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Nintendo and Sega dominate Japan's World Hobby Fair 2007

Julian Thomas

Best described as Tokyo Game Show for kids, the World Hobby Fair -- held in Japan last week -- showcased present and upcoming games and toys for the Japanese market and gave a good indication of what products are really going to be pushed in the upcoming year.

While the show was attended by all the major players (Capcom, Sony, et al), it was very much Sega and Nintendo that won over the hearts and minds of the little Japanese tykes. Sega's sickeningly cute rhythm-action game Love and Berry had a huge presence. After record sales in 2006, this might very well be the game that finally tips young Japanese gamers' 50/50 gender balance in favor of the female persuasion.

Child friendly franchises were in abundance, with Sony pushing the Ape Escape franchise and Capcom pushing the Megaman franchise in a big way. The show's other big winner was Nintendo. The biggest lines were for the Wii, with Mario Party 8 getting its first public showing (hands-on impressions to follow). Amazingly though, the biggest (90 minutes long), were for last years' Wii Sports. Clearly, with no Wii demo stations in Japan, and consoles completely sold out, the Japanese are still clamoring to get their hands on the flagship title.

The pink balloons kinda looked out of place on the Gears of War stand (actually, its Sega's Love & Berry).

Are those nurses or Nintendo booth-girls?

Bewildered mums get dragged around the show floor.

Awwww, look at those stuffed Tom Nooks. So cute!

More pictures can be found at Famitsu and Impress Watch.

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