Phil Spencer commits to an Xbox presentation at Gamescom 2015, as Sony pulls out

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!

Source: Gamespot

Jez Corden
Managing Editor

Jez Corden is the Managing Editor for Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!

  • Sweet. Halo 5 at E3 is what I'm waiting for.
  • +820
  • Half Life 3 guys!
  • If that game ever comes out, I'm sure many people will be disappointed by it
  • That has nothing to do with Microsoft, so a Microsoft person wouldn't confirm an event for it.
  • Top game absolutely love it
  • Oh now all of a sudden you guys love mentioning Sony? Also why is it relevant that you knew for a long time about the Xbox team's attendance? Lol
  • You seem...whiney.
  • Lol right
  • Nice answer! I'll admit, I can whine if something irritates me (the lame puns for example) but I love WC and am just as interested in joining in the comments for an article I enjoy, plus the first point was just me being silly, the second was my only serious question tbh.
  • Fair enough. To answer the second, Jez has covered Gamescom before on his own before joining Windows Central. He will also be on the ground this year as well as he is well connected to Euro developers and the Xbox team over there.
  • That explains his connection and how he knows, not why it's relevant to the material the article covers. It doesn't really matter all that much I guess, just looked like to me "Hey guys, I've obviously known for ages but I might aswell tell you, Xbox will be there, cya!" The info overall was interesting though, so no biggie. I'm assuming Sony will be attending E3? So they'll still hit the Q3 mark, not just in October?
  • What Dan said but also: I wanted to emphasise that its a been a no-brainer for the Xbox team for a long time, and I would've previously thought the same for Sony.
  • Don't worry, I got that from reading it, you made some sound points. I just didn't understand what you knowing for some time added to the article? Without context it looked like shameless bragging lol. But I get that you knowing for a long time means MS made their mind up some time ago too, so in that context it makes sense.
  • It's common knowledge if you use twitter! I didn't intend it to come across that way. Going to a convention that's open to the public is hardly something to brag about. It also lets people know that Microsoft were always planning to attend, and that its not a response/reaction to Sony's decision to pull out. I'll try to be more mindful about how I come across but, yeah, there's nothing to brag about, so I didn't even think of it in that context haha @XboxP3 / @AaronGreenberg engage with fans on twitter all the time, they don't care whether you're press or not. :)
  • I get it now, apologies for calling you out, it wasn't aggressive I just didn't get the relevance. Nice article, looking forward to the event!
  • Shhhh don't tell the public about it. It'll get too busy!
  • Lol. Nice.
  • Well all know Dan & Richard keep things quiet about some events while they grab up tickets for their side business scalping tickets to tech events. (Imagining them holding card-board signs outside venues and dressed like Def Leppard roadies. Ha!)
  • Wow.. :)
  • Microsoft have only sold about 378,000 consoles whereas Sony have sold 1.6 million consoles here in Germany.. So it could be good that they're at gamescom
  • Little to my brother when he showed me his new PS4 very little...
  • Xbox 0ne is going to be the best console.
  • Already is.
  • I know right?
  • But no other console will beat Wii U
  • I'm all about Microsoft products. But the ps4 is much better then Xbox one. I have both btw
  • Nah. It isn't. And the fact that you have both, means nothing.
  • The ps4 is better if your just focused on specs and nothing else. In reality it is so clunky, everything is buried in menus - for instance to power off you have to go through a menu. Xbox 1 - you don't. Also on the ps4 your recently played games are listed horizontally so if you play alot of em, they are just plastered on the top. Also it is locked down when it comes to multimedia.
  • To be honest, I've been playing on both (don't own) and I can't really see the difference between. Fair enough you think PS4 is better, however I feel like Xbox One is constantly improving and will soon overtake PS4.
  • You are confused. The Xbox One routs PS4 in features and games, and the gaps have only grown since launch.
  • Lol I love it. Whenever I see you commenting, 9 times out of 10 you're telling someone their opinion is wrong.
  • It's only 8 times out of 10, actually.
  • says the bloke who just accused WC staff of bragging.
  • Sorry? What's that have to do with claiming people have incorrect opinions? I said what it looked like to me and accused no one of anything. Think before you comment ffs.
  • FO, you called out the staff, and embarrsed yourself. So calling others out is hypocritcal. Think before you are a hypocrit.
  • If that's really true why is it outselling the Xbox one so handily, even in the US? For multimedia I would agree the Xbone is superior but is it better for games, honestly? Why are more people choosing Sony when price seems to be a non issue?
  • Because most people look at nothing but numbers. They THINK they can tell the difference between 1080p and 900p
  • I have to admit, that you can tell the difference between 1080p and 900p. I recently bought an Alienware alpha and I've been tinkering with game settings quite a bit. Switching from 1080p to 900p the picture does go a little fuzzier, ever so slightly blurred, and the colour drops a tiny bit. The Xbox One does do a bit more post processing to upscale it. And if there was a gap of more than a couple of minutes between The differences would fade pretty fast. It's a similar thing to when I played most of the rehashes like MCC and GTA. They felt pretty much the same as the 360 version at first, untill I went back to play them on the 360. I was getting a headache the graphics looked so dated... But getting back on topic... It would seem to me that Sony simply doesn't have enough news to bring or split between the two. It's true that they already have a strong foothold on Europe, also Project Morpheus has probably gone a little limp in the shadow of HoloLens. I mean Nothing seems to have come from the Sony camp since launch. It's a shame MS won't take advantage of the lack of updates and functionality in some kind of viral video as a backlash to Sony's share a game one they did at E3 2013. Especially as the consensus of 90% of the internet respond to that a lot more than the "congrats PS4" attitude they have right now. If MS really wants to win over gamers, they need to act like gamers, childish and spoilt!
