E3 is widely regarded as the crown jewel in terms of video games events, but Gamescom in Cologne, Germany is in-fact the largest. Certain days are open to the public, which last year saw well over 350,000 people in attendance. It also takes place in Cologne's Koelnmesse convention centre, which provides a gargantuan amount of floor space.
Last year's Gamescom saw Rise of the Tomb Raider's Xbox One exclusivity announced, and gave us the first trailer for the PS4 exclusive Bloodborne. Despite the rising prominence of the event, Sony yesterday announced that they will be pulling out completely. This decision has led some to wonder if Microsoft would do the same. Phil Spencer last night confirmed that this is not the case.
Responding to fan concerns, Xbox head Phil Spencer tweeted the following:
I've known for some time that the Xbox team will be in attendance at Gamescom 2015, and it's important that they do so. Xbox popularity in Europe, in particular, lags behind the PS4, due in no small part to the Xbox One's launch inability to support Europe's many languages.
Despite the foot-fall of Gamescom, Sony have decided to skip the event, opting for October's Paris Games Week instead:
"With the changes this year of E3 taking place a week later and Gamescom taking place earlier, we feel that both PlayStation and the wider industry would benefit from a major news milestone later in the year, during the most important period for gaming."
It strikes me as odd that Sony would choose October to make new announcements when many of us will be knee-deep in new games. Gamescom and E3 traditionally take place during Q2 / Q3, which sees fewer big releases and thus fewer distractions.
Last year, Microsoft had to cut over 90 minutes of content from its E3 presentation, and E3 2015 looks no different. Xbox fans can look forward to Scalebound, Crackdown, Quantum Break, Forza 6, Phantom Dust and Halo 5. In addition to vast amounts of unannounced IP and possibly more third-party partnerships, such as Rise of the Tomb Raider. Many of the bigger announcements could be shifted across to Gamescom, like last year.
By skipping GC 2015, Sony has given Microsoft an important chance to make up for some lost ground in Europe. But it remains to be seen whether it'll have any practical impact on sales in the region.
Do you think Sony are making a mistake by skipping Gamescom? Or is it more likely that the Japanese giant simply has little to show? Hit the comments!