Well hello, and don't *you* look just lovely this afternoon.
EA did a show. There was a dog.
Commendably, someone at EA is a bit fuzzy on how time zones work, and so while the start time of this is advertised as 6.30pm CET - which is 6.30pm BST - we believe they actually mean 6.30pm CEST, which translates as 5.30pm over here.
I mean, it's not as if such details are that important, right?
The mind boggles at the incompetency on display.
Anyway, EA! In the spirit of last year's gamescom show - and indeed last night's Microsoft show - let's go into this one expecting absolutely nothing.
The bar has been set low, and it's now up to EA to limbo under it.
I think EA going to be shown in a far better light after last night anti-climatic of a show!Still went and preordered Xbox One X though!
Ha, that's the spirit! If I had the money I'd have done the same too.
Peter is no Moore, of course, so I'm expecting a healthy helping of Patrick Söderlund.
We are due a look at Battlefront 2's space battles, which does excite me (and yes, it has leaked a little already), plus maybe something on the new Need for Speed, which excites me a little less.
Martin, I'm out of orange juice and kitkats! ...though I suspect today's show will demand popcorn instead.
I'm going downstairs to the shop below the Brighton office in a tick. Are those new cookie dough KitKats alright with you?
Good lord that looks incredible. I don't even mind if they just show that again a bit later on.
I'm here and I brought caramel bars for everyone.
Alright Martimoomoo. What's the big breaking news coming out of gamescom right now?
The breaking news is that I'm broken and it's only Monday. And I'm not even in Germany.
How likely is it that we get new game announcements?
Let's just say not very likely at all, and if anything happens we can all be pleasantly surprised.
Martin, did the wine last night break you?
I only had like a glass! Or two. What broke me was not being able to sleep from all the excitement of it all, then having to get up at 5.15am to come down to Brighton.
34 minutes to go! In the meantime Blizzard is having a little stream of its own, for what we believe will be a new Overwatch map. Think of it as an aperitif.
'Aperitif? What do I want those for? I've already got a pair of teeth' etc etc.
Oooooh, look everyone! An auditorium, with chairs all facing a stage!
Also, wasn't that a Bob Monkhouse joke?
Probably, I steal most of my stuff off him. All of which reminds me of this, for some reason.
It already looks more like a conference than last year's event. Though it's definitely not a conference. Stop calling it a conference!
Martin, are you on the wine again?I'm trying to decide between pear cider and and a glass of merlot.
I'm in the office, so I'm on the tap water. It's probably more intoxicating, to be honest.
This countdown confirms that the published times were out of whack.
Which makes me curiously furious. Ooooooh, I'm going to write one hell of a hot take on this.
If you're wondering what you're missing out on with the Blizzard stream, all the Blizzard nerds in the office are watching with headphones on and giving disapproving looks and tutting at their screens.
And we're about to get the Overwatch tease - Junkertown, a new map, has been confirmed.
Sorry to hijack the EA report. Just keeping you informed, innit.
Under 15 minutes!
Well, this can't be worse than the MS conference. However, if they also go with reheated E3 trailers, it can still be on par. Which is what I'm expecting, for the most part.
Let's set the bar a little lower. I'm expecting trailers from last year's E3. All being streamed at 240p.
You know, maybe the problem doesn't lie with the companies, but with the number of trade shows. Within three months you have E3, Gamescom and TGS. There's only so many new games you can develop and announce within that time. And if you dare miss one of the shows, everyone will be like "wtf, why did they not partecipate? Do they have no confidence in their lineup?"
I also think these events are becoming largely irrelevant and it's an increasingly old-fashioned model that shouldn't really exist anymore.
But I really like a bit of corporate theatre so a part of me never wants them to die.
Should we expect major announcements here? I'm guessing some Sims stuff and some Battlefront stuff, but not much in the way of big news.
I think your expectations are set about right.
Three minutes! And already I can hear TIE Fighters.
Oooooh, I was trying not to get excited.
Because I know how it always ends. First with the anticipation, then the disappointment and the snark and finally that horrible empty feeling.
Watching this timer run down is both intoxicating and a little bit *too* exciting. My heart is genuinely racing.
Phew, it's gone.
And we have the sizzzzle. Star Wars, FIFA, Need for Speed, NBA and Madden - all the usual suspects.
We're go, straight into a FIFA trailer.
It's no PES, but yeah it does look alright.
Don't see Usain Bolt in this, do you?
That's a very upbeat trailer. And now, Patrick Söderlund.
It's a 60 minute show, clock watchers.
They put the teleprompter a bit too high, I think. He's not a short lad, this Patrick, but he's having to crane his neck and gaze upwards to catch his lines.
Bet whoever placed it was the same person who made the CET/CEST poo-poo.
Here's Battlefront 2 though!
This is the trailer we saw already - a mucky version leaked ahead of time, so EA pushed the proper one live early.
I'm perfectly happy to watch it again, mind.
And we've a shoutcaster, along with a producer from Criterion - those Burnout chaps who now do the vehicles in Star Wars games.
We're about to see some proper gameplay. It won't be brief, so settle in.
This is pre-recorded, by the way. We start on an A-Wing, then see a TIE Bomber. This is more objective based than what we saw in vanilla Battlefront.
I had a real soft spot for Fighter Squadron in the original Battlefront. It was the simplest part of an already pretty straightforward game, but the spectacle was something else.
Also, unless we're going to get one hell of a reveal at the end of this, it looks like the air-to-ground combat that everyone was hoping for from this sequel - a mainstay of the originals, of course - isn't going to feature.
