Microsoft, Sony and EA: Who Won Gamescom and Why

Guess who stole the show twice this year?

Posted By | On 15th, Aug. 2014 Under Article, Editorials

I’m usually not the kind of person who likes to advocate a company “winning” a conference like E3 or Gamescom. If anyone “wins” it’s the respective developer for their game. Has there ever been a “Best of Show” award for entire presentations? Maybe that could be used as a reasonable yardstick for measuring victories between companies like Sony, Microsoft and EA.

That being said, with Ubisoft not holding a dedicated press conference this year, Microsoft was clearly the star.

Rise of the Tomb Raider

"No TV shows, very little Kinect – just games, games and more games. More importantly, they were games we would have liked to buy and no shortage of variety at all."

It’s hard to believe that the company which faced so many controversies over DRM, indie gaming, eSRAM, resolutions and so on could have had not one but two great conferences in a row. It began at E3 2014, shortly after Phil Spencer took over head of the Xbox division and promised nothing but games at the biggest show of the year. No TV shows, very little Kinect – just games, games and more games. More importantly, they were games we would have liked to buy and no shortage of variety at all.

This was the scenario at Gamescom as well. While Microsoft wasn’t announcing new projects left and right, it still stood out with a few indie game announcements, Rise of the Tomb Raider’s timed exclusivity, in-depth gameplay for Quantum Break and new details regarding Halo: The Master Chief Collection and Halo 5: Guardians.

It was a good 1.5 hours’ worth of gaming information and relatively important reveals to keep us hyped about the console well into the New Year. Heck, we even got to see more of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare’s single-player campaign and received an open beta date for Evolve.


"Sony seemingly forgot about the PS Vita and Project Morpheus, marking a royal snub to the former and a rather baffling absence of the latter."

By contrast, Sony seemed to have been determined to shine the spotlight away from its major AAA releases and on to its indie games. Yes, we’re excited about WiLD and Alienation, and even slightly intrigued about Hellblade, but it’s a shame that games like The Order: 1886, LittleBigPlanet 3 and Bloodborne received a decreased focus at Gamescom.

Not only that but Sony seemingly forgot about the PS Vita and Project Morpheus, marking a royal snub to the former and a rather baffling absence of the latter. With all the mutations that the PS Vita has been going through – from an overpriced collection of gimmicks to portable PS3 to “portable” PS4 (via Remote Play) to indie machine to cross platform medium – it’s utterly amazing that Sony chose to ignore it like this.

The handheld isn’t doing badly either as it still competes fairly well against the Nintendo 3DS in Japan. By not emphasizing games, much less acknowledging the handheld’s existence (unless you count the stupendously stupid Vita TV), Sony risks telling existing consumers that they simply don’t matter.

We’re not exactly big fans of EA’s presentation either. This time around, we thankfully received more gameplay footage of upcoming titles and a decreased presence of sports titles (though FIFA 15 and NHL 15 still took up a significant amount of time).

Battlefield Hardline

"The real tipping point was Battlefield: Hardline. Unlike Sledgehammer Games, Visceral didn’t choose to do a separate multiplayer reveal followed by some campaign footage."

Dragon Age: Inquisition looked great but Bioware’s Shadow Realms felt like an extremely damp squib. All that hype for a free to play multiplayer title with bland visuals? Again, we’d like to play it before judging it but the whole “four versus one” mechanic is being done a lot better somewhere else.

And as much as EA wants us to get excited about The Sims 4, it just doesn’t make for great presentations. It didn’t help that we witnessed the birth of a virtual Peter Moore, shirtless and tattooed, whose sole goal in life was to be consumed by a horse plant. Is this how we’re wasting time at conferences now? With jokes that only the company men and women will find funny?

But the real tipping point was Battlefield: Hardline. Unlike Sledgehammer Games, Visceral didn’t choose to do a separate multiplayer reveal followed by some campaign footage. No, we got an extended – and I mean extended – look at Battlefield: Hardline’s single player mode. On the one hand, it introduced some much needed mechanics to the experience. On the other hand, we weren’t impressed. Would it have been so difficult to showcase an extended look at the multiplayer, especially the new modes that were announced, since everyone will be buying the game for this anyway? You could then probably do a small smidgeon of highlights from the campaign. Regardless, EA’s conference was a vast improvement over E3.

Microsoft still “won” the contest at Gamescom and impressed us not only with their ability to market upcoming titles but by introducing new efforts, generating headlines and somehow finding a way to balance it all out – with nary a mention of Kinect, motion gaming or TV shows in sight. We’ll see how Tokyo Game Show 2014 pans out, especially since the Xbox One will be entering the Japanese market this September, but hopefully this momentum will continue into 2015.

