sony Computer Entertainment Japan Press Conference follows. Another tightly-locked down event, the conference will be live streamed from the platform holder’s TGS website. Although Sony has a dedicated Vita event at the show itself, you can expect some juicy tidbits from the presser, if not the date and pricing.

Tune in on September 14, 1:00PM. That’s 2:00PM Sydney time and 5:00AM BST, but 9:00PM PDT and 12:00 midnight EDT on September 13.

Next cab off the rank is the Namco Bandai Press Conference. The publisher looks set to cater to local tastes with this year’s line up, with an emphasis on One Piece Musou and Gundam titles. There’s unlikely to be much emphasis on Dark Souls, Ace Combat: Assault Horizon and Armored Core V during the presser since we’re so close to release, but we might get some Tales news, as well as a Tekken showcase. Surprises have been promised. It’s not clear whether the presser will be streamed, but if so, you’ll likely find it on the Namco Bandai event website.

Tune in on September 14, 2:00PM. That’s 3:00PM Sydney time, 6:00AM BST, and 1:00AM EDT, but 10:00PM PDT on September 13.

It’s not often we see a whole event devoted to just one developer, but that’s what it says on the box for the Team Ninja Press Conference. We know Ninja Gaiden 3 is going to be playable at the show for the first time in Japan, and the timing seems right for some pre-release news such as an extra platform or special edition when the game ships early next year. Don’t rule out something Dead or Alive related or even a complete surprise, though: the developer has promised a new game reveal, either here or at the show itself. No live stream as yet, but there’s a currently inactive “LIVE!” link on the Tecmo Koei TGS portal.

Tune in on September 14, 8:00PM. That’s 9:00PM Sydney time, 12:00 noon BST, and 7:00AM EDT, and 4:00AM PDT.

The Tokyo Game Show itself kicks off the very next day, with two business days reserved for press and trade. The first headline event is Yoichi Wada’s keynote, as the Square Enix president talks The Essence of Game Industry Revolution. I’m expecting to be on site to live blog, and am hoping to be back in the queue in time to Shuhei Yoshida’s keynote, All About PlayStation Vita. It’s here we’re expecting the Worldwide studios boss to make the bulk of Sony’s reveals.

Tune in on September 15, 10:30AM. That’s11:30AM Sydney time and 2:30AM BST, but 9:30PM EDT and 6:30PM PDT on September 14.

During the four day event, a number of publishers will host stage shows, with demonstrations, developer explanations, and quite a lot of spectacle.

Any Namco Bandai live streams will appear on the Namco Bandai event website, with two time slots in particular likely to attract Western viewers.

Tune in on September 16, 1:00PM for the Tales Series show show. That’s 2:00PM Sydney time, 5:00AM BST, and 12:00 midnight EDT, but 9:00PM PDT on September 15. The Tekken Series show takes place 90 minutes later.

Kojima Productions is planning two major events, the first of which is the Metal Gear Stage Show. We’re getting awfully close to the release of the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection and Metal Gear Solid 3D: Snake Eater, so expect them to soak up a lot of the limelight. We haven’t heard much about Metal Gear Solid: Rising, but if that makes an appearance, it’ll probably turn up with Microsoft. Don’t hold your breath. Check out the live stream on Konami’s Ustream channel.

Tune in on September 15, 2:00PM. That’s 3:00 PM Sydney time, 6:00AM BST and 1:00AM EDT, but 10:00PM PDT on September 14.

Nippon Ichi, the team behind Disgaea among other quirky titles, is hosting a single event. The developer and publisher recently confirmed Disgaea 3 Return for the Vita, but also hinted at four new titles, which are more likely to be the focus of the show.

Tune in on September 16, 11:30AM. That’s 12:30PM Sydney time and 3:30AM BST, but 10:30PM EDT and 7:30PM PDT on September 15.

Capcom has a huge line up this year, and is strongly tipped to steal the show. The publisher has split its stage shows over the two consumer days, and during the first, we’ll see Monster Hunter 3G, Resident Evil: Revelations, Professor Layton vs Ace Attorney, and Dragon’s Dogma. The day’s penultimate event is a celebration of the Resident Evil 15th Anniversary. The publisher has an event portal, but no live streams have surfaced as yet.

Start with Monster Hunter 3G, and tune in on September 17 from 10:30AM. That’s 11:30AM Sydney time and 2:30AM BST, but 9:30PM EDT and 6:30PM PDT on September 16.

Of Konami’s other games, Neverdead is probably the most likely to prick your ears. Tune in on September 17, 12:00 noon. That’s 1:00PM Sydney time and 4:00AM BST, but 11:00PM EDT and 8:00PM PDT on September 16. It’s almost immediately followed by Frontier Gate, the new PSP RPG from tri-ACE.

Johnny’s all in a froth for the Zone of the Enders Stage Show, which will highlight the upcoming Zone of the Enders HD Collection. We’re expecting a bit more than that, though; Hideo Kojima has repeatedly hinted at a Zone of the Enders 3 reveal, and there’s a rumour we might see a Zone of the Enders 3DS release. You’ll likely see this, Neverdead on Frontier Gate on Konami’s Ustream channel.

Tune in on September 17, 1:00PM. That’s 1:00PM Sydney time, 5:00AM BST, and 12:00 midnight EDT, but 9:00PM PDT on September 16.

Capcom’s second set of shows takes in DmC: Devil May Cry, Street Fighter x Tekken and Asura’s Wrath as well as a few repeats.

Start with DmC, and tune in on September 18, 11:45AM.. That’s 11:45AM Sydney time, 3:45AM BST, but 10:45PM EDT and 7:45PM PDT on September 17.

Sega has a number of important titles on show, including Binary Domain, Phantasy Star Online 2, Yakuza: Black Panther 2, and Rhythm Thief. Each of these will be shown more than once during the four days of the TGS, with the full schedule, in Japanese, available on the Sega TGS Portal. Sega live streamed its stage events last year, so stay tuned for a more detailed schedule if we turn up a stream. The main attraction may be the Sonic 20th Anniversary Special which is likely to be light on news but heavy on fan-pleasing entertainment like ladies dressed as Tails dancing around.

Please double check local times on the World Time Clock, taking particular care with the date, if you’re really keen on a particular stream.

That’s all for those of you at home, but I’ll be reporting back on as much as I can, and you can expect a number of preview and interviews over the coming weeks as we trawl through the results of an insane schedule. Tokyo Game Show 2011, kids: it’s going to be massive.

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