One of the biggest video games events of the year is about to happen in Japan tomorrow, when the Tokyo Game Show (TGS) kicks off. If you've never heard of it, just think of it as the E3 of the East—a video game extravaganza open to both businesses (Thursday and Friday) and the public (Saturday and Sunday). And even though it hasn't officially started, TGS has already released some grand announcements, specifically about Nintendo's future lineup and a precipitous drop in their share prices.
But yesterday, festival organizers announced better news, which deals with the part of the event that's of most interest to us all—the Sense of Wonder Night (SOWN). What's the news? The indie game showcase spectacular will be simulcast live on uStream, complete with both Japanese to English and English to Japanese translations. The developers from each of the ten games being showcased will each have time to personally demo the game on stage, talk about it, and answer questions. The event starts at 5:30 p.m. in local Tokyo time on Friday, September 16th, which is not exactly the most convenient hours for those of us in the U.S., but hopefully someone will record the proceedings and keep them up online, as well.
You can find a complete list of the games, as well as the link to the uStream event (when it's created), at the expo's devoted website. Many of them are commercially available already, like Jason Rohrer's Inside a Star-filled Sky for PC and the just released Kinect Arcade game LeedMees. Other games like Incredipede and Talplib still lurk behind placeholder websites—or simply titles, waiting until the show on Friday to reveal themselves to the world. For the budget-conscious gamer, Eufloria is the only one with a playable demo, but it should still be enough to give you some idea of how a flOw-4X strategy hybrid would work.
And beyond showcasing indie games, that's really the point of SOWN. They want to display games that "realize a totally new, never-seen-before gaming experience" or "challenge the common sense of ordinary games". And a game doesn't have to be indie to meet those criteria. LeedMees was developed by Konami, one of the biggest game companies in Japan. But most of them are indies, and that's why we love 'em, isn't it?