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VR reigns at Cologne video game expo

dpa logodpa 17/08/2016

Germany's week-long Gamescom video game expo will showcase the latest virtual reality offerings from Microsoft and Electronic Arts.

Games and new devices transporting players into virtual reality will be the centrepiece of the week-long Gamescom video game expo in Cologne.

The event opened to the press on Wednesday and doors will open to the public on Thursday. Organisers expect around 500,000 visitors over the whole week.

Japanese entertainment company Sony plunged into virtual reality head first with their new headset Playstation VR. In comparison, software giant Microsoft is testing the waters more slowly.

For the most part, fans of the Xbox console want to play on a big screen, says Aaron Greenberg, Xbox's marketing manager.

On Tuesday, the company released the popular block-building game Minecraft in virtual reality. Players with the Windows 10 operating system and the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset can enter the virtual world through their PC.

A day before Gamescom, Microsoft presented its most recent innovations to a professional audience. The video game company Electronic Arts also previewed some games, providing the opportunity for enthusiasts to play before the exhibition.

"Gamescom is the only expo where we put our bestsellers in the hands of fans before going on the market," Greenberg said.

The trade fair includes a cosplay village where participants can dress in costume and compete for prizes, a beach-themed outdoor area and a hall which "time travels through the history of gaming," the Gamescom website said.

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