Virtual reality, mobile gaming take center stage at Tokyo Game Show

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Gaming accessories for the PlayStation 4's Playstation VR technology are on display Friday, Sept. 18, 2015, at Tokyo Game Show 2015 in Chiba, Japan. Pictured is a Playstation VR headset. Pictured is the Playstation VR headset, formerly known to the public as Morpheus. (James Kimber/Stars and Stripes)
From Stripes.com
Gaming accessories for the PlayStation 4's Playstation VR technology are on display Friday, Sept. 18, 2015, at Tokyo Game Show 2015 in Chiba, Japan. Pictured is a Playstation VR headset. Pictured is the Playstation VR headset, formerly known to the public as Morpheus. (James Kimber/Stars and Stripes)

Virtual reality, mobile gaming take center stage at Tokyo Game Show

by: Eric Guzman | .
Stars and Stripes | .
published: September 19, 2015

CHIBA, Japan — The best and brightest emerging technologies in the gaming industry will once again be on display at Tokyo Game Show 2015, which is open to the public Saturday and Sunday at the Makuhari Messe convention center in Chiba.

This year’s event, organized by Computer Entertainment Supplier’s Association and Nikkei Business Publications Inc., features gaming exhibits from more than 37 countries. It has also marked a new record for number of exhibitors — 234 of them Japanese.

Mobile gaming, treated as an afterthought for years, has taken the industry by storm. All three exhibition areas at the show are peppered with both independent and major mobile game developers, with a massive pirate ship from free-to-play game “Grandblue Fantasy” stealing the show from both console and mobile setups.

More than 1,200 gaming titles are on exhibited throughout the show, with more than 2,000 booths showing off games, gaming-related services and merchandise.

Amazon Inc.’s recent acquisition of top streaming service Twitch was made known through a booth set up just across from rival YouTube’s stage.

Microsoft’s absence from this year’s show was noted by many; however, Sony’s reveal of PlayStation VR — formerly known as Morpheus — quickly grabbed everyone’s attention.

Sony’s answer to virtual reality platform Oculus Rift was met with an incredibly positive reception after being demoed for the press. Attempts at successfully producing a virtual reality gaming console have been happening since the release of Sega’s Master System 3D in the 1980s, but technological advances in the 30 years since have finally made the pipe dream of successful virtual reality gaming tangible.

Working with its PlayStation Move technology, the PlayStation VR headset offers an experience that allows players to interact with a game both visually and physically.

Capcom’s demo, Kitchen, places gamers in what appears to be a horror film, but the level of immersion makes things scarier than any movie could ever be when watched on a screen.

While Sony was probably the brightest star in the galaxy of fully immersive gaming, independent developers also showed promising demos of their Oculus Rift-based technologies.

The tech race between companies is opening new doors and pushing gaming toward new, exciting directions, and Tokyo Game Show 2015 has showed that concepts such as fully immersive gaming will be a reality very, very soon.

guzman.eric@stripes.com