The announcement was made via Major Nelson’s Xbox Live blog:
[quote] This year, Xbox will be focusing on smaller, more localized promotions and experiences for press, partners, retailers and customers around the world. Which means that as you might have seen on some of the news sites today, we won’t be taking part in gamescom or Tokyo Games Show this year. [/quote]
The news is telling given how Microsoft’s E3 conference was widely considered to have been lacking any substantial announcements. They’ve likely looked at the cost and realised there’s no need to spend tens of thousands of dollars and potentially hundreds of man-hours on setting up an event in a foreign country just to echo their E3 presentation. Maybe Halo 4, Forza Horizon, Gears of War: Judgement and Splinter Cell: Blacklist really are the final triple-A Xbox 360 exclusives that MS have left to deploy?
While Nintendo have also chosen to pass up gamescom (they’ll almost certainly still be at their native TGS), Sony have confirmed they will be at the show. Let’s hope they finally show us those much-promised Vita games, eh?