Tokyo show invites video game lovers

Tokyo show invites video game lovers

CHIBA, Japan - The Associated Press
Tokyo show invites video game lovers

A guest plays a videogame on Nintendo’s ‘Wii U’ at the Tokyo Game Show. AFP photo

It’s not quite game over at the annual Tokyo Game Show that opened yesterday, but with smartphones, tablets and other computer-like devices luring people away from the once-dominant consoles devoted to video games, the rules of the game have changed.

Adding to the uncertainty is the long wait for the possible successors to such game consoles as Sony Corp.’s PlayStation 3 and Microsoft Corp.’s Xbox 360 - perhaps a PlayStation 4 or Xbox 720. Nintendo’s Wii U home console goes on sale in November in the U.S. and Europe, and on Dec. 8 in Japan.

“The game industry in general is still very much in a state of flux,” said game veteran Mark MacDonald, executive director at Tokyo-based 8-4, which localizes and consults about games, including “Monster Hunter 4,” one of the blockbusters displayed at the show.

Some of the booths at Makuhari Messe hall in this Tokyo suburb looked familiar, with big screens running trailers of the latest versions of hit games like “Biohazard” from Capcom and “Final Fantasy” from Square Enix. But some booths also had games for smartphones.

Gree Inc., founded in 2004, has risen to stardom through social games, often played on smartphones, in which players can interact and cooperate with each other. Gree had the second biggest booth at the show after Capcom.