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Tuesday, September 28, 2004
Tokyo showcases gaming goodies

The Hollywood of the video games industry, Tokyo, has played host to an exhibition showcasing the latest attractions for gamers.

More than 500 products from 117 companies were on show at the annual Tokyo Game Show over the past three days.

The event featured a raft of new titles from the biggest developers in Japan.

It follows a slump during which Western-developed games increased their slice of a market which has been Japan's biggest cultural export for more than 20 years.

Godzilla-sized publishers from Capcom to Konami trumpeted their latest wares.

Handheld thrills

Sony showed off its upcoming portable PlayStation, the PSP.

The PSP is due to go on sale in Japan first The gadget will have 22 games on release, including titles such as Metal Gear Acid and a brand new Ridge Racer game. It will also play MP3s music files and video.

"To put it plainly, what we have done is taken a high-quality, 3D video game player, PlayStation, and made it portable so that people like take it where ever they want," said Sony Computer Entertainment Vice President Kenichi Fukunaga.

"What we are trying to do is to create a new sort of lifestyle where you can play games where ever and whenever you want."

Brain-starved zombies

Nintendo did not take part in the show. It pre-empted the exhibition by announcing that it would launch its Nintendo DS handheld game console in December.

A version of the popular Metroid Prime game is coming to the DS The DS features two liquid-crystal displays and a touch-sensitive screen. On release it will come bundled with a demo of Metroid Prime: Hunters.

One of the most hotly-tipped games from the show was Microsoft's Phantom Dust on Xbox, set in a post-apocalyptic Tokyo and featuring fighting, collecting and adventure.

Another highlight was the latest instalment in Capcom's long-running horror series, Resident Evil 4, which ups the ante with a save-the-president's-daughter plot peppered with shotguns, gore and brain-starved zombies.

Around 150,000 people were expected during the three-day show.

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