TGS shows Japan’s mobile dominance

From Console games are swamped by mobile titles in Tokyo; is this a glimpse of the industry’s future?

If you’ve been following any of the news from this week’s Tokyo Game Show, you’ve probably got a fair idea of what the “big” games of the show are. Metal Gear Solid 5; Final Fantasy XV; Silent Hills; Bloodborne. To Western reporters who have travelled to Tokyo for the show, these are the games of note, while the opportunity to try out virtual reality headsets or get hands on the New Nintendo 3DS models (despite Nintendo’s own non-appearance) also rate as headline-worthy.

There’s no fault to what writers focusing on those games are doing; they’re serving the interests of their audience. There are the best part of a thousand games on display at TGS and thus, focus is essential. Remarkably few of those games will ever be launched overseas, let alone enjoy any commercial success there; the task of the TGS reporter is largely to filter through the immense amounts of noise on the show floor and find some signal that’s relevant or interesting for an overseas audience.

If you’re just following the news generated from the show, you’d be forgiven for thinking that this year’s TGS has sunk yet further into irrelevance. Coming a mere month after the vastly more international jamboree that is Germany’s GamesCom, TGS this year has little to offer beyond new trailers for games we’ve already heard plenty about. Few announcements of interest have been made at the show, and while it’s a good opportunity for media and consumers to go hands-on with titles that haven’t been shown in public before, it’s absolutely not a show that will shift the needle in the console war in any way.