Is Games Convention Leipzig the new E3? That's the question that's been asked numerous times since E3 downscaled, and as the show is practically upon us it's a little easier to make a judgement. It seems that the event won't be quite as spectacular as the E3 of old, but we're expecting numerous new game announcements and plenty of hands-on time with the biggest games of winter 2007.
The big difference between E3 and Games Convention is that for the majority of the time it's open to the general public. All the platform holders are busy setting up their booths for the public side of the event, and they're joined by the likes of EA, Activision, SEGA, Konami, Ubisoft and Atari. Sure, a few of the bigger titles will only be on display behind closed doors, but European gamers have no better way to sample this year's heavy hitters.
As for our coverage, we'll be bringing you daily news updates and reports on the best titles we see each day. Expect Leipzig updates starting on Wednesday and running throughout the week, including exclusive video content and much more.
Sierra seems to have one of the most impressive line-ups at Games Convention. As well as showing off The Bourne Conspiracy, World in Conflict, Geometry Wars Galaxies and TimeShift, the publisher will show a couple of titles for the first time. World in Conflict will make its Xbox 360 debut, Shape shifting action game Prototype will be unveiled and a completely new game will be shown.
Long running franchises are expected to be the main titles on show from Activision. We're expecting to see the likes of Call of Duty 4. Tony Hawk's Proving Ground, Guitar Hero 3, Enemy Territory: Quake Wars and Spider-Man Friend or Foe.
The giant of the video games industry is expected to have the largest presence at Games Convention. Of the huge list of titles expect coverage of Spore, FIFA 08, The Simpsons Game, Battlefield Bad Company, Crysis, Orange Box and Burnout Paradise.
With titles as highly anticipated as Assassin's Creed and Haze among the publisher's line-up, Ubisoft shouldn't have any trouble attracting attention at Games Convention. Also expect coverage of Far Cry 2, EndWar, Beowulf, Dark Messiah of Might and Magic: Elements and Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway.
The big guns will be out in force at Games Convention. We'll be stopping by Microsoft's behind closed doors demos of Halo 3, Project Gotham Racing 4 and Mass Effect. If those three don't get you excited then maybe gaming isn't the right hobby for you.
Nintendo will be hosting tours of their booth and the titles on show are anyone's guess. Metroid Prime 3: Corruption and Super Mario Galaxy are practically dead certs, but what else will we see? Perhaps some Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Battalion Wars II, Wii Fit and The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass.
Sony Computer Entertainment
All of Sony's Q4 2007 titles should be out in force. Lair, Heavenly Sword, Uncharted: Drake's Fortune and Ratchet and Clank Future: Tools of Destruction should please PS3 owners, while Gran Turismo 5 Prologue and SingStar for PS3 should attract gamers still unsure about the console. The PSP should get some love too, most notably from God of War: Chains of Olympus.
Midway's triple whammy of action titles should get pulses racing across Leipzig. Stranglehold brings John Woo's cinematic style to next-gen platforms, Blacksite will excite fans of the paranormal and Epic's Unreal Tournament 3 will have multiplayer gamers headshoting with joy.
The publisher that Sonic built has quite a mixture on offer at Leipzig. On the Wii we'll be seeing light-gun game Ghost Squad and fan favourite Nights: Journey of Dreams. Next-gen gamers should be in for a treat too, with The Club, SEGA Rally, Condemned 2, and a brand-new game from The Creative Assembly.
Best of the rest
Eidos will be showing off Age of Conan and Kane and Lynch, Disney Interactive Studios will have Turok on hand to fend off pesky dinosaurs and Atari will demo the much delayed but highly anticipated Alone in the Dark. 2K Games will be revealing some new titles and Rockstar is set to take the lid off the next game in the Midnight Club series.
Konami will be making a big deal out of Pro Evolution Soccer 2008 and Silent Hill 5, Capcom will be showing the Xbox 360 version of Devil May Cry 4 for the first time and Ferrari Challenge from System 3 will make its debut. Rounding things off we have Bethesda Softworks with their follow-up to Oblivion, Fallout 3.
And that's your lot. There are bound to be a few surprises too, so check back throughout the week and beyond for impressions, news and a lot more.