In Depth

Gamescom 2016: FIFA 17, PlayStation VR and more

Europe's biggest games exposition gets underway in Cologne. Here's the big news.

Two months after from the Los Angeles-based E3 Expo it's Europe's turn.

Gamescom, which is held annually in Cologne, Germany, may not garner the same hype and huge announcements as the gaming industry's crown-jewel event, but the exhibition is actually larger and attracting far more attendees thanks to it being open to Joe Public and not just those in the trade.

It's also an ideal platform for the industry's big hitters to expand on what they've shown at E3 and seed hype for the most anticipated games and hardware coming later.

The show runs from until 21 August. With the press day over and done with, here's a checklist of the biggest announcements and no-shows.

Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo

All three of the major console-makers have plotted low-key exhibitions this year, with none of them holding a major press conference to give news on upcoming hardware the PS4 Neo, Xbox One Scorpio and Nintendo NX.

Still, players won't have to wait long to see Sony's 4K PlayStation. Engadget reports that the company has sent out invites to a special set-piece event in New York on 7 September, when it's expected the console will be revealed.

However, Sony's upcoming virtual reality headset, the PlayStation VR, goes under the spotlight at Gamescom, with 17 playable demos. The set launches on 13 October, priced £349.

Meanwhile, Microsoft did confirm the 500GB and 1TB versions of its Xbox One S will be available from 22 September.

FIFA 17

Coinciding with the start of the new football season is fresh information and a new trailer for Fifa 17. [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"content_original","fid":"99127","attributes":{"class":"media-image"}}]]

This will be the first in the series to use EA's Frostbite engine, which is now used across many of the company's biggest franchises, such as Battlefield and Star Wars: Battlefront. All 20 Premier League managers feature in the game and will be performing lifelike, animated antics on the touchline.

A new story mode is included, too, with players taking up the role of young striker Alex Hunter, navigating him through the early days of a career in professional football.

This isn't new information, but Gamescom revealed that a FIFA 17 demo will go live between Friday 9 September and Tuesday 13 September. The game releases on 29 September.

Battlefield 1

Another one of E3's big 2016 releases is the next Battlefield game, named Battlefield 1 to mark its First World War setting. A new trailer has been posted on YouTube showcasing horse-based combat in the desert.

You'll get your first taste of the game's huge multiplayer combat on 31 August, when the open beta across the Xbox One, PS4 and PC begins. It's scheduled to launch in full on 21 October.

Other games on show

EA also has Titanfall 2 on display and fans of the recently introduced franchise will get hands-on access for the first time. A new trailer for Mafia III has been unleashed, as well as new looks at Tekken 7, Pro Evolution Soccer 2017 and the zombies game mode for Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare – which features a cameo from David Hasselhoff no less.

WatchDogs 2 multiplayer is also on show, with a new trailer, and the online, multiplayer, open-world pirate game Sea of Thieves is available for gameplay. The much anticipated game was one of the stars of E3, but is not set to release until early next year.

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