Microsoft Studios boss Phil Spencer and honorary military man Larry "Major Nelson" Hryb have been chatting about Xbox One's Gamescom line-up, via the Major's latest podcast. The conversation plays it safe for the most part, but there's talk of a "unique exclusive" and "Europe's biggest franchise", to debut during the manufacturer's presentation on Tuesday morning.
It's possible "Europe's biggest franchise" refers to an already announced game or partnership, such as the arrival of World of Tanks (around 60 million registered players) on Xbox 360. Keep your expectations in check, if you can.
Known quantities slated to appear at Microsoft's booth - the "biggest booth we've ever had", according to Spencer - include Forza, Dead Rising 3, Ryse: Son of Rome, Project Spark, Minecraft, Killer Instinct, Zoo Tycoon and Titanfall, all playable and said to be representative of launch day functionality. Spencer recently had a chance to sample a new Ryse level, and says the Crytek brawler is coming along nicely in terms of both presentation and combat.
"I look at all the great work going on - first party, second party, third party - and I think there are some things that are going to surprise," he said at one point. Quick, what's the most surprising thing you can think of? I managed: an Xbox One in a pink frilly dress, ecstatically hurling cookie dough at the audience with a large wooden ladle.
Spencer thinks we're seeing a "real Renaissance in the game development community", thanks to an explosion of gaming devices, and reckons Xbox One will carry the day with its any-console-can-be-a-devkit functionality. "Our vision is that some day soon you'll be able to take your retail kit and turn it into a development kit," he reiterated, suggesting that Team Dakota's world creation sim Project Spark might serve as a stepping stone.
Last but very much not least, Spencer revealed that Microsoft will give away an Xbox One every hour on Tuesday at Gamescom. Should you be among the lucky sods who nab one - I've already given Aoife strict instructions of the "loitering with intent" variety - you can expect the prize on release day in November.
Watch out for the bulk of the news in the morning, though there's also an evening community event. We'll have it all here, of course, but you can also follow developments via #xboxgamescom and the Xbox NewsWire. Neither the morning nor the evening event will be streamed, alas.