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Issue Date: Vol. 52, No. 10, October 2012, Posted On: 9/26/2012

Tokyo Game Show Signals Mobile Videogame Future

Marcus Webb
TAGS: Tokyo Game Show, video game business, mobile videogame, mobile entertainment, smartphone games, tablet computer games, home video games, Computer Entertainment Suppliers Association, Nikkei Business Publications Inc.

TOKYO -- The annual Tokyo Game Show, featuring new videogames for assorted consumer platforms, took place here from Sept. 20 to 23 and signaled a strong movement away from traditional consoles to mobile platforms such as smartphones and tablet computers.

The expo, sponsored by the Computer Entertainment Suppliers Association and Nikkei Business Publications Inc., reportedly drew some 195,000 visitors from the industry and the public to the Makuhari Messa Exhibitioin Hall and Convention Center.

The show hosted 209 exhibitors (126 Japanese firms and 83 overseas companies) from 19 nations and regions. They exhibited a record 1,043 titles in 1,609 booths, organizers said.

Last year's figures were 193 exhibitors from 16 countries showing 736 titles in 1,250 booths. Yet attendance was sharply down, leading some press outlets to call the exposition a "shadow" of its former self.

Most of the show's 265 games were for smartphones; another 180 were for home consoles; and 100 were for tablet computers.

Observers noted that social networking games generated the most excitement. Several leading game manufacturers said such entertainment is now economically in reach of the mass audience worldwide.

Exhibiting countries included Chile, Denmark, Finland, France, Iran, Malaysia, Poland, Russia, S. Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan, the United States and Vietnam.

Chinese manufacturers booked space, but failed to show. Observers speculated that recent political friction between the governments of China and Japan might have played a role in the absence of the economic powerhouse.

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