Sat, Jan 26, 2008 - Page 12 News List

Game show hopes to attract 300,000 visitors

By Jerry Lin  /  STAFF REPORTER

The five-day 2008 Taipei Game Show (台北國際電玩展), which opened at the Taipei World Trade Center on Thursday, is expected to attract 300,000 visitors this year, down 10 percent from last year's 330,000 visitors.

Eighty-seven companies are taking part in this year's show, filling 609 booths. Sony Computer Entertainment Taiwan Ltd ended a two-year absence from the show by booking 48 booths this year, making it the largest exhibitor, Joy Jeng (鄭淑娟), project manager of the Taipei Computer Association's (TCA, 台北市電腦商業同業公會) digital content department, said yesterday.

Despite the drop in visitors, exhibitors said sales during the first two days were impressive.

"Tsann Kuen Enterprise's (燦坤實業) sales topped NT$4 million [US$123,640 on Thursday], which was better-than-expected," a Tsann Kuen store manager surnamed Tsai said. "We expect our sales to exceed NT$10 million [on Friday], which is more than 80 percent of our initial sales goal for the five-day show."

"Video game consoles, especially the PlayStation Portable [PSP], were extremely popular this year. We ran out of inventory yesterday," Tsai said.

Veronica Yu (游雅芬) of Sony Computer Entertainment's marketing department said that the company expects the domestic PSP market to grow as a result of increasing software titles and new functions.

"Consumers are beginning to look for functions beyond just games. The combination of various functions, such as [the ability to play] movies and music, is what makes PSP so popular," Yu said.

Research conducted by the Taipei-based Market Intelligence Center (資策會) last year suggests that the gaming market is undergoing an evolution. Whereas the market was once dominated by advanced players, this is changing as more people become attracted to computer games.

Beginners now make up 38 percent of the market, 35 percent are medium-term players, while 27 percent are advanced, or long-term game players.

"Experienced game players, who are looking for content, are big fans of role-playing games." aid Michelle Wang (王怡婷), a marketing specialist at M-etel Co (億泰利多媒體).

"However recreational games, with themes such as dancing and mahjong, are becoming increasing popular as they are easier to play and require less time. This has helped to attract a wider consumer base, including people who do not normally play games," she said.

Also See: Let the games - and more - begin

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