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Published 6 August, 2013 | by Mark O'Connor

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Gamescom 2013 Preview

With 8 weeks having already passed since E3, we’re already on the countdown for Gamescom 2013 with only 2 weeks remaining. The event will be held in its usual venue; Koelnmesse in Cologne between 21st – 25th August. The first day is exclusive to trade visitors, media and those lucky enough to get hold of this year’s wild card tickets.

Several of the team at Level Complete will be in Cologne during Gamescom to hopefully get hands on with next gen consoles and new games!

With the initial furore of E3, the balance was most definitely in favour of Sony. Well my Facebook newsfeed, RSS feeds etc would certainly suggest so. To be honest, I would most certainly say it was.

However with developments post E3, Microsoft certainly would appear to have clawed back some of the deficit lost to Sony.

Microsoft are making a return to Gamescom following their hiatus from the event in 2012. Both Microsoft and Sony will be hosting an press conference on August 20th, a day before the official start of Gamescom.

Marc Whitten, corporate vice president of Xbox has already advised that “more details” about self publishing on the Xbox One would be provided at this press conference. Certainly something that the indie community will be keen to hear. Can we expect to see anymore details regarding the exclusives due in the first year of the Xbox One’s launch? We hope so.

What can we expect to see from Sony? More PS4 games? Anything on the PS Vita? Who knows, we will have to wait and see at this moment in time.

Despite Sony having previously suggested post E3 that Gamescom will have its primary focus on the PS Vita, their latest Facebook post and recent emails from Sony that give entrants a chance to win tickets to its “Playstation press conference” would do little to appease fans of its handheld. Particularly when certain lines read; “At gamescom in August 2013 the focus will be on PS4 and its games line-up once again”

Aside from Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo, the obvious exhibitors will be there; Electronic Arts, Konami, Ubisoft, Warner Bros., Bethesda Softworks, NCsoft, Sega, Namco Bandai and many others.

What in particular do I have to look forward to at Gamescom?

In a simple sentence, a lot! I’ve not been so anxious about a new generation of consoles, it’s just amazing to see how far development has come in the last few.

One of the most anticipated things to get hands on with are the Xbox One controller  and the aptly named Dualshock 4. I was not a big fan of the SixAxis or the Dualshock 3, for reasons many Xbox 360 gamers will likely re-iterate.

The Xbox One controller though still visually similar to the Xbox 360 controller dons a few new features which I am keen to experience. One of the more basic changes include a now flush battery pack. Much akin to the Wii U Pro Controller. But there’s one particular feature I’m keen to find out more about. The Trigger Rumble Motors (better known as Impulse Triggers). What are Trigger Rumble Motor’s I hear you say!? Well, Microsoft have added individual motors that send vibrations directly into the triggers. Depending on the force applied to the triggers, will affect the different levels of vibrations fed back through the trigger. How this will feature in games, I can not wait to see.

The biggest feature of the Dualshock 4 would have to be touch panel on the controller and what looks to be a ergonomic change. Initial feedback from numerous sources would suggest a much beefier feel to that of the Dualshock 3.

Aside from the exclusives available to each new console, the controller for me will be the factor that has the biggest affect as to how I will enjoy gaming moving forwards. I can not deny that I didn’t enjoy playing the likes of Killzone 3, but those triggers and those analogs let things down massively.

Games-wise, I’d say Titanfall is the standout title following E3. Rumour has it that its playable at Gamescom! Another shooter? Yes. Another carbon copy? No. There is so much from the initial views of the gameplay that  would suggest a completely new beast altogether. Then there’s Forza 5, Killzone: Shadow Fall and Infamous: Second Son.

Though I’m excited about Call of Duty: Dog, sorry Ghosts, I can not help but feel a little underwhelmed given the last 2 outings from Infinity Ward. I am however waiting to be corrected!

Then there’s Nintendo! Oh Nintendo. Apart from the usual franchise releases available (Mario Kart, Zelda (3DS) and Super Smash Brothers), we got a revisit to X. Directed by Tetsuya Takahashi, better known for Xenoblade Chronicles (one of the better games the Wii had) we got a glimpse of the superbly beautiful game. It appears to really push the graphical capabilities that no other Wii U game has yet to reflect. Mech-filled landscapes, yes please.

However, being a big, big Pokemon fan, I can not wait to see what new news comes out regarding Pokemon X/Y. So far, the information has come out in dribs and drabs with very little in the way of solid information. I do look forward to seeing how they can really take Pokemon to new heights in this evolution (mind the pun) of the game!

In the past 3 years I’ve had the pleasure of being able to get to Gamescom. In those 3 years, it has grown constantly from the number of trade/visitors, the number of exhibitors and the number of games on show. A good sign considering that the event has only been around since 2009.

In comparison to E3, which is generally touted as the video games event of the year, Gamescom is open to the public and not limited solely to trade visitors. Because of this, naturally Gamescom has a much larger footfall and is known for being the world’s largest video games event.

If you’re not able to get to Gamescom, then the UK will be host to the Eurogamer Expo in September. Do be quick though, tickets for this event are virtually sold out.

On a final note, are you considering coming to Gamescom in 2014, here are some useful hints and tips:

1) Book your flights early. Flights can be really cheap if booked as early as 5-8 months in advance. The plus side is that the starting day of the event is always in the middle of the week, so the outbound flight is cheaper.

2) As the event is held in europe, accommodation can be costly. Think outside the box and consider renting an apartment. This can range from anywhere between £50-£100 for 3 nights. Again dependant on a number of factors, location, size etc.

3) Don’t worry about the language barrier. Cologne is a very polite city and it is not so easy to get lost there are there are maps planted all around the place. Take the opportunity of an extra day to absorb this beautiful German city.

4) Last but not least, make sure you keep a portable charger handy for your handhelds/ mobiles whilst waiting in those long queues!!!

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Mark O'Connor

Mark O’Connor

My earliest memories of computing/ gaming were on a Commodore 64. You know back when cassette tapes were still in use, yet we complain now about Playstation loading/ installation times!!!

Aside from holding a day job in the Financial Services industry, I’m also a founder of Level Complete.

Mark O'Connor

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About the Author

Mark O'Connor

My earliest memories of computing/ gaming were on a Commodore 64. You know back when cassette tapes were still in use, yet we complain now about Playstation loading/ installation times!!! Aside from holding a day job in the Financial Services industry, I’m also a founder of Level Complete.



  • Toby na Nakhorn

    A Mark O’Connor exclusive! Cologne is a lovely city and good tips. Having been to both, E3 is so different in the sense it’s all jazz and razzmatazz. You forget about the games and get immersed in the over the top experiences. Ted Diabase throwing dollar bills, ladies in bikini’s waxing cars, breakdancers and over the top theatrics. Gamescom is more meat and potatoes with less PR and suits, where you solely play games. Both are great for the gamer. Looking forwards to catching up.

    • SamHewitt

      I’d love to go next time. I want to try and make it to Eurogamer this year as well.

  • Michael P

    My first Gamescom this year. Starting to get highly excited!

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