The Tokyo Game Show (hereinafter referred to as TGS) is the largest domestic gaming event, and provides a place for participating companies to show off their products. I’d like to introduce FRI because they are unique and I’m looking forward to seeing what they do next.
The atmosphere at the Tokyo Game Show 2017
■Featured Company #1 : JPPVR
JPPVR, with offices in Tokyo’s Nihonbashikayabacho, received a lot of attention at TGS when they announced the “Asia VR × eSports Festival.” Chairman Taichi Shibuki welcomed me.
JPPVR Chairman: Mr. Taichi Shibuki
JPPVR’s office, with CEO Michitaka Shirakawa on the left.
JPPVR was founded in August of this year. Mr. Shibuki explains that they were founded on two core principles:
1) An exclusive Japanese sales agreement was reached for the enclosure and platform of China’s LekeVR.
2) Holding patents on video compression technology.
LekeVR, with offices in Beijing, China, is a company that develops an original platform and sells original VR enclosures and software. They currently have 250 game titles, and there are 3,000 stores throughout China that are equipped with LekeVR’s enclosures.
They say that LekeVR’s performance is improving steadily, with the business model that 1 play in the shop directly brings them 3 CNY income.
Tokyo Game Show 2017 JPPVR Booth
■A brand new combination involving VR and eSports!
Based on their business alliance with LekeVR, JPPVR aims to revitalize the VR game market in Japan. They would like to sell the LekeVR enclosures to many game centers
However, despite the high level of recognition of VR games, the penetration rate is still low.
This is where eSports took notice.
However, despite the fact that eSports are slowly gaining in popularity, they are still a niche.
Mr. Shibuki speculates that one reason for this is that eSports competitions are dominated by overseas games. Moreover, there are significant differences in recognition and technology between Japanese games and overseas games, and it is difficult to fill in that gap.
It is for this reason that they plan to open eSports VR games. In the early stages of VR games, it will be a contest against overseas games.
JPPVR“Photon Bike” screen
LekeVR is developing VR games that will be played between Japan, China, and Korea in the 2018 “Asia VR × eSports Festival.”There are some legal issues to clear up first, but they expect the 1st prize to be 10 million yen. Mr. Shibuki believes that by offering a large prize it will help to gain attention and increase the number of participants.
Through this competition, they hope to create excitement about both VR and eSports in Japan.
It has been decided that eSports will be an official event at the 2022 Asian Games in
Hangzhou City, China. In preparation, China is preparing 1700 domestic competition facilities.
Mr. Shibuki tells us that if the situation continues like this, Japan will lag behind.
■Video Data compressed to 1/100!
There is another reason for JPPVR to promote this project.
An important aspect of presenting eSports is the ability to stream the event live by video. To do this, an enormous amount of data must be transmitted. Using JPPVR’s patented technology, data can be compressed to 1/100th without a noticeable loss in quality. The author had the opportunity to compare sample videos, and the difference in quality was so small that it wouldn’t be noticeable if someone didn’t point it out.
Mr. Shibuki tells us that by compressing the data it becomes easier to stream and results in large cost savings. It is thought that if this project is a success, it will lead to large business opportunities in the field of video compression as well.
Next time I will introduce an even more unique company.
Tokyo Game Show 2017
・Three VR Trends Seen from the Newest Places to Experience VR －Part 1－
・How will TV shows change with IoT and VR? First half
・A report on the “JAPAN e-SPORTS LEAGUE” final tournament －First half－
(Article by: Kenichi Nakamura)
Fields Research Institute (FRI) conducts research in entertainment.
This article was written by a member of FRI, through the original coverage of his/her interests observed in their daily lives.