New kinds of game created by VR [Tokyo Game Show 2016]

Tokyo Game Show 2016Tokyo Game Show 2016

Tokyo Game Show 2016, cohosted by CESA (Computer Entertainment Suppliers’ Association) and Nikkei BP, was held in Makuhari, Chiba Prefecture. Tokyo Game Show, an annual event in Japan, reached its 20th anniversary this year, a major milestone. This year, there were a record 271,244 visitors over the four days between September 15th and 18th.

The increase of visitors has proven, despite Japan’s long dwindling birth rate and aging population, electric games are supported by a wide range of generations. At the same time, a large volume of overseas publishers gathered at the Tokyo Game Show, attracted by “Business Day”.

PlayStation VRPlayStation VR

The key feature of this year’s Tokyo Game Show 2016 is a spate of announcements for VR games. VR (Virtual Reality) is a general term for games where a person with a VR headset plays by having their vision and movement synchronized with the characters in the game, as if the virtual world the player is experiencing were the real world.

Sony Interactive Entertainment released “PlayStation VR”, bringing a virtual reality game experience to the PlayStation4 on October 13th, 2016. “Vaio Hazard 7”, the latest game from major game company CAPCOM, is the first VR supported game of the series.

While the game industry is enlivened by the introduction of new technology, anxiety is not low. According to CESA (*1), the market size of 2015’s home game industry was 13.53 billion yen, a 2% decline from the previous year. Packaged game software decreased 18% to19.49 billion yen, and the total market size in software and hardware is 33.02 billion yen, a fall of 12%. Sales volume industry wide is shrinking. In contrast to the slump in home games, Japan’s smartphone and tablet game industry has reached 94.53 billion yen, which has grown to not just Asia’s but the world’s largest sales volume.

According to statistics by the Ministry of Public Management, modern Japanese people have an average of 2 hours and 30 minutes of disposable time per day. From this result it can be assumed that the majority of their leisure time would be spent on smartphones and tablets. With this as background, major game companies rush to allocate their resources to develop game applications on smartphones.

Pokémon GO”, released for smartphones in July 2016 by Niantic Inc, is AR (Augmented Reality) using GPS (Global Positioning System). It recorded 130 million downloads with $265 million sales just one month after its service release. In addition to the brand power of Pokémon, an unprecedented system that projects monsters into the real world has sparked a social phenomenon, fueling the rapid growth of the popular game.

Urara TachibanaUrara Tachibana

@japan introduces “T.*below, by idol Urara Tachibana, who is active in Akihabara.

*1 2016 CESA Everyday Life Survey
http://report.cesa.or.jp/pressrelease/press20160322.html
http://report.cesa.or.jp/pressrelease/press20160725.html

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