By Maria Roldan
Chiba, Japan, Sep 21 (EFE).- The largest video game fair in Asia, the Tokyo Game Show, started Thursday with great expectations for the world premiere of the first playable demo of “Final Fantasy VII Rebirth” and the return of Xbox at the event.
A record 787 companies from 44 countries are participating in the 2023 edition, which for the first time in four years occupies all main pavilions of the Makuhari Messe convention center in Chiba, east of Tokyo. For the next four days They will exhibit a total of 2,291 games, according to organization data.
The Tokyo Game Show, whose initial edition dates back to 1996, is one of the three largest fairs in the gaming industry, along with E2 in the United States and Gamescom in Germany, and it is expected that about 20,000 people will attend this year. It’s the first edition since the lifting of tourism restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The first two days of the event, which will last until Sunday, are exclusively accessible to the press and professionals, as well as “influencers” and invited content creators, for whom a personalized area has been set up in the exhibition area.
One of the biggest draws this year is the world premiere of the first playable demo of “Final Fantasy VII Rebirth,” the second installment of the trilogy that reinterprets the 1997 classic by Square Enix, which will be released on Feb. 29, 2024.
The Japanese company, which has one of the largest areas of the fair, has installed about 100 terminals with the test version of the game, which has two scenarios, one for exploration and one focused on combat, being able to play with story antagonist Sephiroth for the first time.
Shortly after the doors opened, the waiting time to try the title amounted to more than an hour, although the large number of gaming stations greatly speeded up the wait.
By the time the Brazilian Bernardo Miranda came to try it, he only waited in line about 20 minutes. Employed in a Japanese animation company, Miranda arrived with expectations that this new installment would offer him more than what he already experienced with the previous one.
“I am a fan of the original game and I thought what they did with the remake was incredible. I hope this one offers me the same but with improvements: incredible graphics and fun gameplay,” he told EFE.
Among other important regular companies at the event are Bandai Namco (with “Tekken 8”), Konami, Capcom (which has demos of “Dragon’s Dogma II” or “Street Fighter 6”), Koei Tecmo and Sega/Atlus.
Special expectations have also been raised by the return to the event of the American Xbox, which will broadcast a special “online” event in the next few hours, in its attempt to gain a greater foothold in the Japanese market, dominated by its competitor Sony and its PlayStation.
The Tokyo Game Show has decided to maintain the hybrid format with live shows that it adopted after the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic and that has allowed viewers from other countries to have access to some of the most relevant business conferences.
Industry professionals and fans are looking forward to the Xbox issue, especially after recent leaks about the supposed new models of the console scheduled for 2024, leaked in a series of documents sent to court that is reviewing its proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard.
The event also once again opted for areas specific to sectors that are still emerging or have growth potential, such as virtual reality or games with blockchain technology.
Events of this type have gone from being purely about games and numerous companies take the opportunity to promote their products for the “gaming” industry, such as keyboards, chairs or furniture, a transformation that also occurs at the Japanese fair. EFE