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    Xbox won!

    • Agreed. But they really need a strong holiday 2014 otherwise they’re going to risk losing a lot of impact with 3rd party multi-platforms in the following years vs PS4. I think they have the games lineup to do it but we’ll see. Luckily they’re launching in another 29 countries in the next month or two which should help a bit and the June SDK has really helped boost performance and graphical fidelity…

    • Thinkaboutit

      Its gna be a good season for xbox owners.

    • – w – Yes it is.

    • John Doe

      I feel like people only say Microsoft won out of pity for them. Xbox didn’t win. It showed the same games that we have allready seen. They still have a horrible indie parity clause and they haven’t fixed their paywall problems.

      This article stated that Microsoft won because of headlines. That is probably the dumbest reason I’ve seen and all companies at Gamescom made headlines. Oh, the stupid.

  • This_Games_hero

    Halo Master chief collection itself is a steal. The Last of Us remastered is just one game, with Halo MC Collection you get 4 remastered games in 1080p, 60 frames per second on dedicated servers… Yes, dedicated servers! On top of that you have Sunset overdrive and Forza horizon 2. Xbox truly owns this holiday season.
    Plus Sony is sinking as a company. It’s like buying a ticket to go into the Titanic knowing the Titanic is sinking:

    • demfax

      Both consoles have good exclusive games. It’s only fanboys blindly trashing one or the other.

      Sony is on its way to recovering from years of losses and recently posted a quarterly profit as almost all of their divisions were profitable. They are not going bankrupt.

      Sony has total assets worth US$148.9 billion dollars, yearly revenue of $75+ billion, and $27+ billion in total equity. It is still one of the largest corporations on the planet with 150,000+ employees, ranked #233 in The World’s Biggest Public Companies on Forbes, and ranked #94 on the Fortune 500 2013.

      One rating agency’s opinion on Sony’s stock means almost nothing. Sony is recovering in finances, it posted a profit last quarter with almost all divisions reporting a profit including the Games division, and its stock price is stable or rising recently.

      Sony is selling or splitting off their lossy businesses (Vaio, TVs) and focusing on their profitable divisions. This means they’ll soon cut their losses and start turning a profit. Sony is in for a year or two of losses and restructuring, then provided their profitable divisions stay profitable, they’ll be on solid ground.

      The games division is in a net profit, posted a profit last quarter, and is well funded. Sony Computer Entertainment employs over 8,000 people working on Playstation across 50 countries. PSN is vastly improved and Sony is continually investing more into improving it.

      Macroaxis probability of bankruptcy declined from 79% to 44% and continues to shrink to this day, indicating a recovery.

      It’s sad PS4 is dominating so badly that ignorant fanboys are left desperately wishing Sony would go bankrupt. Keep dreaming, it’s not happening.

    • Thinkaboutit

      ok dont ever call someone a fanboy then make a post like that lol
      i seriously feel like i just got a financial briefing from a pr rep

    • demfax

      Whatever you say.

    • Michael Norris

      That halo collection has 3 old games and one 2 year old game.The content is nice and all but old games are old.

    • Thinkaboutit

      have fun with tearaway lol

    • XDrone (is the new name)-lol

      Have fun with No Man’s Sky… ohhhh wait you guys don’t get that game……
      Have fun with The Order 1886… ohhhhhh wait you don’t get that one either.
      Have fun with Bloodbourne…. wait don’t tell me you don’t get that one either??
      Have fun with Until Dawn…. nuhhh uhhh not that either???
      Have fun with DayZ…… OK seriously not that either????
      Have fun with Little Big Planet 3….. dude I for sure you would of had that one.

      OK fire sure you have to have fun with Uncharted 4……………nooooooooooo seroiusly, you say you have tomb radier, well isn’t that just a dumbed down / watered down version of Uncharted???

      Oh well I guess have fun with your halo…..( crickets……)……

    • demfax

      Don’t troll please.

    • XDrone (is the new name)-lol

      Lol dude, u need to come up with something better then that then make a huge long post bout how Sony is not in trouble financially ( not saying they are ), but seriously dude lol.

    • Thinkaboutit

      Whoa someones mad. Is it because you cant speak engrish?

    • XDrone (is the new name)-lol

      Who’s mad brahhh? Lol, and you got owned. Can’t even come back with something to rebuttal my statement.

