Metaverse, VR Spotlight on as Tokyo Game Show Begins

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The Tokyo Game Show kicked off Thursday, returning to a fully personal format for the first time since the coronavirus outbreak, with metaverse and virtual reality titles and technologies taking the spotlight.

The annual video game enthusiast extravaganza, one of the largest of its kind in the world, will be held through Sunday at the Makuhari Messe convention center in Chiba, near Tokyo. The first two days are primarily reserved for media reporters and industry officials, with general visitors allowed from Friday afternoon.

The Tokyo Game Show opens on September 15, 2022 at Chiba’s Makuhari Messe convention center. (TBEN)

It was the first time the show has welcomed the rise of the general public after being largely held online for the past two years due to the coronavirus pandemic. The organizer expects to attract 150,000 visitors in the four-day period this year.

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About 600 companies and organizations from 37 countries, including Japanese giants Capcom Co. and Square Enix Co., participated in the event. Some of the content is also accessible online, according to the organizer, the Computer Entertainment Supplier’s Association.

Metaverse has become a buzzword in the game industry and beyond as more and more companies, from game developers to banks, are beginning to see business potential in a virtual world where users can shop, attend events and interact with each other, just like like in the real world.

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Facebook Inc., the operator of its social media of the same name, changed its name to Meta Platforms Inc last year. to focus on its metaverse activities and draw public attention to the previously relatively unknown territory.

With the country easing antivirus restrictions further, the number of participating organizations recovered to about 90 percent from 2019’s, which stood at 655. The number of titles on display stood at 1,864, surpassing 1,522 in 2019.

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The Tokyo Game Show is one of the world’s three largest gaming events, along with E3 in the United States and Gamescom in Germany.

A visitor tries out a virtual reality game during the Tokyo Game Show at the Makuhari Messe convention center in Chiba on Sept. 15, 2022. (TBEN)