Tokyo Game Show 2009

Tokyo Game Show 2009: First Day Photo Gallery

The first day of Tokyo Game Show 2009 is officially in the can! The show has just closed, but not before we got our first batch of photos right from the floor. Behold, the spectacle of publisher booths and semi-manageable walking space! (Our public day gallery is probably going to look nothing like these shots...)


Click Here for TGS Day One Photo Gallery

You are not in Japan at the moment (unless you are, then it's all apologies). However, we sent a team to TGS 2009, and their awesomeness managed to wrangle some honest-to-goodness gameplay footage from Final Fantasy XIII. Check out the startup screen, as well as some combat footage from the game.


Final Fantasy XIII Offscreen TGS 2009 Gameplay Footage »

The Last Guardian Was Purposely Named To Generate Appeal Outside Japan

UPDATE 12:45 AM: You can now watch the trailer below!


The Last Guardian TGS '09 Trailer »


At the tail end of a media event showcasing the online modes in White Knight Chronicles and changes for the North American version, Sony showed an all-too-brief new trailer for Fumito Ueda's long-awaited third game, The Last Guardian. I was there. Sadly, we were not allowed to record it.

The trailer opened with short pans through an Ico-esque castle as flute music played in the background. The camera panned to a small section of the bird creature we have all become familiar with since E3. There are arrows protruding from its body as it silently sleeps. The small boy, whom we presume to be the main character, appears on the screen, looking at something we cannot see. Soon, though, he moves around the wall and peers over at the creature. The boy is quiet, very quiet, deliberately attempting to not wake the slumbering beast. His hand moves closer and closer to the creature until he begins petting and brushing him. The beast awakens.

At first, the creature just rolls over and stretches its feet before the boy jumps onto his back, holds tight and the creature stands to full height before calmly sitting on its bottom. As the creature continues to scratch itself, dust particles and feathers fly around as the Japanese version of the game's title appears on the screen.

The trailer fades to black.

Xbox LIVE Logo

One of the most request features for Xbox Live, especially as the service becomes loaded with more and more content, is text search. As it stands, users have to move through menus. The menus have become more useful, but search would be better. Text search is being introduced to Xbox Live with the upcoming Zune Marketplace, which will replace the video marketplace. Microsoft demonstrated the feature during an Xbox Live demo at Tokyo Game Show 2009 and it works as advertised.

The next question I had, naturally, was whether this search functionality would be coming to the rest of Xbox Live. It would be incredibly useful with Netflix and the game marketplace. Microsoft wouldn’t outright confirm that text search was coming to the rest of Xbox Live, but it sounds likely.

“We’re always thinking about ways to improve our shopping experiences,” said Scott Austin, Microsoft’s director of digitally distributed games for Xbox Live.

Hopefully we see text search elsewhere sooner rather than later.

While checking out an updated version of the Microsoft-developed Facebook application for Xbox Live, I had a chance to ask the company about how (or if) Xbox Live Silver users will have access to either social network. Unfortunately, it’s not good news if you aren’t a paying member.

According to Microsoft, Xbox Live Silver member will only have access to Facebook and Twitter during the “Gold Weekends” that the company rolls out every once and a while. The weekends are designed to encourage Silver members to experience Xbox Live multiplayer and pay to become a Gold member. It is only these periods Silver users will be able to check out Facebook and Twitter.

Sorry, Silver users. There is still no release date for Facebook on Xbox 360.


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The Domina Shantatto, an apparently evil sect of Tarus, has designs on Vana'Diel in this new expansion to Final Fantasy XI. It's sinister, but also whimsical -- I'm calling it "whimsnister." A Shantotto Ascension is coming out in October of this year. Peep the trailer!

Final Fantasy XI: A Shantotto Ascension Trailer »

It doesn't take a Japanese expert to know that this trailer for Sengoku Basara Samurai Heroes features a whole lot of sword-swinging samurai doing their thing. And you don't have to read the kanji to know that, whatever it's going to be, it's going to be awesome.

Watch for yourself.


Sengoku Basara Samurai Heroes TGS 2009 Trailer »


One of the more curious announcements during Sony's Tokyo Game Show 2009 press conference was PSP Room. Think of it as PlayStation Home for the PlayStation Portable. G4tv.com's Sterling McGarvey noted that it features cute avatars and:

"Blogs, photo albums, and social networking.

