Gamescom 2017 is fast approaching and is shaping up to be another event worth watching for the VR industry. As Europe’s largest game industry event, it takes on the role as the European E3 for a lot of companies. Many exhibitors will showcase similar demos to the things already shown at GDC and E3, but plenty others will bring brand new experiences that have never been seen before. And make no mistake: Gamescom is massive. Last year over a third of a million people attendedthe event clocking in at 345,000 attendees. That’s nuts.
We don’t know a whole lot about what’s going to be shown this year yet, but we’ve put together this list all the same. As more bits come out of the show we’ll make sure to keep this list updated.
We don’t yet know what HTC will be showing at Gamescom, but we know the Vive team will be there. We’ve been told they’ll have a booth in partnership with AMD where they will be demoing “exciting new content” at the show. This could mean new Vive Studios titles, more Vive tracker demos, potential Knuckles prototypes hands-on opportunities, and much more. This could be a big show for HTC if they play their cards right. Oculus still has OC4 this October, so don’t expect anything from them in Germany.
We should have more information on this soon, but for now just know that Gamescom should yield some solid HTC Vive news.
Sparc (CCP Games)
We’ve played Sparc on several occasions and it’s a lot of fun. It plays out a little bitlike a Tron disc battle, except you’ve got a ball and shield instead of lethal discs. They’ve also instituted a single player mode as well so you’re not required to find someone else to play with.
It will be on display at Gamescom and is definitely worth checking out.
Unknown Fate (Marslit Games)
Every now and then a VR game comes out of nowhere and really surprises us. It’s easy to keep track of the big releases, but indie games have the unique ability to really take us by surprise with unseen potential. We don’t know much aboutUnknown Fate yet, other than it being a first-person adventure game with a spattering of enemies and surreal puzzles.
It’s coming to Rift and Vive later this year.
With the rest of this list we’re starting to get into the realm of speculation. Alienware/Dell is listed on the Exhibitor list for Gamescom, but we don’t actually know much about what they’re showing. We attended a preview event not long ago that’s still embargoed, so we expect much of what was at that event to be at Gamescom as well.
Again, Google hasn’t told us anything about what they’re showing. With the Daydream View and Pixel coming up on their first birthday it would certainly be exciting if they talked about successors, but that’s unlikely for Gamescom and will probably be at next year’s I/O instead.
They will probably just have a few Daydream View’s at their booth showing existing software.
We already put the HP Windows VR headset through its paces so Gamescom likely won’t have any big VR news from the company this year. You should expect mostly a focus on their actual hardware line of PCs and laptops.
We’re not holding our breath for anything big here.
With the Windows VR platform going through its dev phase right now via the HP, Acer, and eventually Dell and Asus VR headsets, we’d expect them to have some things along those lines to talk about. Maybe they’ll bring their Windows Mixed Reality controllers as well?
We’ll have to wait and see!
This is one of the companies that stood out most during the Vive X Batch Two Demo Day. They’ve got sensors to outline the face pad of headsets, wristbands with vibrations functionality, and a full-torso vest you can wear over your actual clothes. It’s the most elaborate system I’ve seen and really does seem to make a difference.
Expect to be able to demo their haptic sensors at Gamescom this year.
Indie Games Poland
According to information from PR agencies we know that a few VR titles will be on display at the Indie Games Poland area of Gamescom this year. Expected to be on display is horror title Syndrome from Bigmoon, and they will also be showing a new game from the same team called Erased. You’ll also see the likes of the Chernobyl VR Projec, Racket Fury: Table Tennis VR, Detached (shown abvove,) and Interkosmos.
It’s a good selection of recent and upcoming VR content.
Holocafé in Germany
From a press release: “The venue in Aachen will focus on virtual reality only, whereas the Troisdorf venue follows a store-in-store concept, combining lasertag and virtual reality in one location. The main attraction for both locations are multiplayer rooms for 2-4 players, in which they share the same physical and virtual space, allowing them to interact and communicate openly.” The Holocafé is planned to be unveiled at the Devcom Developer Conference.
At Holocafé there are some exclusively developed original games as well.
Other Games and Companies
When going through the list of exhibitors we know of a few more games and companies that are expected to be at Gamescom this year that will likely show off hardware and software that is relevant to the VR industry. We’ve provided a quick list for reference:
- Carpe Lucem – Seize the Light
- Headup Games
- Sony Interactive Entertainment
- Wizdish (ROVR treadmill, at the Unitymedia stand)