Let the games begin!

Yesterday the world’s largest trade and public video games expo “Gamescom” opened its doors in Cologne for approx. 275.000 visitors. The not entirely surprising Nr. 1 topic is the battle of the giants; Microsoft versus Sony, Xbox One versus Playstation 4.

Since Microsoft offended their fans earlier this year by announcing ridiculous restrictions and more than questionable data collection plans concerning their latest console, Sony had a very good start to the race. Although Microsoft revoked most of the planned restrictions, there are still a few things that are keeping Sony on top – a few days ago, Sony said it had over 1 million preorders for the PS4.

Despite the bumpy start, Microsoft believes in their concept of a media-center / game console / TV / Internet / all-in-one solution – and of course in their phenomenal new Kinect-System, that should provide a new gaming experience.

Just before the Gamescom started, Microsoft announced that there is going to be something “exclusive and unique” that Phil Spencer will present during a press conference on the fair. The speculations go from “it’s only another exclusive game” to “a new piece of hardware that will make the Xbox One the ultimate gaming device”. And indeed, Microsoft is working on a project called the “IllumiRoom”, that could be a game changer in this race. In January this year, Microsoft Research published this video on youtube showing the technique in action: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=re1EatGRV0w

We’ll keep you posted on what Microsoft has up their sleeves and if it is worth it to pick the less powerful, more expensive hardware with more restrictions, or if the Playstation 4 is just too far in the lead.