Gamescom 2019: what you need to know
What is it? The world’s largest gaming event (in terms of exhibitions and visitor numbers)
Where is it? Cologne, Germany
When is it? August 20-24, 2019
Can I get tickets? Yep, from the Gamescom website
Are you ready for Gamescom 2019? With the summer gaming event about to kick off, and some of the biggest titles in the gaming calendar set to be on show, you better be.
While Gamescom isn’t typically a big show for announcements – that’s usually the remit of the earlier E3 2019 event in July – journalist and presenter Geoff Keighley has been shaking up the formula, hosting a pre-show announcement live stream called Opening Night Live, which featured announcements and new content from Square Enix, Google Stadia, Epic Games and many more (you can see what was announced below).
TechRadar will be live from Cologne all this week, bringing you all the latest news, announcements and previews from Gamescom 2019.
So without further ado, here’s everything you need to know about Gamescom 2019 including the latest news, rumors, exhibitor schedules and our predictions about what we’re likely to see at the show.
For the first time for the massive gaming event, Geoff Keighley (the creator of The Game Awards) kicked off the start of Gamescom will a live show called Opening Night Live. As promised, there was a wide mix of world premiere content and announcements, including another attempt by Hideo Kojima to explain the bewildering Death Stranding game and its assortment of babies, BTs (shadow creatures), and urination mechanics. You read that right.
We also got a Little Nightmares II reveal, a new Gears 5 trailer, a release date for The Witcher III on Nintendo Switch, and news that Devil May Cry 5 and Blair Witch Project are both coming to Xbox Games Pass.
Hearsay not enough for you? You can see the stream for yourself below:
More than 15 game publishers will premiere new content and make announcements during @gamescom Opening Night Live. An exciting show is coming together for Monday, August 19! Hope you get to tune in and watch the stream! pic.twitter.com/THAv4bvZlmAugust 6, 2019
Keighley has some great contacts within the gaming industry, so we fully expected some surprising announcements to come out of the show.
The livestream was available to watch on Twitch on August 19 at 7pm BST / 11am PT / 2pm ET / 8 pm CEST or August 20 at 4am AEST.
Sony attending Gamescom 2019 will be the company’s first public appearance of the year – and we’re very excited following such a long period of radio silence.
The silence has certainly been broken, with the news that Sony has acquired its longstanding partner Insomniac, which was behind its brilliant Marvel’s Spider-Man game. There was certainly something said about Death Stranding, but we’d be lying if we said we understood all of it. There wasn’t much in the way of The Last of Us: Part 2 or Ghost of Tsushima either.
Despite announcing the PS5 earlier this year, we don’t think it’s likely that Sony will reveal more about its next-generation console during Gamescom 2019. But we can always hope…
Microsoft Xbox is going pretty hard for Gamescom 2019. Xbox will have nearly 200 booths on the show floor, including the first public hands-on of both Minecraft Dungeons and Gears 5‘s Horde Mode. Fans will also have the opportunity to try out Project xCloud.
We didn’t get the scoop on Halo Infinite or Sea of Thieves we hoped for during Opening Night Live, but a new Gears 5 trailer went some way to making up for it. During a special Inside Xbox episode before the event, Microsoft also promised ray tracing support for Minecraft, which should give the blocky sandbox game even better-looking blocks. We’re still waiting for more details on Xbox Project Scarlett, but hey ho.
Xbox will also be hosting Open Doors at the Gloria Theatre from August 21 to August 23. Entry to Xbox Open Doors is free and fans will be able to participate in community events, game tournaments, panel sessions and other experiences.
Check out the opening times below:
- Tuesday, August 20 – 9am until 7pm. CEST (press/trade only day)
- Wednesday, August 21 – 9am to 8pm CEST
- Thursday, August 22 – 9am – 8pm CEST
- Friday, August 23 – 9am – 8pm CEST
- Saturday, August 24 – 9am – 8pm CEST
Nintendo has now revealed what its on and offline plans for the show will be.
Gamescom itself runs from August 20 to August 24 but the majority of Nintendo’s online activity will take place between the August 20 and August 22. Across these dates, those not attending the show itself will be able to watch a series of videos featuring extended gameplay from the publisher’s upcoming Switch lineup.
Games getting some time in the spotlight will include Luigi’s Mansion 3, The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening, The Witcher 3, Astral Chain, Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and Dragon Quest 10 S: Echoes of an Elusive Age.
For visitors to the show floor, Nintendo will have a booth where it’ll be possible to get hands on with titles including The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening, Luigi’s Mansion 3, Dragon Quest 10 S, Pokémon Sword and Shield and even that highly-anticipated The Witcher 3 port.
New gameplay is all very well and good but if you like nothing more than a good competition then you’ll want to tune into Nintendo’s one-off Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Gamescom 2019 Invitational on August 22. The event will start streaming on Nintendo’s YouTube channel in the afternoon and will see players go head to head for the chance to be flown to Japan for the Ultimate World Challenge Cup held in October.
Unfortunately there’s not been any mention of the newly announced Nintendo Switch Lite, but we’re hoping Nintendo will have some surprises up its sleeve.
Nvidia will be at Gamescom 2019, but its unlikely it will have any new graphics cards to show off, much less an entire generation like it did last year. However, Nvidia is going out of its way to show off ray tracing by announcing a range of games that will now feature the technology.
These include Synched: Off-Planet which will use ray-traced reflections and shadows, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare remake, which comes with ray-traced shadows and new downloadable content for Metro Exodus called The Two Colonels.
The upcoming Watch Dogs: Legion will also get ray-traced reflections, and Dying Light 2 will get real-time ray tracing.
However, perhaps the biggest news is that Minecraft will be getting ray tracing support in a free update. One of the most popular games in the world getting ray tracing is a big win for the budding technology, which can drastically improve the quality of shadows, lighting and other graphical effects.
We’ve also seen some rumors of a possible RTX 2080 Ti Super, but we suggest you don’t get too excited about that. However, if you recently dropped stacks on an expensive Nvidia Turing graphics card, Nvidia has plenty of new games to show off that take advantage of those RT and Tensor cores.
While we do know that Intel is going to be at Gamescom this year, we really don’t know what it’s going to have to offer. If we were to hazard an (optimistic) guess, Intel would take this gaming event to show off its answer to AMD Ryzen 3rd Generation. But, we wouldn’t get our hopes up.
What we could see happening is Intel taking its recent announcement of Ice Lake processors and the Gen11 graphics that are packed in, and let gamers know what it means for them. And, we might even get some updates about Intel Xe graphics cards – Gamescom seems like the perfect place for that.
Still, we don’t really know what Intel has up its sleeve, so we’ll just have to wait and see.
Dell and Alienware at Gamescom
Dell and Alienware will also be present at the European gaming show, and while we’re not sure what to expect, you can bet they’ll have some slick gaming hardware to show off. Whether its the latest in accessories, a new Alienware desktop PC or something nobody sees coming, we don’t know what we’re in for.