      Or should I have said something like this since your lame comment was that I can’t speakesh Engliss,

      Whys u mads bar you son gots played. No commenzt from u even wits a slap toz ur face, son. There that betterss…??

      Top of the morning to you, now I’m done with you chump 🙂

    • Illusive Man

      Lot of gamers were in diapers in 2001 when the original Halo launched.

  • demfax

    Sony showed the following games at Gamescom 2014:

    Sony exclusives: The Tomorrow Children, Until Dawn, Tearaway Unfolded, Alienation, WiLD, Rime, DriveClub, The Order: 1886, Bloodborne, LittleBigPlanet 3

    Console exclusives: Dreamfall Chapters

    Timed console exclusives: HellBlade, The Vanishing Of Ethan Carter, Volume, HollowPoint, Runemaster, Nom Nom Galaxy, Pix the Cat, Papers Please, In Space We Brawl, Ether One, Qube 2, Snow

    Multiplatform games: Silent Hills (P.T.), FarCry 4, Destiny, Shadow Of Mordor

    Both Sony and MS had good Gamescom 2014 shows.

    • Nathan O

      Wild and Rime are the first games Sony has shown that I have any interest in playing. I certainly agree with you though, it was a good conference and with a few more titles I might actually consider picking up a PS4

    • demfax

      Both consoles have good exclusive games with more on the way. More people will probably pick up an Xbox later in the gen.

    • Illusive Man

      How many of those Sony titles are coming in 2014?

    • I think it’s just Drive club and LBP3

    • John Doe


    • Lacerz

      Driveclub, LBP3, Natural Doctrine, Samurai Warriors 4, Tropico 5, Akiba’s Trip, SingStar… All coming to the PS4 in 2014.

    • John Doe

      The PS4 has been getting a steady flow of exclusives all year. It received, Infamous SS, MLB14 The Show, Final Fantasy 14 (console exclusive), Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends (not on Xbox One), Bound by Flame(not on Xbox One), War Thunder (console exclusive), and The Last of Us.

      The Xbox One has only received Titanfall (console exclusive) and Kinect Sports Rivals.

      So far, for the rest of 2014, the PS4 is getting Driveclub, Samurai Warriors 4, Little Big Planet 3, Guilty Gear Xrd,Planetside 2 (console exclusive), MXGP (not on Xbox One), Deep Down “beta”, Kingdom Under Fire 2 “beta”, and some indies such as Helldivers, Hotline Miami 2, and The Witness.

      So far, for the rest of 2014, Xbone is getting Sunset Overdrive, Forza Horizon 2, Master Chief Collection, Halo 5 “beta”, Fable Legends “beta”,Project Spark (console exclusive) and some indies such as Ori and the Blind Forest.

      So far for 2015, the PS4 is getting, The Order 1886, Bloodborne, Deep Down, Kingdom Under Fire 2 (console exclusive), Ratchet and Clank, Let it Die, No Man’s Sky (console exclusive), Until Dawn, Shadow of the Beast “reboot”, Hellblade (may be timed exclusive), Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture, Everquest Next (console exclusive), H1Z1 (console exclusive), Magicka 2 (console exclusive), Soma (console exclusive), Uncharted 4, and many indies.

      So far for 2015 the Xbone is getting, Fable Legends, Quantum Break, Halo 5 Guardians, Scalebound (release date to be determined so might not be 2015), Phantom Dust (no release date so might not be 2015), Crackdown, Rise of the Tomb Raider (timed exclusive), and some indies.

    • John Doe

      Titanfall is on PC. Gears of War just started development and won’t release until 2016 at least. Tomb Raider is a timed exclusive.

      From everything I’ve seen, we still don’t know much about Hellblade’s exclusivity status, or Silent Hill’s platform availability status, other than both will surely be on PS4.


    I would have to say that Sony would be a victor if there was to be one in something like this.

    Here’s Microsofts side of it.

    So sad to see that the Kinect is done for especially for day one adopters that were forced to invest in it to only have less and less support….

    • I actually love the voice commands, so no regrets paying the extra $100. Am hoping they keep it in for future versions even if they don’t include the camera though since don’t really play any motion-games…

    • Nathan O

      Seems to me, most people who have an XB1 really enjoy the features the kinect bring to the table. I know I’m one of them

  • Michael Norris

    Should really rename the website to Xboxbolt.You guys are worse than IGN,do you want Sony’s conference to last 2 hours?Sony showed nothing but games and 6 new IP’s yet it’s not enough and you guys think TR is a big deal.The backlash won’t ever leave,the reboot sold worse on Xbox platforms and so will this new game.

