One of the PlayStation 3's most long-awaited games, The Last Guardian will be making an appearance at the Tokyo Game Show, which runs September 16-19.

In development since 2007, anticipated since its most recent predecessor in 2005, and directed by industry auteur Fumito Ueda, hopes are high that a concrete release date for the game will be given along with a full update on progress made since its last public outing at Tokyo Game Show 2009.

The two previous games from Team Ico were both on PlayStation 2, and both were stories of love and tragedy, considered strikingly beautiful in ambition, depth and presentation. Critical successes, they have gained steadfast followings and are now regarded as gaming treasures.

ICO (2001) concerned a boy's escape from an ancient castle, bound in delicate partnership with a once-captive girl as they traverse the fortress's stairways and puzzles, away from the murky creatures that haunt them.

Team Ico explored the delicate moods created in Ico with even greater subtlety in Shadow of the Colossus (2005), where once again a young warrior attempts to rescue a maiden, this time vowing to slay 16 monsters in order to recover the woman's life.

Against a washed-out backdrop both stark and finely detailed, the protagonist's heroic status was questioned as each of the towering colossi betrayed a confused and gentle nature even in death, the consequence of their destruction looming ominously.

Though much of the The Last Guardian remains veiled at this point, it centers upon the relationship between a boy and his creature companion, a mythical winged beast, as they pass through an arcane citadel. The griffin can be coaxed into helping the boy, developing upon the thematic bond between Shadow's main character and his loyal horse.

The possibility of an accompanying ICO / Shadow of the Colossus boxset high definition remake has not been ruled out. In the past few years, dedicated fans have found ways to run ICO and Shadow on modern PCs, and Ueda himself appeared to show a graphically improved ICO at a Japanese developers' conference.

The Last Guardian will be presented as part of a Tokyo Game Show session with Fumito Ueda that commences at 3pm on September 16 (7am BST and 8am Central European Time; 11pm PDT and 2am EDT on September 15).

In the meantime, see The Last Guardian's 2009 Tokyo Game Show trailer at