Gamescom 2013 Highlights: Best and Worst

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written by Riri (@lillyums

Now with Gamescom 2013 over, it’s time for a wrap up! Gamescom 2013 this year was a huge success! At least you’d think so, with a 23% increase in attendance and their first sell out in the history of Gamescom.  A lot was premiered at this huge gaming show with first time announcements that would make you giggle like a little girl.  Speaking of first time announcements, this was also Microsoft and Sony’s first time presenting new consoles for consumers to try out, which has never been done in the history of gaming trade fairs in Europe. Of course, they were both at each other’s throats again.  Even Sony's Andrew House stated, “While others have shifted their message and changed their story, we were consistent in maintaining policies and a model that is fair and is in tune with consumers desires.” Gee.. who might this be. 

Sony certainly came off during the show as more confident, with much more to reveal without hesitation, while Microsoft was very careful with its presentation and content…it was pretty much a huge tease.   With that being said, I compiled some highlights – the best and the not-so-best highlights of the show. 

Top 5

1) Sony announced the release date for the PS4! Woot woot! November 15th geeks. Game on. Nuff said.

2) More from Sony – a price slash for the PS Vita from $299 to $199.  Not only that, the Vita memory card will also reflect a price slash. A number of strong line ups for the Vita were announced as well, including Borderlands 2.

3) Sony demonstrated some real time remote play between the PS Vita and the PS4 on Assassin’s Creed 4! I thought this was a great presentation to show how well these two can work together, especially with their new cloud system integrated, it makes continuing your game play onto the PS Vita easy and convenient if you are unable to continue game play on the PS4 (you get kicked off the TV, you got to go to work…) Not only that, Sony also presented a live dash board view to show off the PS4’s functionalities.  This is a big plus for me to really see these in use.

4) Microsoft announced several bundles, in particular one to market to the European market: all preorders would receive a free copy of FIFA 14 by EA.  In fact, this was a miscommunication and in actuality all preorders of the Day One edition would receive a free copy of this game. It's great that they are turning things around and trying to market to Europe; with that, it teases the USA - what free game will come with US preorders? 

5) Microsoft’s Xbox One exclusive “Fable Legends” by Lionhead allows you to play anyway you want, and be whoever you want.  An evil villain? SURE! Command an army and take down those heroes! Or be a hero. Not only that, but SmartGlass functionality is extensive; use SmartGlass to track your hero progress and learn about quests, or use it as a second screen in your battle against heroes playing on the main screen. It's kind of neat that you can have the option to be whatever you want, and have SmartGlass integration within the game. 

Bottom 5

1) While Sony announced a release date for the PS4, Microsoft did not announce a release date for the Xbox One at the time. Sure enough today we know what the date is now (Nov. 22nd), but at the time, it did leave us hanging since Sony was ahead of the game with its announcement. Maybe Microsoft just liked to tease, who knows.

2) There weren't many huge game announcements especially with Sony; PS4 doesn't seem to have as many exclusives coming as the XBox One will be.  I was hoping for some more PS4 gaming titles but it was a bit repetitive.

3) While it is great that Sony (and Microsoft) have a huge support for indie games, Sony’s conference was sllllllllllllooooowww… long… and it felt like most of it was Indie games galore.  

4) The entirety of the Sony presence at Gamescom was just so lackluster, nothing sizzled and after their fantastic E3 presentation, this one just fell so flat.

5) Fighter Within announcement. Okay Xbox One, I know you want to convince people to see that the extra $100 price for the Kinect 2 is worth it, but as the killer app... just give us more Dance Central. But Fighter Within?  Not sold guys.

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Overall, Microsoft is picking its fans back up and may well be able to hold their fans due to some pretty awesome exclusive gaming titles for the XBox One.  While the XBox One price is a bit steep, Sony's PS4 is definitely cheaper AND there are still games that will be multiplatform titles.  There are tons of games still under development for both the XBox One and PS4! We can only be patient and wait for more to be announced.  What games are you looking forward to playing?

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