There was a lot of gaming news to digest in day one. Here’s a chronological rundown of the biggest news from the show.
Microsoft Xbox Press Conference
New Xbox One bundles
Anyone who is planning on purchasing a new Xbox One in the near future will have some options. Microsoft announced a limited edition “Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare” bundle for $499 that includes a digital copy of the games, 1 TB hard drive, a custom controller and a sleek new two-toned “Advanced Warfare” custom skin.
The “Advanced Warfare” Xbox One will be available worldwide on November 3.
The upcoming Xbox One exclusive “Sunset Overdrive” is getting a special edition bundle of its own. This bundle will include a white, glossy Xbox One, a white Xbox One controller and a digital version of “Sunset Overdrive” with extra weapons and player outfits. The bundle will be $399. Its release day is the same as the game’s: October 28.
European consumers will have the option of picking up a “FIFA 15” bundle that comes with the standard 500 Gb hard drive and a digital copy of “FIFA 15. This model will retail for ₡399.99/£349.99. The “FIFA 15” bundle will be available in Europe on September 25.
Note that these three bundles do not include the Xbox One’s Kinect. Microsoft appears to be distancing itself from this once heavily promoted peripheral.
Indies get a big push from Microsoft
After spending time talking about Ultimate Team mode in the upcoming “FIFA 15,” the focus was all ID @ Xbox, Microsoft’s new indie-friendly platform has some exciting titles coming to Xbox One.
A trailer montage showed clips from some upcoming gems, as well as favorites that have been available for PC. Highlights included “CupHead,” “Fruit Ninja Kinect 2,” “Ghost of a Tale,” “Inside,” Plague Inc. Evolved,” “Smite,” “Below” and “Goat Simulator,”
“Superhot” was given stage time to show off its new spin on the FPS genre. Time moves when you move. “Superhot” will be first to console on Xbox One.
“Evolve” Open Beta coming only to Xbox One
The upcoming cooperative/competitive shooter “Evolve” from Turtle Rock studios received a live stage demo. The full-team demo showed off the new map The Distillery.
The open beta for “Evolve” is coming only to Xbox One in January of next year.
"Rise of the Tomb Raider" exclusivity bombshell
“Rise of the Tomb Raider,” Crystal Dynamics’ followup to the team’s massively successful “Tomb Raider,” will be exclusive to Xbox. This was arguably the biggest news of Gamescom’s day one.
It’s important to notice the wording or the announcement. The initial announcement and language on Crystal Dynamics’ Tumblr blog states that “‘Rise of the Tomb Raider’ is coming Holiday 2015, exclusively on Xbox.” This may suggest that it’s a timed exclusive, but we won’t know for sure until we get closer to that date. For now, Xbox One and Xbox 360 will be the only systems to play “Rise of the Tomb Raider” in Q4 of next year.
This exclusive deal is a huge get for the Xbox team, but it is a tough move for PlayStation owners. Both camps have their own exclusives, but it’s rare to see a side nab an exclusive in the middle of a series.
No new game footage was shown during the announcement.
“ScreamRide” announced for Xbox One and Xbox 360
The evolution of “Rollercoaster Tycoon” looks like it’s coming exclusively to the Xbox family. In “ScreamRide” players will be able to build the thrill rides of their dreams and put people on rides that may or may not lead to their doom. It’s coming in the spring of next year. Check out the trailer below.
Halo Channel announced, plus “Halo 5” beta details
Touted as your “home for halo,” this app will include all things “Halo.” Users will be able to track their multiplayer stats and single player process, and much more. The channel will also be the gateway to “Halo” programming like “Forward Unto Dawn” and “Nightfall.”
Available for Xbox One and PC, the Halo Channel will allow users to seamlessly jump in and out of “Halo: Master Chief Collection” multiplayer matches, watching “Halo” programing or browsing stats. The channel has partnered with Twitch to integrate streaming gameplay, as well. Not many details were given on how this partnership will work.
Lastly, “Halo: Master Chief Collection” will include access to the “Halo 5: Guardians” beta. From December 29 through January 18th, players with beta access will be able to play the game on seven maps in three modes, plus 11 armor variants and 11 weapons.
Sony PlayStation Gamescom Press Conference
PlayStation 4 install base is over 10 million strong
Sony wowed the Gamescom audience by opening with big news of the PS4’s success. Sony has sold over 10 million PS4 units globally in just nine months. This exceeded many expectations and is quite an impressive start for their flagship console.
Q-Games announces “The Tomorrow Children”
“The Tomorrow Children” is a new 3D game from Q Games that looks like a cooperative “Minecraft” but on a larger scale. Players will team up to build what looks like a civilization against an evil dictator. Check out the trailer.
Mike Bithell took the stage to announce a new title with old school stealth vibes. Bithell stated that “Volume’s” gameplay is heavily influenced by “Metal Gear: Solid’s” stealth tactics. Judge for yourself by the trailer below.
“DayZ” coming to PS4
The popular PC game “DayZ” is coming to PS4. Dean Hall of Bohemia Interactive took the stage to announce that the PS4 port is coming. There’s no word on a release date or even a release window, but a port is coming at some point in the future.
New game trailers shown
New trailers for games like “Rime,” “Hellblade,” “Hollowpoint” and “The Vanishing of Ethan Carter” were shown. No time was spent discussing these games, but they are in the pipeline for PS4.
“Destiny” is the most pre-ordered new IP of all time
A large chunk of Sony’s press conference was devoted to Bungie’s “Destiny.” The announcement kicked off with some impressive news that the upcoming FPS is the most pre-ordered new IP of all time, according to GameStop. Even though the game is coming out for five different platforms, it’s still an impressive feat.
“FarCry 4’s” Keys to Kyrat
We already knew that PlayStations users were going to get a bonus trial that could be shared with friends. That system was detailed during the press conference. Anyone who purchases “FarCry 4” for PlayStation 4 will receive 10 Keys to Kyrat that can be distributed to PSN friends. Friends who receive a key will be able to join the co-op action of “FarCry 4” even if they don’t own the game.
Co-op will be limited to two hours per key.
It doesn’t look like these co-op sections will be part of the game’s single player narrative, but will rather be separate sections where a duo can capture outposts and explore. The Keys to Kyrat will be exclusive to the PlayStation platform.
PS4 Firmware 2.0 coming this fall, includes Share Play
The PS4’s 2.0 firmware is coming soon. It comes with a bunch of goodies including YouTube integration. Users will now be able to upload clips directly to their YouTube channel.
Additionally, Share Play will finally be part of the PS4 package. This feature will allow users to share the controller with friends virtually over the PSN. Game owners will be able to virtually pass the controller to a PSN friend who doesn’t own the game. Players can even play cooperatively. The non-game owner will not have to download the game.
Share Play was teased at the PS4 reveal last year, and it’s finally becoming a reality with the 2.0 update. Users will have to be PS+ subscribers to take advantage of Share Play.
Wild Sheep Studios announces “Wild”
In “Wild,” players will be able to play as a human or any living creature in the game. This looks like it could be something special for the PS4. See the trailer below.