Chat, minigames, and real-time communication."

The service is being beta tested in Japan now. While I'm fairly certain it will come to America, the service just seems more inline with what Japanese gamers want. They love gathering in large numbers to play multiplayer games face-to-face. I can see them gathering for some digital networking too (it sounds weird, but trust me, they'd do it).

For American and European gamers...I'm not so sure. With services like Facebook and Twitter available on numerous mobile platforms, I don't see the need for PSP Room. Then again, this could totally appeal to consumers that bought that purple Hannah Montana PSP.

Would any of you be interested in this service? 

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Resident Evil 5

Sony showed off two well-known games that will be using its motion controller in different ways: Resident Evil 5 and LittleBigPlanet. During its Tokyo Game Show 2009 press conference, the company revealed that the motion controller will be launching with a Resident Evil 5: Alternate Edition, which will take full advantage of the motion controls.

The company also announced that LittleBigPlanet will be getting patched to work with motion controls as well. While it's important to have new products to support the controllers, it's very cool that Sony is patching older games to implement motion.

The question is, of course, do you care? Do you want to experience RE5 in a different way? How about LBP?

Gran Turismo 5

Polyphony Digital's Kazunori Yamauchi revealed model details on the highly anticipated Gran Turismo 5 for PlayStation 3. During Sony's Tokyo Game Show 2009 press conference, the following modes and features were revealed:

  • GT Mode: World Map, My Garage, Car Dealer, Tuning Shop, Championship Race, and License Test.
  • Online: Open Lobby, Text/Voice Chat, Private Room, Online Photo Album, Online Replay Album, and you can export replays to YouTube.
  • Photo Mode: Photo Drive, Photo Stage.
  • GT TV: Improved UI, export of videos to PSP, and progressive downloading.

While everyone expects a new Gran Turismo game to have improved graphics and physics (don't worry, they're there), the connectivity of GT5 is really interesting. I know loads of gamers that will be thrilled to upload their exploits to YouTube or transfer them to their PSPs to show off their driving skills. The new additions are super interesting and really round out the overall offering.

What do you think of these modes? Anything in particular strike you?

Gran Turismo PSP

Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCEI) announced that Gran Turismo PSP will cost 4,400 yen for the digital version and 5,400 yen for the UMD. This information was revealed at Sony's Tokyo Game Show 2009 press conference. It will be interesting to see if other territories follow suit and offer cheaper prices for digital downloads. Considering that packaging, shipping, retail, and other costs are removed from the equation, a discount seems reasonable. However, I can easily see publishers saying that digital downloads offer instant entertainment and the price should be the same since you don't have to trek to a store or wait for a game to arrive to you by mail. (It's BS, but I can see publishers saying it.)

What do you think of Sony Japan's pricing for digital games? Will it become the norm in America and Europe? Or will the prices be the same for digital and physical copies? 


Some of you might be too young to remember the Army Men series -- and for that you should be thankful. Let's hope the newly announced Toy Soldiers for Xbox Live Arcade goes in a completely different direction. From the looks of the debut trailer, they're on the right track. WWI trench warfare...it's so cute!

Toy Soldiers TGS 2009 Trailer »

You can also check out our Toy Soldiers screenshot gallery.

A Japanese game about a young ninja who has to save his village after an attack, Tsumuji is an upcoming title for the Nintendo DS, and EA Japan Executive Producer Takahiro Murakumi gave our TGS 2009 crew an interview about what to expect from the game.



Takahiro Murakumi TGS 2009 Tsumuji Interview »

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Monkeys, huh? Those little guys, it seems, are capable of anything. And, if this Super Monkey Ball Step & Roll  trailer from TGS 2009 is any indication, they're getting smarter by the moment. Watch as they run around pursuing bananas in glass balls, try their simian hand at skydiving, and even race sophisticated cars!

Watch the trailer now, and you'll see for yourself. Monkeys!


Super Monkey Ball Step & Roll TGS 2009 Trailer »

Welcome to the Sony Computer Entertainment Japan Liveblog. I'm on the floor of the Makuhari Messe in Chiba, Japan. Are you ready for more announcements from Sony regarding its plans for the next year? Check out the liveblog below for the play-by-play updates!


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