Gamescom 2012 – what to expect and when

Thursday, 9 August 2012 15:42 GMT By Patrick Garratt

The world’s largest games event opens its doors in Germany next week. The big hitters? The major players? The storm troopers? Patrick Garratt maps out what to expect.

gamescom 2012

The show itself takes place from August 15-19 in Cologne, Germany. That’s Wednesday to Sunday next week.

Press conferences – including showing from Sony and EA, are being held on Tuesday.


Gamescom 2012 starts next week. The year’s penultimate major show, Cologne’s monster truck event is always home to surprises and major announcements, and this time will be no different. Despite Microsoft pulling out this time, Sony and EA are to both hold key press conferences. Sony, especially, is one to watch.

Given the virtual no-show of Vita at E3 in June, expect Sony to go hard on its handheld. A price-drop may be too much of an ask at this point, but you should be watching for big-ticket Vita software as a main thrust of Sony’s show. The company will be hoping gamescom is a key point in the little man’s fortunes this year.

Don’t expect to see PS3-4000 to be announced. As we’ve said before, stocks of the current Slim are too high for a reveal yet. Sony has traditionally used gamescom as a platform for hardware announcements – PS3 Slim was shown in Germany for the first time in 2009 and the reworked, $99 PSP was debuted there last year – but this is Vita’s time. We don’t know, but we wouldn’t bet against a Christmas price cut. There’ll be no new model, though.

PS3 first-party software will be on full display. Expect new content from the biggest Sony hitters. Doors open for the Sony’s conference next Tuesday at 6.00pm. You’ll be able to watch it live.

The other main press conference at gamescom this year is being held by EA. The publisher’s slate is well laid out for the rest of the year. You’ll see Medal of Honor: Warfighter, Need for Speed: Most Wanted, Crysis 3 and FIFA 13 as the big tickets. It’s too early for a look at Battlefield 4. You’ll probably get a nose at Ultima Forever: Quest for the Avatar, the free-to-play BioWare game, as it’s due out this calendar year for PC and iPad. Sim City and Overstrike are likely to appear as well.

EA’s press conference gets going on Tuesday at 3.00pm.

Ubisoft is holding a press conference this year, but it’s during the show itself. It starts at 3.00pm on Wednesday, and is likely to focus on demos of Far Cry 3, Assassin’s Creed 3 and ZombiU and Assassin’s Creed 3: Liberation. Ubisoft’s gamescom 2012 line-up features no mention of Watch Dogs.

Capcom, too, is holding a press conference on the Tuesday. It starts at 11.00am.

Remember that gamescom’s a public show, the focus of which it to put games in front of German punters. There’ll be a great deal of software on the showfloor, but the main attractions will be obvious. Blizzard will have StarCraft II: The Heart of the Swarm and World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria available for open play, and Activision will be bringing the first ever playable version of Call of Duty: Black Ops 2. Microsoft’s Major Nelson and Acey Bongos will be in charge of this.

Square Enix will be showing Final Fantasy 7 PC, Hitman: Absolution, Tomb Raider, Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn and more.

Bethesda will be bringing along Dishonored and DOOM 3: BFG Edition.

Other notables include Resident Evil 6, DMC, Rome: Total War 2 and XCOM: Enemy Unknown.

This is just broad strokes. There’ll be surprises. We’re going to be bringing you a ton of content next week in both video and text form, so stay with us for all the news.