Thousands flock to Cologne’s gaming mecca

Gamescom, the world's largest gaming industry event, opened to the public on Thursday in Cologne with thousands of fans excited to get a glimpse of the future of gaming.

Thousands flock to Cologne's gaming mecca
A video game fan dressed as Cammy from Super Street Fighter playing the combat game at Gamescom in Cologne. Photo: DPA.

Decked out in the garb of their favourite virtual characters, thousands of gamers from around the world swarmed the seventh annual Gamescon video gaming fair in Cologne on Thursday.

With more than 300,000 visitors annually and 800 companies exhibiting this year, Gamescom is the largest gaming event worldwide.

The first public day saw previews of the latest instalments of top-selling titles like Final Fantasy, Halo and Metal Gear Solid.

Robots, warriors and aliens alike could be seen at the “cosplay” village where fans clad as gaming heroes and villains could show off their sometimes handmade regalia, enter costume contest or even fix up their duds at a repair station.

Video game fans, like the ones pictured above, often dress as their favourite characters to attend the convention. Photo: DPA.

The Iron Man Germany team took the cosplay concept to a new level this year by turning a Ford Mustang into a Transformer.

Other gamers were tuned into a world of their own, seemingly outside the convention walls, with prototypes of virtual reality devices, such as Sony's Project Morpheus or Oculus Rift strapped to their heads.

A Gamescom visitor tries out Sony's Project Morpheus virtual reality headset. Photo: DPA.

Others got a chance to immerse themselves in the hyper-real imagery of war game Call of Duty on high-resolution 4K screens at graphic processing company Nvidia's exhibit.

But digital gaming possibilities are no longer just limited to a TV or computer screen. Tablets and smart phones have opened up new markets for game designers. 

“This is a great opportunity to open up to new target groups,” Electronic Arts Germany head Jens Kosche told DPA.

“Someone who tries a game on a smart phone will also want to try it sometime on a TV.”

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