For years, the Tokyo Game Show has been the one show on the calendar you can bet Sony is going to put on a performance.
Okay, they may have had a few issues in the past (overheating PS3s) but in general, TGS is their best show of the year. They nearly always headline the keynote and usually announce something or other.
This year, however, I can't help but feel that Sony isn't trying. Firstly, conceding the keynote to Microsoft is bad news, especially on home soil. With no major announcements from Sony, it was up to the publishers to deliver. At Square Enix, they had a closed cinema screening showing a trailer of their upcoming titles.
Problem was, the queue took forever and the film was too long (around 20 minutes). They showed all their development projects, of which half I'm sure most were uninterested in. There were no playable next-gen titles outside of the 360 area and the Square Enix booth was right next to Microsoft's.
Also, Microsoft had huge displays of The Last Remnant and Star Ocean, illustrating the close bond between the two companies. Sony on the other hand, was in a completely different hall.
I hear you, you're saying that's not Sony's fault. Fine, let's take a look at the PlayStation area. Despite not a single other booth having an age restriction (there are no kids at TGS on press days) Sony was asking for ID for some of their games.
Additionally, they had a strict no photo policy in their entire 18+ gaming area, without first having to register with Sony and the TGS and if you can, obtain a special 'PlayStation Press' pass.
The line for Resident Evil 5 at Capcom's stand was about 10 or 15 minutes. At Microsoft's it was more like five. At Sony's it was almost an hour. There is absolutely no need for this kind of delay, especially considering it was on a press-only day. SOCOM and Resistance 2 were both an hour's wait and Killzone 2 was up to 2 hours when I went at 1pm.
Added to this was the false illusion that you were at the front, then you are sent in only to be disappointed that you have to stand and watch someone else play for 15 minutes or so. There were only 4 or 5 monitors for each game and when compared to Star Ocean's 27 it seems rather low. Also, Sony decided to omit last years' giant theatre screen from their display and suffered from a lack of ability to draw people in.
A real lifeline to Sony was LittleBigPlanet, which had short queues and a fun demo to play. I thought Motorstorm 2 looked good too and there was other stuff (like the FFXIII trailer) scattered about to excite and entertain. While TGS was not exactly a failure, Sony is looking dangerously close to handing over victory to the 360 if this momentum continues and you would think Sony would try a bit harder, if only to help themselves.
I really want Sony to be successful and for three platforms to exist in the market, but it seems like Sony didn't even try at this TGS. More PlayStation 3 News...