Tokyo Games Show 2020 is canceled, online option being considered

CES 2020 was lucky and was practically the only major tech event this year that was able to push through. We have seen many events get canceled in the months that followed and it isn't just the US and Europe making those calls. The organizers of the annual Tokyo Game Show have also called it quits this year but they may still try to find a way to hold parts of it online.

Although not totally unexpected given global conditions, the cancellation of the Tokyo Game Show or TGS comes with a note of historical sadness. Since it was started back in 1996, the annual gathering of game companies and fans not just from Tokyo but from all over the world has been unbroken. Of course, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics has been postponed, far be it for TGS to stubbornly push through just to keep its 23-year record.

The announcement today is hardly surprising. Even if the event was scheduled for late September, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic makes it impossible to predict how long restrictions will be in place. Even disregarding that, the difficulty of organizing the event ahead of time makes it unlikely for TGS 2020 to be anything but a disaster.

It is probably a big blow for companies looking to the last major gaming event of the year to unveil their products or let people try them out. Among those are Sony and Microsoft whose next-gen PlayStation and Xbox consoles were expected to make a public appearance before finally going on sale during the holiday season. These companies will just have to settle for online events instead.

That is also on the table for the Tokyo Game Show though the announcement gives no further details about it. Considering exhibitors come from all over the world, it might be difficult to gather all their intended presentations in one place and to orchestrate the event, especially if they have never attempted such an online event before.