New gaming PCs were among the exhibits that drew the most attention from visitors to the Tokyo Game Show, one of the world's biggest gaming events which opened on Thursday, with the organizer expecting some 200,000 people to attend the four-day trade fair.
The annual gaming extravaganza is using the entire Makuhari Messe convention center in Chiba for the first time in four years following the lifting of restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic.
A record 787 exhibitors from over 40 countries and regions are participating, with some events also offered online, according to the Computer Entertainment Supplier's Association, which organizes the event.
In addition to the many new game titles for various platforms and other products on display, gaming PCs have seen a resurgence in interest.
Taiwan's ASUS exhibited its new portable gaming PC, the ROG Ally, which lets users play PC video games while on the go like the hugely popular Switch console sold by Nintendo Co.
The device has been launched to meet demand from those who want to play games even when they are away from home, a company official said.
Intel Corp. displayed the latest gaming PCs carrying its advanced semiconductors, developed in collaboration with various PC makers.
"An increasing number of people started playing video games on PCs during the coronavirus pandemic because many game consoles were not (widely) available due to a chip shortage," said Shoko Ueno, marketing director at Intel's Japanese unit. "The market is expanding."
For the first time, 10 official influencers active in the Asia-Pacific region, each with at least 100,000 followers on social media, have been selected to promote the event in their respective languages.
A special lounge is available for influencers and creators to use as a base for testing games and uploading videos, the organizer said.
Of the 787 exhibitors, up from 605 the previous year, 406 are from overseas, including 30 that are participating online.
The first two days are mainly reserved for media and industry representatives, with the doors opening to the general public on Saturday.
Daily tickets are priced at 2,300 yen ($15.50) but are not sold at the venue and need to be purchased online in advance. Children of elementary school age and under can enter free of charge.
The Tokyo Game Show, launched in 1996, is one of the world's three biggest gaming events, along with E3 in the United States and Gamescom in Germany.