Sony announces PlayStation 4 launch date and Microsoft reveals indie developers programme
Sony announces PlayStation 4 will launch in the UK on November 29 while Microsoft gives details of its indie developers programme at Gamescom in Cologne
Sony has finally revealed when we can get our mitts on the eagerly awaited PlayStation 4!
November 29 is the date UK gamers will be able to get their hands on the next-generation console and with Microsoft's Xbox One coming in the same month we're limbering up for a full-blown war of the next-generation consoles.
Both machines have been getting us hot under the collar since they were first unveiled at bells and whistles events earlier this year.
The November 29 launch date for PS4 also applies to other European countries including Austria, Germany and Sweden. But us Brits won't be the first to be given the chance to buy the machine. It will be launched in the US and Canada a fortnight earlier, on November 15.
Sony says it already has a million pre-orders, a figure hailed as "pretty impressive" by Seth Barton of technology website Expert Reviews.
But when will Xbox One launch?
We already knew Microsoft was planning to launch Xbox One in November, however a specific date has yet to be announced.
Anticipation is reaching fever-pitch and the news racking up masses of headlines because it is seven years since the last PlayStation and eight years since the previous Xbox.
But how will the announcement of PS4's release date affect that for Xbox One?
Barton reckons Microsoft may now want to "get in first and launch a week or two before Sony".
However another analyst was unsure of how relevant giving a specific release date would be when it came to us deciding which next-gen machine we will be buying.
Lewis Ward, a games expert at the consultants IDC, told the BBC: "If it turns out that the PS4 goes on sale a week before the Xbox One, for example, then clearly Sony will have time to itself to make some hay.
"But until we know when Microsoft is going to land I'm not sure what putting the date out there does much beyond making a news story - it won't change people's buying intentions."
Sony announces new PS4 games
Sony announced the news at its press conference at the Gamescom show in Cologne, Germany. It also lifted the lid on a number of previously unannounced PS4 games coming our way.
Among them was Shadow of the Beast, a remake of a 1980s Commodore Amiga title, for those of us who like to keep our gaming as retro as our trainers.
A post-apocalyptic title from the developers of Dead Ester was also announced, called Everybody's Gone To Rapture. Meanwhile, PS4 buyers can also look forward to a version of the Xbox and PC classic, Minecraft.
Microsoft making life easier for indie developers
Xbox was also flogging its wares at Gamescom, with Microsoft announcing moves to attract small developer teams to make games for Xbox One.
Indie developers will be offered free Xbox One development kits as part of the ID@Xbox self-publishing programme.
The move redresses the balance after Sony spent much of its E3 show in June talking about independent developers while Microsoft did not.
Development teams qualifying for the programme will have to have a proven track record of shipping games on a console, PC or mobile device, Microsoft said.
It should also be easier for us to find self-published games in the Xbox One marketplace too.
Microsoft said they'll show up in the main Xbox One store rather than in a separate area, and that gamers will be able to see what is trending with their friends and the wider gaming community.
There will also be some expert guidance on hand to help choose such games, with an 'editor picks' selection planned.
Free FIFA 14 with Xbox One
Most gamers have a soft spot for FIFA, do it's not a massive surprise Microsoft is offering a free copy of the next instalment in the football franchise with Xbox One pre-orders.
Xbox One and Xbox 360 owners can also look forward to exclusive FIFA 14 content, including an ultimate team legends mode which pits old-school legends among the top players in the modern game.
So there's a round up of what went on at Gamescom from the camps of PS4 and Xbox One.
Now all we have to do is wait patiently until November to get our hands on them for real.
Which one will you be buying, Xbox One or PlayStation 4? Let us know below…