PlayStation Surprises Everyone By Announcing It Will Actually Be Attending Tokyo Game Show This Year

PlayStation is back at the Tokyo Game Show.

Tokyo Game Show, Japan’s largest video game industry trade show, announced a long list of confirmed exhibitors yesterday. Among them, a surprise: PlayStation will return to Makuhari Messe this September as an exhibitor. This is the publisher’s first appearance at Tokyo Game Show since 2019.

What does “as an exhibitor” mean? It means that PlayStation will have a booth at the show to exhibit its games. It’s been a long time since there was such a large turnout.

PlayStation has developed an aversion to trade shows like TGS over the past decade. In 2018, it became the first major publisher to remove the pin on E3a successful strategy at the time. The company (rightly) thought it could save a lot of money by mimicking Nintendo’s direct-to-consumer video strategy, and allowing press and influencers to showcase upcoming titles in smaller, more tightly controlled environments. The COVID-19 pandemic, which canceled years of trade shows, has only reinforced this strategy. It’s hard to deny that it’s a success—it seems to have worked out pretty well for them so far, anyway.

The news also comes a fortnight after PlayStation confirmed it would do so not to attend or exhibit at Gamescom in Cologne, Germany this year. Like TGS, PlayStation has not participated in Gamescom since 2019.

All of this raises the question: why this sudden change of direction? Difficult to answer.

One notable recent change at PlayStation is the new leadership. Back in May, it was announced that company veterans Hermen Hulst and Hideaki Nishino would be taking over the reins of the company following the retirement of former Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan. Hulst is head of software and leads the new Studio Business Group, while Nishino is in charge of hardware and heads the Platform Business Group. It could be that Hulst, who is in charge of games, doesn’t have the same opinion of trade shows as Ryan’s administration. If PlayStation were to return to the crowded exhibition hall space, where better to do it than at the Tokyo Game Show, which is held on its home turf?

Of course, this could be a one-off appearance. The PS1 was launched in Japan in 1994 and its 30th anniversary is fast approaching. The PlayStation could well make an appearance to celebrate this event. It makes perfect sense!

The 2025 trade show calendar will be the one that really tells us if PlayStation is truly back on the event train.

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