Advertising's omnipresence in Tokyo is so complete and thorough that we only take notice when it's missing. Like air, you only notice it when it's gone.

It's therefore notable that most prime Makuhari convention center facades lack advertising of any sort, even though they were clearly designed to support large-format ads. There are a few possibilities that might help explain what's going on:

  • Advertising's inneffective: Given limited budget, game companies appear to prefer to pour Yen into their booths, the babes that staff them, the bags the babes hand out, and other tangible improvements to enhance their show presences. Game promoters have other means of driving traffic to (and interest in) their booths and their games.
  • Bad placement: Advertising plastered on lofty facades might be worthless if everyone's got his nose buried in a portable game device
  • Operational challenges: Perhaps show organizers aren't too skilled at wringing money from companies in attendance (if there's one thing the E3 organizers did well, it's help companies shell out lots of dough).
  • Small potatoes: in the grand scheme of things, this show isn't that important. It's just three days out of a 24-7, 365-day effort to woo gamers. That might explain why Nintendo's nowhere to be seen.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.

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