Both Nintendo and Microsoft were conspicuous in their absence from the 2012 edition of Gamescom, the world's largest video games expo, but both will be returning to Cologne in 2013.
Skipping out in 2012 had given more prominent platform time to Sony in its promotion of the PlayStation 3, portable Vita, and growing roster of innovative, exclusive, or indie-flavored games.
But this year, both Microsoft and Sony will be launching new Xbox and PlayStation consoles, with Gamescom providing an opportunity to flesh out the details after grand showings at the Electronic Entertainment Expo, Los Angeles, in June.
And this week senior representatives from Xbox Europe (Graeme Boyd) and Xbox Live (Larry Hryb) confirmed the company's intention to grandstand at Gamescom.
Nintendo, too, has work to do, building on the portable 3DS's attractive library of games, and persuading press and punters alike of the Wii U's viability in the face of new, more powerful Xbox and PlayStation competition.
Sony announced the PlayStation 4 in February, showing a controller, part of the interface, and a selection of games, demos and entertainment apps, but not the machine itself, while Microsoft is to unveil the new Xbox on May 21.