Next Generation Consoles On Display at German Trade Show

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

A gaming event of mammoth proportions.

According to its organizers Gamescom is the largest trade fair event for interactive games and entertainment.

And with an audience like this, no big brand intends to miss out on presenting their latest product to Germany's gaming community.

Among the new products on show is Playstation's new PS4 console which Sony will start retailling in Europe on November 29th.

The PlayStation's developers says their new system has deeply integrated social capabilities plus new innovative second-screen features.

Uwe Bassendowski, Germany's managing Director of Sony Computer Entertainment, says the console completely integrates classic game play with online gaming.

"You can exchange games, you can exchange levels, you can communicate with friends via video chat. You can even ask your friends to continue to play for you in case you don't get further in a certain area of a game. So, it is the total integration of the classic game contents to the internet. And this is the new and fantastic game experience of the Playstation 4," says Bassendowski.

Among the other big players is Microsoft's Xbox, whose Xbox One console is due to hit stores in 13 countries in November, although a specific release date is yet to be revealed.

Developers claim the new system heralds the next generation of games and entertainment, where games push the boundaries of development and television obeys user's every command.

Microsoft Germany's general manager of the consumer and channels group Oliver Kaltner says their new console is so sophisticated it completely links with numerous online services.

"Everything plays with each other, everything corresponds and communicates with each other. And many, many additional services are in the so-called cloud and there I can play with other people, but I can also (use) skype - just as an example," says Kaltner.

Nintendo are also presenting their new Wii U console at the fair, which - with its new second controller - the company claims will completely change the way people play games for years to come.

Different from other large gaming shows, Germany's Gamescom focuses mainly on gaming fans and so, aside from consoles, numerous games makers are also in attendance.

Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, Activision or Konami are all presenting their latest game titles as well as first games for the new consoles.

Gamescom covers all genres of interactive games, from PC and console games, to online and browser games, all the way to social and mobile gaming and new versions of console and PC blockbusters.

The latest versions of first-person shooter "Call of Duty" and soccer simulation "Fifa 14" are among those new games on show.

Studies have shown enormous growth for computer sales in the coming years but do developers Electronic Arts agree?

"This is a fact. And we are certainly very happy about this. This is in particular pushed by the new consoles which will hit the market this year, but it is also pushed by the entire mobile division, so that the games can also be played accordingly on IOS, Android and other platforms. And in the meantime nowadays almost everyone has a smartphone or a tablet at home, so that you can actually enjoy a full gaming experience, without any barriers," says Olaf Coenen, managing director of Electronic Arts Germany.

The convention also features new products from infotainment and edutainment games, to casual, sports and music games, as well as action and adventure games.

And experts say it's anything but game over for the gaming industry.

"So, our prognosis for 2013, for this year currently underway, a growth of approximately 4 per cent. This means, for Germany, more than €2 billion ($2.6 billion USD note: total volume of sales of video and computer games). Last year we were a bit below this. And the growth will continue. We are expecting an average of approximately 3,9 per cent per year in the next 5 years," says Niklas Wilke, video game industry expert from Price Waterhouse Coopers, a professional services firm.

More than 600 companies from 40 countries are presenting their new products and innovative developments on the trade shows floor this year.

275,000 visitors came to the fair in 2012 and the trade fair organizers are expecting an even larger crowd to be logging on this year.

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