Improved game controls are among the highlights of Gamescom, Europe's largest computer games fair. Hundreds of thousands of visitors are expected to attend the event.
About 50 million games are sold annually in Germany
Visitors to Gamescom can expect to see some 200 new titles from 505 exhibitors and have a look at a new generation of controllers that - literally - move the gaming industry, the trade fair's organizers said.
"I hope that the visitors in Cologne will be able to try out a few world novelties," Cologne Fair director Oliver Kuhrt told the dpa news agency.
In addition to Nintendo's Wii, which has already successfully made use of gesture-based game controllers, Sony will present its Move controller for the PlayStation 3 and Microsoft's Kinetic, which does away with a controller and uses a sensor to respond to players' movements.
Appeal of multi-player games
Nintendo's Wii is going to get some gesture-based competition soon
Multi-player games are also expected to be among the fair's main attractions for gaming fans and game developers.
"Network-based games played on the Internet offer a lot of potential to the gaming industry," said Michael Kuhl of Turtle Entertainment in a statement. Some 77 percent of gamers said they are drawn to online games because of multi-player interaction, according to a poll by ECO, the German Internet industry association.
Kuhrt added that he was hoping the event would bring in more than the 245,000 visitors who attended Cologne's Gamescom premiere in 2009, adding that the show at the fair grounds would also be closely integrated with a parallel festival taking place in Cologne's city center, adding to the visitor numbers.
Gamescom opened to industry representatives and journalists on Wednesday. The public can visit the event from Thursday to Sunday.
Author: Sean Sinico (dpa, AP)
Editor: Cyrus Farivar