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gamescom 2013: What to expect from the gaming expo this week

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© Koelnmesse

German games expo gamescom kicks off this week.


In the past few years gamescom has become the biggest gaming show in the world by visitor numbers, and it's no surprise publishers and platform holders like Sony and Microsoft have used it to announce new games and hardware.

The gaming expo kicks off in Cologne, Germany tomorrow (August 20) with a series of press conferences, and Digital Spy runs down what you can expect from each of the big publishers this week.

Microsoft

When: Tuesday, August 20 (9:30am UK time)
Livestreamed? No

Microsoft skipped gamescom last year, but with Xbox One launching in November, the publisher is back in force to build momentum for its new console, starting with a non-streamed press briefing.

It has already confirmed that a unique exclusive will be revealed, and you can expect more details about currently announced projects such as Forza 5 and Ryse too.

As for the console itself, any predictions for a Kinect-less bundle following confirmation that the device can be unplugged was scuppered by Microsoft itself. As for a release date? We'll have to wait and see.


EA

When: Tuesday, August 20 (3pm UK time)
Livestreamed? Yes

EA has revealed the lineup for its conference. Expect new footage for Need for Speed Rivals, Battlefield 4 - including a new map and mode - FIFA 14, EA Sports UFC, Plants Vs Zombies: Garden Warfare and Command & Conquer.

There will also be the first reveal of The Sims 4. If you want more on that in particular, stick around until midnight on Wednesday where Digital Spy will post a first-look preview with even more details.

The Sims 4 Promo

© @Project_Boom

The Sims 4 will be revealed at gamescom.



Sony

When: Tuesday, August 20 (6pm UK time)
Livestreamed? Yes

Sony have been particularly good to gamescom over the years when it comes to announcements, from revealing slim consoles to countless new properties, so maybe we can expect a few surprises.

Sony has teased what's to come from their conference, saying it will focus on its PS4 line-up, and will include new unannounced PlayStation games.

Even with a PS4 focus on the cards, the Vita had a quiet few months, so perhaps a new hardware revision - which wouldn't be unexpected considering the PSP's legacy and the system's slow sales - could make an appearance. And like Xbox One, a release date is entirely possible, but has yet to be rumoured.

PlayStation 4 - first look at hardware in full

© Sony / PlayStation

The PS4 line-up will be the focus of Sony's gamescom conference.



Blizzard

When: Wednesday, August 21 (3pm UK time)
Livestreamed? No

With some degree of certainty, we can predict what Blizzard will reveal during gamescom. The firm updated its website last week pointing at a new Diablo 3 expansion suggested to be named Reaper of Souls.

This will almost certainly be the "special announcement" previously teased. Elsewhere, a trademark for The Dark Below hinting at a new World of Warcraft expansion was revealed, but that could be announced later if it's true.

Finally, expect to see Diablo 3 on consoles before it launches on current-gen in September and Xbox One and PS4 in 2014.

Diablo 3 'Reaper of Souls' teaser site

Diablo 3 'Reaper of Souls' teaser site



Other publishers: XCOM, Dead Island and Ubisoft

All publishers will have new trailers, images and details of their games, but we have several confirmations of what to expect.

2K Games has confirmed XCOM: Enemy Within will be revealed at the show. Whether it's an expansion or sequel, we'll find out first this week, and Digital Spy will be going hands-on to offer first impressions.

Elsewhere, Ubisoft is to unveil a new next-generation property - most likely during Sony or Microsoft's events - while Deep Silver is going to lift the lid on its arena-based online title Dead Island: Epidemic.

What are you expecting from gamescom this week? Add a comment below!

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