Almost one month ago to the date, a colleague of mine claimed that Gamescom was Microsoft’s opportunity to fight back against Sony’s hold over the European console market. Indeed, Sony opted against hosting a press conference, and Nintendo is suspiciously absent from the 180,000 square meters of German marketing space, as well as the odd 400,000 event visitors and countless others on live streams. As a result, Microsoft found itself in a metaphorical boxing ring with no competitors.
One might be forgiven for thinking, then, that Microsoft would follow the trend and provide a rather terse briefing at Gamescom. However, the company made no such mistakes. Xbox head Phil Spencer vowed to bring at least three big exclusive titles to the table alongside "a real show" and strong first-party support, and Microsoft delivered. As it was, before the doors of Gamescom even opened, Microsoft was in a position to gain some much-needed ground in Europe.