Don’t relax just yet, because the Microsoft PR train isn’t slowing down any time soon. According to a report by CVG, Microsoft is planning an hour-long press conference for this years Gamescom European conference.
Microsoft’s presence at Gamescom is typically not substantial. According to Polygon, the company hasn’t had a conference since 2005 and last year Microsoft skipped the conference altogether.
With the release of the upcoming console and the PR difficulties, Microsoft probably needs all the mindshare it can get. While the U.S. and Japan belong undeniably to Microsoft and Sony respectively, Europe has been a tougher market. The two companies are virtually equal in global sales, but the U.K. is the only country in Europe where Microsoft shows a notable lead while Sony is far more popular in the rest of the continent.
Another likely reason for the increased presence this year is the addition of Phil Harrison, formerly of Sony, as Microsoft’s corporate vice president of their Interactive Entertainment Business. As a former Sony executive, he may see more value in the show than previous leaders have, and may have, as CVG suggests, a deeper insight into the elements of success in the region.
We’ll likely see a release date for the console at the show, finally, along with some of the other exclusives the company has hinted at throughout its last two press briefings. We hope that, like E3, the focus will be on the games and not the services. Microsoft hasn’t officially announced this so there’s no information available yet about when the conference will be, but Gamescom takes place from August 21-25, and we can bet the conference will be close to the beginning of the show.
But not before Sony’s again. We saw how that went.