From Thursday, Sept. 19, through Sunday, Sept. 22, a who's who of more than 180 of the biggest names in the video game ecosystem will be at Makuhari Messe, attending the Tokyo Game Show 2013. Can't make the trip across the oceans and continents to see the latest from Capcom, Electronic Arts, Microsoft, Sony and so many others? Not to worry. This is everything you need to know.
The TGS video game convention is held in Chiba, Japan, which is about 25 miles outside of Tokyo proper. As its location suggests, the focus has traditionally been on the Japanese game market, though as this year's list of attendees shows, the games on hand certainly aren't limited by geography. For the first few years after its 1996 debut, it was held biannually, but it became an annual show more than a decade ago. Attendance last year was a record-breaking 223,753.
TGS is divided between several areas. The General Exhibition contains the meat of the show, and that's where this year's biggest names will set up shop. There are also areas that focus on accessories, merchandise. This year will see the addition of a few new areas, which we detail below.
The show's organizers, the Consumer Entertainment Supplier's Association (CESA) and Nikkei Business Publications, chose a theme of "Games: Limitless Evolution" for the 2013 show. Illustrator Ippei Gyoubu created the visual above to capture the sense of things "beyond the reach of imagination."
When TGS 2013 kicks off Thursday, it will do so with a few new offerings. There will be new exhibitions focused on business startups, cloud gaming, cosplay, eSports, Otome or "girlish games" and music.
The event's organizers will also provide an official English language video channel, which will broadcast events throughout the show.
After a hiatus, Microsoft is returning to TGS in 2013 with 30 playable games from across its platform ecosystem. Those include Fable Anniversary and Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy 13 for Xbox 360, Ryse: Son of Rome and Titanfall for Xbox One and Halo: Spartan Assault for Windows.
Sony Entertainment Japan and Asia will broadcast three events during TGS 2013, at 9 p.m. ET on Sept. 18 at, Sept. 20 and Sept. 21. The company will also host a PlayStation 4-focused keynote called "The World PlayStation 4 Creates" on Sept. 19.
In addition to the planned events, Sony will exhibit more than 50 games, including Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag, Beyond: Two Souls, Dark Souls 2, DriveClub, Gran Turismo 6, Killzone: Shadow Fall and Tearaway.
Reports have also circulated that Sony plans to reveal a virtual reality headset currently compatible with DriveClub at TGS.
Other notable developers and games
- Arc System Works will bring BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma, Seisou no Amazones and many more games
- Capcom will bring Dead Rising 3 as well as a playable demo for its randomly generated PS4 online role-playing game Deep Down.
- Grounding Inc. will be talking about the next-gen version of Crimson Dragon
- Gree will bring 25 new games, 22 of which will be playable at TGS
- Konami and Kojima Productions will have Metal Gear Solid 5 on hand
- Square Enix's exhibits will include games across multiple platforms, like Deadman's Cross, Dragon Quest 10 and Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn
Beyond the show
Turns out there's more in the greater Tokyo metropolitan thank the Tokyo Game Show. For example, as the show winds down Sept. 22, Sabaco Music & Cafe will host the Tokyo Indie Dance Party, which will feature music from several video game composers.
The city in which TGS takes place also has several notable landmarks. Chiba's Urban Monorail, whose nearly 9.5 miles of track snake through the city, is the world's longest suspended monorail system. Visitors can also check out the artificial beach called Inage Beach and the Chiba Zoological Park, where you can check out some red pandas.
Stay tuned to Polygon for all of our coverage from TGS 2013, from which we'll have breaking news, previews, interviews, video and much more.