Remember last time when I said that going to TGS in the morning would be easier the second time? Big mistake. The subway line I took for the second day was even more crowded than the train I took before, which was bad. Everybody was crammed in so tightly that people were literally pressed against each other, though nobody seemed to mind that much. Or at least they didn't appear to mind; whether they did or not is a different story altogether.
What to think of the second business day? Much the same as Day 1, although news of Level 5's swag had gotten out to most of the attendees who hadn't shown up before; so five minutes after the opening, their booth was already swamped with an hour-long queue. By far they were the most popular booth on the show floor, although I wonder whether that will continue for the public days on Saturday and Sunday.
For RPGamer, the best catch of the day wasn't so much on the show floor as it was in the nearby New Otani Hotel. We lucked out and were able to secure an interview with tri-Ace director Hiroshi Ogawa and Square Enix producer Hajime Kojima. I've done more than my fair share of interviews, not only at E3 but also in one of my previous jobs as a news reporter, but this one had the added wrinkle of an interpreter. That and it was very business-like, and while we did get lots of information on the game, there were some business-related questions which were simply shot down on the spot. That's part of being a reporter: maintaining a fine line between keeping a good relationship with your interviewee and not being afraid to ask serious questions.
This year's show theme is "Link Up, Reach Out, To The World." Whether slogans like that really have serious meaning is questionable, but one thing that caught my attention compared to previous years was the amount of mobile phone titles available. If you think about Japan's mobile phone market, this is no surprise; everyone and their grandmother carries a cellphone here, and most of these phones have advanced so far that not having games on them is considered a little antiquated. Japan has a huge advantage in that upgrading their network doesn't take as much time as the US or Canada, simply because they have less area to upgrade. That being said, seeing some of these titles is like a glimpse into the future, and some of them might eventually make their way to North American shores.
The press room as usual is a headquarters for everyone sending out material, to various media sources around the world, including this one. It was there I did my preparation for the aforementioned interview, and from there I share some pictures...
That's it for my coverage. I'm back to my normal life in Japan as it were, but it was fun to cover this event for everyone and give a glimpse into Japan's biggest gaming convention. Keep looking at the site for more game impressions, but this is it for me as far as time spent on the show floor. Thanks for reading, and I'll see everyone around!
Paul "Amish" Koehler