I mean, never say never. But yeah.
We're onto the next phase of the fight, with the rebels having to penetrate the base.
There are more defined hero ships - Poe Dameron's X-Wing, Darth Maul's invisible fighter and Boba Fett's Slave One, all fighting together.
Love me a bit of rebel penetration.
With Phase 2 done and the shield protectors down, the rebels now have to take down power couplings to expose the core.
I'm a Star Wars idiot so I was always going to be partial to this, but... This looks splendid.
AI corvettes are part of the show too, moving slowly through the map to assist the Rebels.
And with the Star Destroyer done, that's victory for the Rebels.
And that's quite a fine looking video game.
Just imagine if they had 64 (or 128) player battles fought simultaneously on the ground and in space.What a glorious thing that would be.
Madness. It could never happen.
That was Battlefront 2. And now an advert for... BMW?
Oh, it's DTM driver Bruno Spengler!
No relation to Egon, of course.
This is awkward.
Do they know that none of us watching this can actually afford a car - let alone a new shiny one like this?
I'm pretty convinced I'm the only person watching this who knew who Bruno Spengler was before this.
And even I'm not that impressed.
Need for Speed everyone! They've only gone and locked up a BMW.
It's okay, it's free now and is driving around the auditorium.
This is some old school press conference awkwardness.
This is what I live for. This is what I wake up in the morning and pray for.
A DTM driver looking really awkward on stage next to a BMW he just drove really slowly some 4 metres.
I dream of moments like this.
And when I dream them, Bruno says exactly what he just said there.
Bruno clearly wants to be elsewhere. If only he knew how happy he's just made me.
That was wonderfully naff. Not quite Pele, but baby steps - we're getting back to that level of artful inanity.
Good job EA.
I was so lost in the moment I forgot there's a game they're talking about. Need for Speed Payback, the next part in EA's continuing quest to attempt to channel some of the cash-printing magic that is the Fast & Furious film franchise.
This time out their answer is returning to the dramatics and storytelling of Need for Speed: The Run, as fans have been requesting for years.
I'm still going to play the socks off that when it comes out in November. It looks brilliant in parts, awful in others. We wouldn't want it any other way with Need for Speed, really.
Now, an announcement for The Sims 4.
The Sims 4 is coming to console, and The Sims Mobile is also featuring at Gamescom.
Here's the big announcement though - The Sims 4 Cats & Dogs expansion pack.
I don't know this dog.
This is incredible.
It's a celebrity dog.
Good lord. This is press conference gold.
This is up there with Pele's monologue.
Genuinely made up.
I just got away from googling the dog and turned back to the stream and now the dog is gone.
Bring back the dog.
Wes tells me that Jiff Pom previously featured in a Katy Perry video.
I'm sorry Mr. Caffeine, I'm now officially over you. It's Jiff Pom and Jiff Pom only from now on for me.
It's time for EA Originals, and we're getting another look at Fe.
Oh, hey, that's that cultural appropriation Katy Perry video.
Isn't that all of them?
Here's Fe - which is now also coming to Switch.
I'm still thinking about that dog.
That was EA's now regular section of its conferences where it finds a dishevelled man from the local coffee shop and gets him to come out on stage and show us all whatever he was working on on his MacBook.
Fe is perhaps the most self-aware title for a game with indie aspirations. It's, well, fey.
Battlefield 1 expansion now thanks.
Battlefield 1, new class: Jiff Pom.
There's a new mode coming that's tailored towards spectating as much as it is competing - so a play for the ol' esports?
Incursions is the name.
5v5 battles. It's an ooosppprt.
Players get to choose their kits before they head into battle - oooh, it's hard to get a bead on any detail in this really.
Beneath the vague buzzwords, it's basically a boiled-down competitive mode for Battlefield that's designed to be more palatable for spectators. It does look rather good.
Closed alpha coming in September.
That was a surprise - this is something we know a little about, In The Name of The Tsar, the new expansion.
We're going to see some gameplay from a new map.
And there's a Game of the Year edition called Battlefield Revolution. It includes the base game and all four expansion packs.
I really need to go back to Battlefield 1.
DS2 is the best DS
3DS is the best! Oh, wait...
We're seeing the new map, and a game of Conquest.
I think this stream will see us out of what's been a low key show, but you know what - I've kind of enjoyed it.
We've had a proper look at some new games, some detailed updates.
And they got a dog out on stage.
Not just any dog! Jiff Pom.
I think we're about to see a new arms race when it comes to shows like this, and it's going to be all about Pomeranians.
In case anybody's wondering, the eclipse has better shoutcasters.
I hope you're shoutcasting it yourself.
I think the BF segment is going on rather too long...
It is rather, isn't it? Battlefield maps have never been the punchiest affairs, and I think they're going to show the whole thing here.
Lovely cathedral, though.
We're running out of time for any glimpses of Anthem.
Battlefield matches can go on a bit too long when you're playing them. When you're just watching them...
Well, that was Battlefield 1.
A fine game, a great looking expansion. But maybe a bit *too* much gameplay.
There's a balance that can be struck, is all I'm saying.
Still some nice surprises with the Incursions for Battlefield 1. I'll take that.
I think that's a wrap.
Do you remember that dog though?
Look at that little chap go!
I mean, I could do this all night.
Actually, it's quite likely I will do this all night. It's me, you and a bottle of cheap red wine tonight, google image search.
And with that, I bid you farewell. See you tomorrow for more Gamescom, and have a grand night.