Okay, I'll lay out some of the good points first:
- The usually strict rules on cameras seems to have been relaxed a little bit this year. It seemed to be getting worse with each passing year up to the point the press weren't allowed to take photos at some venues.
- Even though it was very crowded as usual, it did feel like you could move around a bit faster this year. I'm not sure why that was.
- More cosplayers than in previous years. I'm not really into cosplay at all, but I can't deny that having a good number of them adds to the atmosphere.
- Leaflets and pamphlets galore, but no bags for love nor money except for two places: the "GREE" booth in the 2nd hall and the Gamefreak display outside the exhibition halls.
- Long lineups are expected, but it was a bit ridiculous to see 3 hour waits (or closed off lines completely) at some lines (The PlayStation VITA being the most popular)
And, on to the meat of the show, some of the games (and hardware). There are far more than I can list here but I'll go over the ones that were popular or ones I had a particular interest in.
It was there and it was *the* hot product of the show. A number of games were already announced for it and it also looks to be backwards compatible with the PSP library.
This is an Android phone by Docomo that also plays games, and the phone slides out to reveal a controller, meaning this looks like a portable game system that just happens to also make phone calls. One big point is that it is Playstation-certified which means that Playstation games on the Playstation Network certified by Sony are playable on this phone in addition to their own lineup. There are a handful ready to play now (20 or so from the sounds of it)
Theatrhythm - Final Fantasy (Nintendo 3DS)
A Final Fantasy...rhythm game. I see the gameplay demo on the main site but I'm unsure about this title. At least the genre still has some life left to it, I suppose. You tap, drag and slash the stylus on the 3DS screen to victory.
Final Fantasy X13-2 (PS3 / Xbox360)
I saw this in action and although it looked just as nice as the previous installment (read: real pretty) and moved very fluently, a lot of gamers are concerned this will turn out like the last time Square-Enix tried to make a direct sequel to a Final Fantasy game (FFX-2). We'll see when this is out. The only other thing of note is the Japanese release also coming out on Xbox 360 at the same time as the PS3 (the Xbox 360 release of FF13 came much later in Japan)...not that there are too many people that own Xbox360s in Japan anyways.
Final Fantasy Type Zero (PSP)
I'm still not exactly sure what this is supposed to be. It looks like a Monster Hunter type game but at this point I'm not sure. The game is out soon, though. Monster Hunter reigns supreme in that genre here though (with God Eater having a share of the pie, , so I'm not sure how this will fare
Reflec Beat Plus (iOS)
It plays just like the arcade version. It doesn't seem *as* sensitive but it might be a combination of the smaller play area/screen and the fact I might have been touching the iPad screen lighter than I touch the screen on the Reflec Beat arcade game.
jubeat Plus (iOS)
I haven't played this myself, just seen it in action. It looks very nice too though I might have similar issues with sensitivity as I mentioned above with Reflect Beat Plus
New Love Plus + (3DS)
I'm not really a fan of these dating simulator games but I know they are popular. From what I have seen the gameplay is still basically the same. I'm not sure if there is more to this over the Nintendo DS version than the 3D gimmick.
Ni no Kuni (Ghibli) (PS3)
This was originally on the Nintendo DS and raised a few eyebrows at first because it was produced in part by Ghibli, the same company that brought us many of the classic Japanese animated films. The promos for the Nintendo DS version looked very nice but someone seemed to be lost in the transition to the small portable screen. The PS3 version has a completely different story and actually does look Ghibli-esque this time around. There is buzz for this when it comes out
ICO / Shadow of the Colossus HD (PS3)
These are both older games from the PS2 era brought to life in high-def on the PS3. They may be the same game (not sure about added content) but they look wonderful in HD this time around and Shadow of the Colossus doesn't have the extreme motion blur used to cover up the fact it couldn't keep up the framerate at busy/complicated times.
Monster Hunter 3 Tri-G (3DS)
This is another installment of the Monster Hunter franchise. The one thing of note is support for an extra "slide pad" which is a plug-in secondary analog stick on the right side. I'm not sure how this is utilized
Street Fighter vs. Tekken (PS3 / Vita / Xbox360).
I honestly don't know a lot about these fighting games but there was a fair sized stand devoted to it. Take a look at the site to find out more, I suppose.
Asura's Wrath (PS3)
This was announced at last year's Tokyo Game Show and it appeared here again. There isn't that much to say right now but while last year it looked like it might be a Sengoku Musen type game, it looks more like a God of War type game this time around. It looked a lot slicker this time but there still wasn't much reported on the actual game itself.
Rhythm Kaito R (3DS)
There was a large booth devoted to this. It looks like Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan! or Elite Beat Agents in combination with Rhythm Tengoku. I don't see what all the hype is about yet, but I'm keeping tabs on this since I am into rhythm games and all.
Project Diva Extend (PSP)
The next installment of the Project Diva music game series by Sega. There is this and another game for the 3DS. The series was well received but some players here are concerned the whole series is getting stale.
Project Mirai (3DS)
This is "the other" Hatsune Miku (Project Diva) game. This one looks similar with everything in "Chibi" or super-deformed style. I'm not sure if that alone (and being on the 3DS) is a big enough reason to run out and get this.
(I know there are more titles I should probably add and possible errors, etc. but I can update this post as need be)