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Virtual reality, AI expected to grab Tokyo Game Show spotlight

Tokyo Game Show also serves as one of Japan's largest cosplay gatherings. Fans love to attend the convention dressed as their favorite video-game character. Costumes aren't required, but are encouraged.

JAMES KIMBER/STARS AND STRIPES

By JAMES KIMBER | STARS AND STRIPES Published: September 13, 2016

YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — This weekend’s Tokyo Game Show is expected to be the largest in the popular video-gaming convention’s 20-year history.

At least 600 exhibitors — 100 more than last year’s record-breaking turnout that drew nearly 300,000 people — will gather just outside Tokyo Thursday through Sunday to showcase the best and brightest in gaming technologies.

Virtual reality and discussions on the relationship between gaming and artificial intelligence will likely take this year’s spotlight.

Sony is expected to have a large presence, as usual, with multiple press conferences lined up ahead of its Playstation VR release and the announcement of the PlayStation 4 Pro.

Speakers from CAPCOM, Sega, Bandai Namco, Fove and HTC will also make appearances, and Square Enix — well known for popular roleplaying franchises like “Final Fantasy” and “Dragon Quest” — has teased that it will reveal a new game at the event.

Tokyo Game Show also serves as one of Japan’s largest cosplay, or costume play, gatherings. Fans love to attend the convention dressed as their favorite video-game characters. Costumes aren’t required, but are encouraged.

The show opens to the public 10 a.m. Saturday and wraps up 5 p.m. Sunday at Makuhari Messe convention center in Chiba. Tickets at the door cost 1,200 yen (about $11.70) for adults and free for elementary-school children. Guests can save 200 yen and avoid long lines by purchasing tickets at area convenience stores.

Thursday and Friday’s events are not open to the public.

Tokyo Game Show is a family-friendly convention, though some games showcased are not intended for children.

More information, available in multiple languages, can be found at: http://expo.nikkeibp.co.jp/tgs/2016/public/en/index.html.

kimber.james@stripes.com

Sony's PlayStation VR, which is set for release next month, was among the most popular attractions at last year's Tokyo Game Show in Chiba, Japan. This year's event is expected to be the largest in the popular video-gaming convention's 20-year history.
JAMES KIMBER/STARS AND STRIPES

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