Aside from the complete specs awaiting gamers under the hood, these are the five things we want to hear from Microsoft at Gamescom 2013. Held every year in Cologne, Germany, Gamescom is Europe's answer to E3, encompassing all walks of gaming and even opening its doors to the public. For many European gamers, it's the place to be.
For Microsoft, it's time to get that messaging in check, drum up excitement for its products and partners, and drop a few pieces of good news. Again, we'd love the total and complete specs for Xbox One hardware, you know, with the next-gen console wars hanging in the balance, but those will probably be held back for a few more months.
5. New Battlefield 4 Modes, Maps, And Gameplay
I was able to get some hands-on time with Battlefield 4 at E3 in EA's booth, where scores of Xbox One controllers waited for eager gamers. You know, the thing with the buttons you press and the triggers you pull and the sticks you… twiddle. While all those special parts rumble on the Xbox One pad, the BF4 demo ran on PC hardware and didn't give me the special feeling in my fingers like I had hoped.
I hope Gamescom goers get to try it out, though, because with all the destruction and effects in DICE's massive shooter, I can only imagine how amazing the experience feels. While they've got you by your digits, I hope EA reveals another map, maybe on the smaller scale where you'll have to destroy structures to progress in "Rush" or a new mode entirely. This massive shooter could stand to use a little spotlight after the audio mishap on Microsoft's stage at E3.
4. Multiplayer Dead Rising 3 Features 16 Players, Open-world Free-play, And Even More Zombies
All that Dead Rising 3 gameplay looked awesome at E3, but with the spare months between the title's debut and Gamescom, hopefully Capcom has an entirely different side of brain biting action to show. In the wake of Red Dead Redemption, open-world titles need to accommodate players who want to explore the land together or maybe even cause a little multiplayer mayhem. Dead Rising 2 introduced competitive multiplayer, but it was severely limited and basically just throwaway content. However, the co-op play contained insane, chaotic, and deadly fun.
Next-gen multiplayer? Time to double it, and then double it again, and maybe a few more times. Seriously, let players roam the gruesome landscape with 15 other players. Offer unique challenges, bosses, and missions while you're at it. Show something that's going to drive Dead Rising 3 as Xbox One's premier M-rated title in ways that shooters like Call of Duty and Battlefield just can't.
3. Three New Killer Instinct Characters Revealed
We've seen Sabrewulf, Jago, and Glacius in action, but there are plenty of fan favorites waiting for a gameplay debut in Germany. In fact, we've even seen a Sabrewulf vs. Sabrewulf mirror match, so I think it's time to give convention goers some hands-on time with a few more.
With Chief Thunder teased recently, we'll tally him, Fulgore, and Spinal as our most expected/wanted at Gamescom. With Killer Instinct headed to Xbox One as a free-to-play title, could we expect some pricing details or info on a retail version? Regardless, Killer Insinct was easily my favorite announcement at E3. Sitting in my seat at Microsoft's press conference, I felt my blood pumping excitedly as the announcer shouted and the green light flashed through the logo. Just give me more of that electric nostalgia.
2. Family Sharing Is Still In The Box
Of all the features cut by the removal of Xbox One's once-every-24-hours online check-in, Family Sharing will be missed the most, that is, if it doesn't come with your Xbox Live Gold membership at launch. Family Sharing would have let gamers share digital copies of games, so long as you and your comrade in arms had each other on your sharing list.
Why can't Xbox One buyers benefit from this feature, if at all it requires is a separate friends list and a little online-marketplace magic? If Xbox One's always-online and cloud computer nature could be altered so suddenly, why do we have to miss out on this really promising feature? Use that new-found messaging power for good, and give dedicated Xbox Live Gold subscribers something to boast about in the coming months.
1. Xbox One's Solution For Indie Games
With Sony and PlayStation 4 openly embracing and promoting indie games on its platform, it's time for Microsoft to talk seriously about how it plans to provide a market for small-scale creators on its platform. Give indie devs their own storefront. Give them dashboard placement. Wave some fees! Anything!
While it might sound stupid to pick up a $500 console for a $10 downloadable indie from a developer you've never heard of before, independent developers will be integral to Xbox One's overall success. If Microsoft really wants to provide consumers with the one console they need for everything in gaming, indies just have to be a part of the conversation. Start that dialog at Gamescom.