It may lack the impact and bombast of E3 but GamesCom is technically the largest video game convention in the so-called Western world. It’s taking place in Cologne this year – from 22nd to 26th August – and there are rumors that German president Angela Merkel will be stopping by. PlayStation is planning to play it lowkey but Microsoft and Nintendo both have big(ger) plans this year.

After taking a break for GamesCom 2016, Microsoft will be having a big presencethis year with the likes of Sea of Thieves and Forza Motorsport 7 on the show floor. Sadly, it doesn’t look like anyone should hold their breathe for anything new to play on the newly unveiled Xbox One X and other than some new trailers, it’s unlikely we’ll see anything from Microsoft that we didn’t at E3.

Project Scorpio

Nintendo will be featuring two livestreams this year – one for Super Mario Odyssey, and the other for Metroid: Samus Returns. A whole bunch of other Nintendo titles will be playable on the show floor as well.

Sony, on the other hand, won’t have much more than a booth on the show floor with all the games that we already saw at E3 earlier this year. It looks unlikely that we’ll hear anything in the way of announcements from them until Tokyo Games Show and their own dedicated Playstation Experience Convention.

EA Games, however, are another story entirely. Attendees can expect to see more of FIFA 18 – including a second look at Ultimate Team and details on its Switch edition – as well as NHL 18 and Madden NFL 18. Star Wars fans should look forward to seeing space battles in Battlefront 2 for the first time as well as additional Battlefield 1 content.

E-sports are more strongly represented at GamesCom 2017 than ever before. The ESL arena has one of the largest presences at the convention, covering 5000 square meters, and fans will be able to experience live tournaments, including Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Blade & Soul, CROSSFIRE, FIFA 17, League of Legends®, Project CARS and Rainbow Six: Siege. The summer season of the ESL championship is traditionally held at GamesCom; the premiere German e-sports competition.

Meanwhile, for those who want to try their hand at e-sports themselves, the ESL playground area will feature community tournaments for games like FIFA 17, Rocket League and Clash Royale as well as the Oculus VR title, The Unspoken.

Finally, visitors will be treated to three keynote addresses from gaming industry legends. Specifically, Brendan Greene, aka “Player Unknown”, the driving force behind the hugely popular PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, will discuss the creation of the stream phenomenon; followed by Richard Garriott, the mastermind behind the Ultima series; and Andy Tudor, the creative director of Slightly Mad Studios and the upcoming CARS 2.

Tudor will also be joined by professional racing driver Nicholas Hamilton and moderator Peter Smits, with whom he will discuss the upcoming racing title and the passion of the international racing game community.

Do you have your eye on anything in particular at GamesCom ’17? Are you heading to the show? Please let us know!