Tokyo Game Show Attendance Surges

The chance to play the new PlayStation 3 and Wii consoles drew over 190,000 people to the Tokyo Game Show, the event organizers said Monday.

Total attendance at the show, which ran from Friday until Sunday, was 192,411 people. That’s well above last year’s total attendance of 176,056. Organizers of the annual event had originally predicted that this year’s show would only draw 160,000 people although they never gave a reason for what turned out to be a very conservative estimate.

The busiest day was Saturday, the first of two days that members of the public were allowed inside the vast event at Makuhari Messe in Chiba, east of Tokyo. A long queue stretched along the front of the exhibition center on Saturday morning and in total 84,823 people visited the event on that day, said the Computer Entertainment Supplier’s Association.

Judging by the crowds on the show floor, most popular was Sony Computer Entertainment’s PlayStation 3, which will go on sale in Japan on Nov. 11. The console, which is Sony’s first in six years, drew thousands of people to its high-definition games. Also popular, although with a much lower profile, was Nintendo’s Wii, which will be available in December. Attendees waited up to 2 hours and 40 minutes to catch a preview of Blue Dragon, a new game for Microsoft’s year-old Xbox 360.

Next year’s Tokyo Game Show is scheduled to take place at Makuhari Messe from Sept. 21 to 23.

-Martyn Williams, IDG News Service (Tokyo Bureau)

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