Reports from the road: PAX Australia Day 1

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After flying down last night and arriving at about 2am (thanks Tiger Airways) we—that’s me, my girlfriend Jean, and Jason, my Play Well Cup co-host—rocked up this morning to a huge enthusiastic crowd of gamers at PAX Australia. There were people from all stripes here today, and the action has been non-stop.

This morning we did our panel on gaming on the Mac, and I think it went really well. We dug into stacks of topics like Steam, Mac App Store, hardware, iOS and more. The audio will be posted a little bit later on. We even had a hashtag, which was really nice of someone to start (check #macpax).

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I also took a photo with my iPad mini. I was soundly mocked via Skitch. I regret nothing.

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The rest of the day we spent wandering the floor of the exhibition hall. We saw an Occulus Rift, and I got to spend a second playing a car game with one. Hopefully I will get more time tomorrow. It was pretty cool; kind of a bit weird and disorienting. I hope that’s a good thing.

I saw Moonglade—Australia’s best Starcraft player—try to win a match playing Protoss (his main race is Zerg). He got smoked, which was pretty funny.

We went and played some Saints Row IV, which was fine, but not incredibly impressive. Likewise, we also spent some time playing Mario World 3D which was also fine, but nothing ground breaking.

We also saw some rad merch. Here’s a Skyhook from Bioshock Infinite. I can be yours for the trifling sum of $130.

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The costumes were also in full force. Lots of anime, Zelda, lots of Dr. Who, lots of stormtroopers & Halo. Jean’s favourite was a couple dressed as the Lutece couple; mine was a guy in a crappy banana costume. Why would you wear a banana? The real question; why the hell not?

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Also spent some time in the console free play area. We played Boom Blox on the Wii, which is a game produced by Stephen Spielberg (weird, right?) and is tons of fun in 4-player mode. I love that at PAX you can just take some time to get off your feet and just enjoy some games.

A word on queues; there are lots.

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Don’t kid yourself; almost anything worth seeing at PAX you will have to queue for. Be ready for that. Take a phone battery extender case, an iPad, a Nintendo 3DS. Whatever it takes, because you will be waiting in lines.

Also, take your own food. I paid $9.50 for a godamn hotdog that I waited a half hour for. It was a good dog, but that’s beside the point.

In the end, we capped off the day with the Xbox One event.

It was big, loud and felt impressive. There were a few American-esque joke flops (“this goes together like Tim Tams and hot cocoa!” Cue tumble weeds) but I really enjoyed seeing the Kinect 2.0 demos live and in person.

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We’ll be back tomorrow, and now we’ve scoped the main floor, hope to check out more panels and events. I also want to play some board games, especially Small World.

See you there!

Reckoner had its humble beginnings way back in June of 2013.

Founded by James Croft, along with Peter Wells and Anthony Agius they created what would go on to become one of Australia’s most highly regarded and award winning independent tech blogs.

With its uniquely Australian voice Reckoner is committed to offering a “no-holds-barred” approach to its writing. Beholden to no one but its audience. Reckoner’s goal is to remain completely transparent and honour the trust it’s built with its faithful readership.

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