    • Head Blackman

      wait to you see the sony fans on n4g. you will feel right at home there if you like to hear praises of sony.

    • Thinkaboutit

      Go back to N4G if you want to stay around blind insecure fools that like to pump themselves up because they have no real life confidence.

  • Thinkaboutit

    EA clearly won and whoever doesnt think so is a blind fool.

  • GHz

    SMH…We the gamers won. SOOoooooo many great games @ GC this year. The presentations were even better than E3. We are lucky that these companies are going all out for us. The systems are selling as a result. Good times ahead!

    • demfax

      Quantum Break footage was the highlight of MS conference imo.

  • jacksjus

    Although it’s not a competition I don’t see how MS could be favored considering they didn’t introduce anything new. I thought these conferences were to be unique meaning different games are introduced.

    However, if the masses agree with this writer then there should be no reason that MS won’t climb quickly out of the hole that they are in marketwise. I guess we will know more in a year.

  • John Nemesh

    Sony brought GAMES…MS just brought their checkbook. MS didn’t “win”.

    • Illusive Man

      Games we could play now? They brought trailers.


    • demfax

      P.T. was actually playable on the day of the show, and a lot of people loved it.

      MS had a good show with the Quantum Break footage, looks like a good game.

    • Guest

      Paupers in denial, especially the lame ones with moustaches.

  • RA3030

    So Microsoft shows all the Triple A titles like Call of Duty, AC and all the other AAA titles that by the way will also be on the PS4 and look and play better on the PS4 and Sony went with Indie titles no one has seen or heard of so Microsoft wins! This makes sense. Good call and thanks to Microsoft triple A show Sony will sell more systems… Lol I can see it now in the Sony pre GamesCon show planning. Kazuo Hirai tells everyone that they’ll show the Indie titles and let Microsoft show the AAA multiplat games that everyone now knows will look and play better on the Sony system and in turn will sell the PS4. Wow their genius is really showing over at Sony. Microsoft is playing checkers while Sony is playing Chess and it’s CheckMate!

  • XDrone (is the new name)-lol

    His is wiLD a indie game??? but u “journalist” that think ur cute with wordplay try to tailor an argument in ur favor. Micro$oft showed nothing new n brought nothing except saying they bought up tomb. While Sony showed liked 10 new games. Also, I though a gaming convention was oh I don’t know, suppose to be about games???

    Also, I thought ever other “journalist” said that bloodbourne stole the show????
    And you did not once say anything about SharePlay in ur lame attempt of journalism…..

    You should b ashamed of yourself…….

  • Guest

    Just streamed he QB live action gameplay footage…and my god it is pretty. No youtube degradation. Gonna be epic

  • Begaria

    “with nary a mention of TV shows in sight”

    I guess I must’ve been hallucinating when Microsoft spent 3.5 minutes on the Halo Channel and Halo: Nightfalls during their conference.

  • Failz

    Of cause MS had a better show, All Sony did was show off a bunch off PC titles like DayZ and Vita Ports like Tearaway where as MS showed games we actually want to play that isn’t on anything else. There best game shown was P.T which is multiplat where as MS showed Quantum Break which is only on X1. TR being a Timed Exclusive was icing on the cake.

    • demfax

      lol no

  • Mark

    I loved Sony’s innovation with Tearaway and Wild. Also people r sleepin on The Tomorrow Children……..did u guys not see the lighting?! U guys thought the trailer was pre-rendered lol. I knew it was gameplay. Those graphics in game r astounding, and we’re only in year 1.

    I loved Microsoft’s conference. From Sunset, to how better FH2 looks (wow), MCC upgrade, and how about those Halo 5 Master Chief models (woow)? The lighting on his armor, the detail of his body suit, nuts. I had to go back n watch the Tomb Raider E3 trailer……epic. CD has even said Lara will rival CG quality, and they’re bringing back the tombs!!! This could be a darn masterpiece. I left Tomb Raider because they started adopting action over exploration and puzzle solving. The puzzles and story of the originals were so memorable to me.

    All in all, these dam graphics r blowing me away with current gen systems. These studios r using new rendering techniques ( atleast for consoles). We’ll achieve CG like visuals within a few years, my word, is bond. Lol

  • Mark

    Check out the Master Chief models (in game?). I believe they are.

  • Guest

    Sony = lies, overhype and underdeliver.

  • Lacerz

    So reshowing games previously announced wins conferences. New PS4 titles like Until Dawn and Tearaway Unfolded, as well as Hellblade and Silent Hills is Sony just focusing on indies.

    Yeah, you sound credible.


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