What to see and how to see it – VRFocus
The four-day Tokyo Game Show 2021 (TGS) started today and for the first time you can attend it virtually! If you’ve always wanted to attend the annual event but never made it to Japan, now is the perfect time as you can participate in a fully digital virtual reality (VR) event for free. VRFocus spent some time wandering the halls to see what it’s all about, giving you a glimpse into this definitive slice of Japanese gaming culture.
How to take advantage of TGS 2021
The first one standing, TGS VR 2021 is not just in VR, you can enjoy it for PC or Mac on a flat screen. Of course, the best way is to grab a compatible headset for the most immersive experience. It’s also very eye-catching as the Japanese aesthetic tends to be, but seeing a giant statue of Gundam towering above you definitely adds an impact to the whole show.
The easiest way to dive into this technical universe is with an Oculus Quest / Quest 2, download the software directly from App Lab. Once installed, all you have to do is register by selecting a username – which cannot be changed later – waiting a few minutes for the app to load, then you can freely walk around as you wish.
If you are on a PC VR headset like Oculus Rift or HTC Vive then this is a case of download software from the official website, installing and following the same registration process.
Here are the recommended PC specs if you need them:
- Operating System: Windows 10
- Processor: Core i5-7500 equivalent or better
- Memory: 8 GB
- GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX1060 equivalent or better
- Storage: At least 10 GB of available space
There you go, you can now enjoy all that the show has to offer, which is surprisingly quite substantial until Sunday, October 3.
What is there to see and do?
Many companies have 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 are spread across three main areas surrounding a central hub, each with a slightly different theme.
Due to the constraints of the platform entering this VR world, you won’t suddenly be faced with hordes of people. Only 12 people are allowed in a channel, so if one is full you can switch to another or even join friends using the channel ID system.
Once inside, you go through a few basic tutorials where you can select a smooth locomotion or teleportation. You will also get a first look at your robotic avatar which can be personalized with a variety of colors and t-shirts. In fact, this is one of the main ways the event has gamified the experience, going to the pits and watching trailers unlocks more “crystals” to trade (84 total to collect). These are usually video game logos or, in some cases, characters.
Most of the booths are trailers for upcoming titles, but there are three special events that go a little bigger and more daring, the The attack of the Titans The 360-degree content stands out the most.
Plus, like all good video game shows, there are always products to buy. There are two official stores mainly selling t-shirts, redirecting you to an external browser link if you want to buy. In fact, there are many screenshots that will take you out of the VR experience and direct you to their official site so that you can find more information.
Naturally, the team behind the entire TGS VR experience, ambr Inc. went out of their way to create this sea fortress called Game Float in which the event takes place. It’s built entirely using a customizable platform called ‘xambr’ which itself was created for companies to create their own metavers, hence why it was a good fit for TGS 2021.
Considering it’s free and some of the disastrous shows that have tried to deliver an online experience, Tokyo Game Show VR 2021 has been one of the best examples to date. So take a quick look.