Sony announced a heck of a load of cool stuff at Gamescom in Cologne.
Second time lucky…
If you enjoy celebrating games, knuckling down to some Call of Duty or just raging on FIFA, then you’ll know about Gamescom. Gamescom has developed beyond a trade show for those who are ‘interested’ in gaming, in its first three years the show has attracted industry leaders and has acted as a stage for developers to announce the next ‘best thing’. This year’s event proves to be the biggest with the recent launch of the next generation consoles. Electronic Arts, Bungie and Microsoft Studios have been some of the past few exhibitors to make it big at Gamescom. With last year attracting over 275,000 visitors, this year’s tickets have also sold out. Cologne will be a busy place to be for the next week, but what about the most important thing… the games?
This year’s list of exhibitors stretches a long way, but with the launch of the next generation consoles around the corner, it looks like the focus might be a bit further ahead in the future.
Confirmed list of exhibitors:
- Activision Buzzard
- AK Tronic
- Bethesda Softworks
- Bigben Interactive
- CD Projekt
- Constantin Film
- Deep Silver/Koch Media
- Electronic Arts
- Gaya Entertainment
- Kalypso Media
- Korea Creative Content Agency
- LG Electronics
- Mad Catz
- Red 5 Studios
- Riot Games
- Take-Two Interactive
- Turtle Entertainment
- Warner Bros
The show kicks off on Wednesday 21st August, but with exclusive media access only; following that the public will be allowed access to the floor from the 22nd August till 25th August.
What to expect?
Microsoft: Tuesday 20th August 09:30 BST
With the launch of their XBOX One console only around the corner, XBOX has a lot of catch up to do. Since their battle with DRM and the constant changes to the final system, we don’t really know what console to expect to unbox come this fall. Microsoft will be eager to push the titles for their console at Gamescom and hopefully make up for the fact that they skipped last year’s show.
With the XBOX One having been criticised for its lack of ‘game focus’, Microsoft is now working hard to show us it has a good line up of titles for the coming years. You can expect “exclusive titles” for the console to be announced but will also discuss some of:
“Europe’s biggest franchise and maybe some interesting things there” – Phil Spencer Microsoft Studios.
Games to look out for on the console include Forza Motorsports 5 and also Ryse: Sons of Rome. It is likely that we’ll also get a view of Halo 5 and maybe even the upcoming TV series. Plus with the announcement that Kinect doesn’t need to be always plugged in, you never know, we might also see a Kinect-less bundle of the Xbox One.
EA: 20th August 15:00 BST
With EA about to release Battlefield 4 and their popular titles such as FIFA 14, they would be stupid to miss Gamescom. EA is going to discuss further some of their title ambitions and look ahead at how they will move their series forward. FIFA 14, EA Sports UFC, Plants Vs Zombies: Garden Warfare and Command & Conquer will all feature in the press conference
We might also get a sneak preview at Sims 4, although Digital Spy might not give any details until midnight on Wednesday.
Sony: 20th August 18:00 BST
Sony have had a good run at Gamescom in the past, with several new slim console launches and a foray of countless accessories, we might just get something unexpected from Sony. It is unlikely we’ll see any new PS 4 hardware or console additions from Sony, but with a recent copyrighting of the name “PlayStation TV” and the deal with Viacom; we might get a peek at a possible Sony TV service.
With PS Vita also aging quickly with little titles, we may get an updated hardware revision for the portable handheld and also a look at a few titles that will work alongside the PlayStation 4.
The Next Generation
With everyone buying into the next generation of games consoles, it will be important for the manufacturers and developers to show gamers that they have enough games to keep them busy. The system with the least titles, will inevitably fail. Exclusives go a long way to demonstrating a platform loyalty and give good hopes for the consumer.
The XBOX One has a tough battle to fight, with Sony ‘stealing’ most of their exclusive features for themselves, XBOX has little else to differentiate. However Sony has yet to demonstrate that it is willing to adopt the social gaming revolution. With XBOX Live currently offering a far more popular service, will PSN be able to adjust in the next generation? Sony will have to work several of the packages deeply into the social integration of PS4 in hope of fighting Microsoft off.
With no confirmed release date for either console, again, we might just see this appear in a briefing too. November looks to be a likely guess, but developers won’t want to rush out titles and leave gamers lagging.
We hope that the companies don’t forget loyal customers who might not be able to afford the upgrade. It is believed that the PS3 and XBOX 360 may also get some fresh titles. We already know the likes of Call of Duty Ghost and Battlefield 4 will make their way onto the outgoing generation, but it is yet to be seen if developers will be able to stretch themselves to develop for both old and new consoles. But where there is money to be made, they will surely develop – the last gen isn’t dead yet…
Without a doubt, you can expect a mass of game launches. We won’t be disappointed, but will those expectations of next gen gaming be lived up to? Microsoft will be the first to step up to the mark tomorrow morning and also give up renewed hope into their future for gaming.
Don’t mark XBOX One as dead, it isn’t. But as the nature of competitive markets show, they have an upward fight. Tune in over the next week to uncover what the companies have got planned for us. We’ll be covering the big events, if not slightly delayed. But we’ll give you a full roundup come the weekend.
Let us know your 3 top hopes/predictions for Gamescom 2013 and the future of gaming…