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Gamescom 2013: in the Microsoft corner

Posted by Kat Farminer on 23rd August 2013

It’s that time of year when the town of Cologne is descended upon by the world of gaming enthusiasts, manufacturers, PRs and everyone in between for what is now described as the ‘European E3’ – Gamescom.

There are many inevitable things that big gaming events bring, such as seeing at least one person dressed like Lara Croft, but none more so than the chance for Microsoft and Sony to try and outdo each other in the PR stakes. This year is no different. After a spectacular ‘win’ from Playstation in LA is this the chance for Xbox to get its own back? We’ll be taking a look at how both have handled the spotlight and analysing their approach. This is a battle till ‘game over’ between myself and Andy Hill with each given a maximum of 200 words to defend their chosen console. I’m stepping out first in favour of Xbox One.

Technically, I concede that it was starting from the back foot – especially with the core gamers after announcing Xbox One won’t support old formats, but for me this Gamescom is where the team from Redmond has staunchly defended its proposition.

It shows courage to stick to your message when your biggest rival is taking pot shots at your strategy. It seems Microsoft is playing to the bigger picture by promoting a ‘digital ecosystem’ for Xbox Live. Its philosophy now appears to focus much wider than traditional gaming, promoting a ‘content led’ experience to a broad audience. Pushing past the trend for casual gaming this content offering is one that many companies – not just those in gaming can achieve, for example we are seeing more and more TV services integrate web apps into their offering. I imagine there will be a time in the not too distant future where the two worlds collide and all devices will offer rich content across the entertainment sector.

For this ‘future gazing’ vision (irrespective of whether you like the console or can’t play your old games anymore) it is Microsoft who has quietly and unassumingly stolen the show.

Kat Farminer