We are half way through GamesCom 2014 which is taking place in Cologne, Germany. All the major press conferences are over and now the show floor is open to the public. Here are the 8 biggest stories from the event:
1: “Exclusive” doesn't necessarily mean exclusive
A reminder to always read the fine print. During the Xbox press conference at GamesCom 2014, the internet lit up with rage as Rise of the Tomb Raider was announced to be a “Xbox Exclusive”. What Microsoft failed to mention that it is a timed exclusivity. Xbox owners will have first dibs on the game, however PlayStation and PC gamers will still get to play but at a later time. Just another reason not believe everything that is said on stage.
2: The PS4 is the fastest selling Sony console ever
Sony announced that 10 million PlayStation 4 units have been sold worldwide along with 30 million PS4 games, since the console's launch 9 months ago. And they mean sold to consumers, not shipped to stores. Now, we wait to see how many more consoles will leave store shelves this month in preparation for Destiny’s launch.
3: Don’t judge a demo by its title
Sony briefly mentioned during their GamesCom press briefing that they had a brand new game called P.T., from from an unknown studio, and that a playable demo was already available in the Playstation Store.. As eager gamers downloaded and started the interactive trailer, they are warned to ‘avoid playing if they have a heart condition’. Once this frightening experience is over, it is revealed that P.T. (which literally stood for playable teaser) was the code name for a new Silent Hill game, from creators Hideo Kojima & Guillermo Del Toro and starring Norman Reedus from the Walking Dead. Definitely one of the most unique, viral and effective game teases of all time.
4: Sony is making you a virtual couch
The PS4 firmware update 2.0 that is coming this fall is going to contain some serious goodies. One of those is SharePlay, the ability to invite a friend to play with you online, even if they don’t own the game.
5: ESports is seriously growing
Esports is stronger than ever at GamesCom,and the viewership for the ESL-One Counter-Strike:Global Offensive tournament is proof. Matt Wood, one of the game developer for CS:GO, tweeted earlier today that the total view count for the first day of the competition already surpassed the total for the tournament finals, held earlier this year. Overall, more than 275 000 people logged into Twitch’s different channels and directly in-game to watch the group stage matches. Quite the feat considering CS:GO is almost non-existent in Asian markets where most of the viewership for games like League of Legends and Dota2 comes from.
Along with big name games like the aforementioned League of Legends, Call of Duty, and Halo racking up amazing viewership numbers also, it’s safe to say that eSports is, more than ever, alive and kicking.
6: Sony is ignoring the Vita
Not one PlayStation Vita game was talked about during the PlayStation press conference at GamesCom, which is an obvious indication that Sony is focusing more on their home console rather than their handheld. Sony is even bringing a previously PSVita exclusive game, Tearaway, to PS4.
7: The elusive White Xbox can be yours... soon
Remember that pretty white Xbox One that only developers got their hands on at the launch? Well now it’s coming to a store shelf near you, bundled with Sunset Overdrive. Get your pretty white console on October 28th for $400.
8: Where the hell is Nintendo???
Once again Nintendo has decided to forego the traditional press conference for GamesCom 2014. For a company that has registered significant revenue losses, it is odd to see them dismiss the chance to speak directly with a captive audience. There wasn’t even a Nintendo Direct broadcast. What we did get was this highlight reel video of upcoming Wii U titles. I was hoping for more. Oh well.