  • The cool factor. Why do people buy iPhones when Android is the biggest phone OS?
  • Cos Android is sh*t
  • iPhones are expensive but simple to use
    Androids can be cheap in price and have lots of features but they can be really hard to use at times
    Windows Phones are like at the middle of both having features but not enough to make it go crazy.
    Android is the biggest OS because it is open source and anyone can have access to the system and make what they want while iOS and WP are not open source
  • That's subjective. Completely depends on what you want out of your console.
  • Nah, I have both consoles and was a Sony fan before but my ps4 collects dust. Far better things for Xbox that are better, especially the party chat.
  • Genuine question: PS4 does not have party chat?
  • PS4 has party chat and Vita users can participate in the chats as well. Xbox One might do party chat better in some ways, but the feature has seldom worked correctly for me since launch. Usually one person or another can't hear the others.
  • As someone who owns both, I am really interested in hearing from you exactly what makes the PS4 much better?
  • I don't own a ps4 but it has a dynamic theme and you are able to plug in a mouse to use it with.
  • Good for you. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Sony has probably far too little to show at present. They just recently added a clunky suspend function to the ps4.
  • Sony simply has nothing to show. What very little they do have this year will be blown at E3. Also, they're probably still reeling from last year's Rise of the Tomb Raider announcement and are too scared to go back again for seconds.
  • Little over dramatic imo. The Tomb Raider deal is timed and probably not for all that long. I'm an Xbox guy myself, but I'm fairly certain the PS team have plenty to share.
  • Subjective. Speculative. Speculative.
  • Actually, it was confirmed by Square Enix that its only a timed exclusive
  • Sony is losing money. That's why there out of computers and other things. How do you make money? Cut expenses.
  • That. Or increase revenue =). Im not sure how they will do that though... 
  • I assumed it was cost cutting as the dominant reason.
  • Language support isn't the main problem. Every gamer speaks or at least understands English. The problem is, that there are still many countries where you can't even buy an XBL gold subscription. Another problem is that the UI language extends into games. Most Xbox owners set their country to US or UK. Nobody wants to play dubbed games, FFS. People have been asking for those settings since launch and MS doesn't care.
  • I agree. You cant have xbox live in my country(romania) but u can buy from ps store and have psplus. This is recent btw. Only from beggining of 2015 but gj sony...we wanted this feature for some years now
  • Clearly, Jez has too much time on his hands, writing all these damn Xbox articles. Lol. If you know something about the Rare game, GOW, or Crackdown... Spill the beans man!
  • Sony is in trouble financially. It makes sense for them to save some money. If the events are that close the benefit might be small.
  • Sony have nothing to promote there... And they probably figure they don't have to try, given how they've outsold the xbox one by for times in Germany
  • Traded my PS4. Simply not impressed. Hard to resist the XB1 during Q4 when it was outselling PS and matching it's cheaper price too.
    Some really good deals at present. Might replace bedroom PS3 & 360 with a single XB1, especially with DVR coming.
  • This is a great opportunity to knock it out of the park and help grab more market share in Europe.
  • I just want Tomb Raider!
  • XBOX is Amazing maybe fools will select Playstation
  • Xbox is amazing,but before you get carried away, media wise its top dog, but all tv & DVR has to be released yet, it takes some storage, then games well 720p up scaled. Halo mastercheif collection 80GB. They have got it wrong badly
  • 60gb*
  • The bundle I downloaded from the code I entered that came with the xb1 was 80GB
  • Why don't you comment all else I have said ?
  • Well PS has something up there sleeve,
  • Any chance to make a sale, and you don't take it, is a mistake. So yes, Sony goofed.
  • No Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • While Europe's many languages are of course a major hurdle, there is a simple intermediate solution that Microsoft could implement to appease their European users: Let us choose language independently of location. Right now, I have to choose between being able to use my local store or being able to use all features the One has to offer, like voice commands. And even if I add for example an American credit card to purchase games, the video store still doesn't work since the settings don't match my region. It is really annoying, especially since we had to wait 10 months for the One to launch, which a lot of people thought was because they wanted to offer better localization but the localization is still abysmal. What makes it even worse, I'm from a bilingual country (Belgium) and even though I'm a Dutch speaker, for example a lot of my achievements show up in French. I mean, if you can't show a particular feature in my mother tongue, then at least give me the option to view them in English rather than deciding for me what language I should use.
  • I'm an American but I agree with you. Those things would bother me to say the least.
  • I think Sony is making a mistake but I'm glad for Microsoft's sake.
  • I'm looking forward to GC here in good old Germany ;)
    Hope you guys will enjoy it as much as I do. For sony it should be a shame to not show up at an event like this but maybe this will help Xbox to stand out with their booth (last year it looked boring as hell from the outside)
    I like both consoles and yet I haven't a favorite, both do their work.
    Let's see what we get to see btw will you folks from WC be there? Will you wear your "Cat riding a fire breathing Unicorn, while holding a Windows flag" shirts :D?