The four days Tokyo Game Show 2021 (TGS) has begun today and for the first time ever you can attend virtually! If you’ve ever wanted to attend the annual event but never managed to make it to Japan then now’s the ideal time, as you can step into a fully digital event, for free, in virtual reality (VR). VRFocus has spent a bit of time wandering the halls to see what’s what, giving you the rundown on this definitive slice of Japanese gaming culture.
How to enjoy TGS 2021
First up, TGS VR 2021 isn’t solely in VR, you can enjoy it for PC or Mac on a flat panel screen. Of course, the best way is to grab a compatible headset for the most immersive experience. It’s also very eye-catching as Japanese aesthetics tend to be but seeing a giant Gundam statue looming above you definitely adds some impact to the entire show.
The easiest way to dive into this technicoloured universe is with an Oculus Quest/Quest 2, downloading the software directly from App Lab. Once installed all you have to do is register by selecting a username – that can’t be changed afterwards – waiting a few minutes for the app to load up then you can freely wander to your heart’s content.
If you’re on a PC VR headset like Oculus Rift or HTC Vive then it’s a case of downloading the software from the official website, installing and going through the same registration process.
Here are the recommended PC specs if you need them:
- OS: Windows 10
- CPU: Core i5-7500 equivalent or better
- Memory: 8GB
- GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX1060 equivalent or better
- Storage: At least 10GB of available space
And that’s it, you can now enjoy all that the show has to offer, which is surprisingly a fair amount until Sunday 3rd October.
What’s there to see and do?
Quite a few companies actually signed up for this virtual version with booths from Bandai Namco, Fignny, GungHo Online Entertainment, Koei Tecmo, Konami, Level-5, MyDearest Inc, Survios and SEGA/ATLUS. They’re split across three main areas surrounding a central hub, each themed slightly differently.
Due to the constraints of the platform stepping into this VR world you’re not suddenly going to be confronted by hordes of people. Only 12 people are allowed in a channel, so if one is full you can move to another or even join friends using the channel ID system.
Once inside you’re taken through a few basic tutorials where you can select smooth locomotion or teleportation. You’ll also get your first glimpse at your robotic avatar that can be customised with a variety of colours and t-shirts. In fact, that’s one of the main ways the event has gamified the experience, going to booths and watching trailers unlocks more “crystals” to swap out (84 in total to collect). These tend to be videogame logos or in some instances characters.
Most of the booths are trailers for upcoming titles but there are three special events that go a little bigger and bolder, the Attack on Titan 360-degree content stood out the most.
Plus, like all good videogame shows, there’s always merch to buy. There are two official stores mainly selling t-shirts, taking you to an external browser link if you want to purchase. Actually, quite a few screenshots will take you out of the VR experience and to their official website so you can find more information.
Naturally, the team behind the whole TGS VR experience, ambr Inc. went all out to create this maritime fortress called Game Float which the event is held within. It’s entirely built using a customisable platform called “xambr” which itself was created for corporations to create their own metaverses, hence why it was a good fit for TGS 2021.
Considering it’s free and some of the dire shows that have tried to offer an online experience, Tokyo Game Show VR 2021 has been one of the best examples so far. So do give it a little look.