Whereas this year's E3 was bursting at the seams with leaks, gamescom 2016 is mostly devoid of rumours or pre-show announcements, largely down to platform holders shying away from the show for another year.
Instead, third-parties will fill the void with their own showcases, where we will hopefully see one or two surprises - whether it's something Star Wars-related from EA, or something Blizzard has up its sleeve. We'll have live blogs for the Blizzard and EA streams, which will be linked from here when they go live. Once each event is over, we'll then be linking to the biggest stories from each - handy for those who can't be around tonight, where the bulk of the streams are taking place.
What are Xbox and PlayStation showing at gamescom 2016?
Microsoft won't be broadcasting a press conference this year - the first time since 2013 - but it will have Gears of War 4, Forza Horizon 3, Halo Wars 2, ReCore and Sea of Thieves on the showfloor, so you can expect something new for all these. Just don't hold your breath for anything new on the recently-announced Project Scorpio, especially since it won't be out until late next year.
Sony isn't hosting a press conference either, once again in favour of a showcase later in the year, specifically a briefing in New York next month, tipped to be for PS4 Neo. They will, however, have a presence on the showfloor - including a few VR titles and Gran Turismo Sport - so we might hear something new there.
The big news from Xbox at gamescom so far:
- New 500GB and 1TB Xbox One S bundles announced
- Early Access coming to Windows 10 via Xbox One Preview programme
- ReCore's new trailer does a good job of showcasing Metroid Prime dev's next game
- Yes, there will be Project Scorpio VR exclusives
- Watch 15 minutes of gameplay from Sea of Thieves
The big news from PlayStation at gamescom so far:
Blizzard gamescom 2016 videos - starting Tuesday August 16th
- UK: 5:30pm (BST)
- Europe: 6:30pm (CEST)
- East Coast US: 12:30pm (EDT)
- West Coast US: 9:30am (PDT)
Blizzard is one of the few publishers who rolls into every gamescom with something to show, and they've promised some "new gameplay content" as part of a briefing video on the Tuesday night. Outside of a StarCraft HD rumour and a Bastion animated short later in the week, specifics are thin on the ground, but with Overwatch, World of Warcraft: Legion, Heroes of the Storm, Hearthstone, Diablo and StarCraft 2 there for attendees to play, expect something related for at least one of those games.
The big news from Blizzard at gamescom so far:
EA gamescom 2016 conference - Tuesday August 16th
- UK: 6:15pm (BST)
- Europe: 7:15pm (CEST)
- East Coast US: 1:15pm (EDT)
- West Coast US: 10:15am (PDT)
Where some publishers are shying away from this year's show, EA looks to have a healthy offering. Expect more on FIFA 17 - including a first look at Ultimate Team, new features and its mobile edition - and other sports games NHL 17 and Madden NFL 17. Most tantalising is "a look into our Star Wars games", according to a press release, and at 7pm and 8pm UK time respectively, dedicated streams for Titanfall 2 and Battlefield One; the latter featuring a look at a new map, trailer and something involving trains.
The big news from EA at gamescom so far:
- Battlefield 1 open beta launches this month
- Titanfall 2's open beta won't be on PC
- FIFA 17 partners with Man United, so PES 2017 partners with Liverpool
- Our first look at this year's FIFA Ultimate Team
- Watch: Titanfall 2's multiplayer wants to get its hooks into you
- Star Wars Battlefront's incoming new mode sounds incredible
Other announcements and predictions at gamescom 2016:The best Overwatch fan art Phwoarbjörn.
Other news from the show so far:
- There's a sneaky Half-Life 3 poster at gamescom
- Monster Boy gamescom trailer shows off six playable characters
- Frozenbyte announces new co-op dungeon crawlers Nine Parchments
- Call of Duty Infinite Warfare Zombies goes '80s, stars David Hasselhoff
- The first post-Kojima Metal Gear is a co-op survival game set in an alternate reality
- Konami tries to explain Metal Gear Survive's ridiculous story
- LEGO Dimensions' Supergirl will be exclusive to PS4
- Yooka Laylee's ice level lets you transform into a snowplough
- Nier Automata is also coming to PC
- Digital Foundry: Hands on with PS4 Rise of the Tomb Raider
What to expect from other major publishers and studios:
Expect a few Destiny announcements with a Rise of Iron stream starting on Tuesday 16th August at 6pm UK time (7pm CEST, 10am PST). Expect to hear a lot about new Crucible modes, maps and features, and for those who aren't a fan of player-versus-player combat, Bungie also teased new glimpses of social space Felwinter Peak and the Plaguelands setting too.
Following its announcement and spin-off demo at E3, Resident Evil 7 is expected to be shown in full at gamescom, which was pre-empted by a teaser on green herbs and healing items. Maybe we'll finally find out what the demo's dummy finger is actually for?
Expect new demos of South Park: The Fractured But Whole, Watch Dogs 2, Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Wildlands, and VR games Star Trek: Bridge Crew and Eagle Flight. Expect some new impressions and details of all these, as well as a world first behind-the-scenes look at the Assassin's Creed movie.
- The Crew gets a police-themed expansion this year
- Ubisoft's extreme winter sports game Steep sets release date
- Ubisoft VR games Star Trek: Bridge Crew, Eagle Flight, Werewolves Within get release dates
The week's coverage is continuing with some new minor reveals (release dates, new trailers) as well as comments from producers, executives and other developers as journalists get stuck into sessions. As we imagined, this year's gamescom is certainly no E3, but least we got to feast our eyes on a new Metal Gear and a new Overwatch map, eh?