What the event could mean for Xbox owners

If you own an Xbox then you normally have lots to catch-up on during Gamescom week.

In the last couple of years titles like Quantum Break and Halo Wars 2 have been announced in Cologne, Germany.

With Sony and Nintendo focusing on other events, it’s been seen as a bit of an easy ride for Microsoft.

But this time it looks like there’s been a break with recent tradition – no new games or extra content have been announced.

Instead owners can look forward to seeing a lot more of the games we already know are coming.

Scene from Sea of ThievesImage caption Pirate adventure Sea of Thieves won many awards at the E3 gaming show in LA and is expected sometime in 2017

If you’re lucky enough to be headed to Gamescom though, then you’ll get to try them out.

But despite the lack of big news, industry experts say the event is still important for a Microsoft.

Speaking to Newsbeat, Joe Neate, executive producer of upcoming Xbox and PC exclusive Sea of Thieves, said: “It’s the first time we’ve had our game playable in Europe and it’s the first real consumer event, so for us to be able to bring this to the real players, playing at home, is amazing.”

Scene from Halo 2Image caption Halo Wars 2 was announced at Gamescom last year – 500,000 people are expected to attend this year’s event

And David Nicholson, executive producer of Halo Wars 2, told us: “It’s huge for us because we learn so much by watching people play the game.

“We’re trying to make a strategy game that everyone can play and make the genre more accessible to everyone.”

Focusing on creating a buzz about the games soon to be on sale seems to be this year’s strategy for Microsoft.

For Sea of Thieves, this week is the first real chance they’ll get to do that with fans.

People know there’s effectively a new console coming out but we still don’t know what it’s going to do

Daniel Krupa
Managing editor, IGN UK

Xbox hope by getting more hands-on players with the games, it will persuade them to choose Xbox One or PC, rather than any of the competition.

“It’s part of our responsibility as first-party developer [people who make games exclusively for Microsoft],” said Joe.

“To drive people, not only towards buying a console or PC, but also towards Xbox Live.

“We want as many people playing on Xbox Live as possible because that’s the heartbeat of the Xbox system, which is just as important to us as the console sales.”

Since this generation of consoles went on sale in 2013, Sony’s PS4 has outperformed Microsoft in terms of sales.

Earlier this year both companies announced new, more powerful, versions of their consoles would be coming out next year.

Focus might already be shifting onto these machines, which might be one reason behind the lack of big announcements.

Speaker on stage in front of Project Scorpio signImage caption Project Scorpio is set to be the most powerful console ever created when it’s released in 2017

“The weirdest thing about Xbox at the minute is they’ve got a great and varied line-up of games,” Daniel Krupa, managing editor of IGN UK, said.

“But by announcing Project Scorpio, this secretive project coming next year, which to all intents and purposes is a much more powerful bit of kit, they’re casting a shadow over their line-up of games.

“People know there’s effectively a new console coming out but we still don’t know what it’s going to do.”

Despite the lack of major new announcements, there’s lots for Xbox One owners to get excited about.

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