The very first PAX South convention went down this past weekend in here in the Lone Star State and we were fortunate enough to be there! Tens of thousands of fans showed up like The Flood and basically took over the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio for the weekend. We had never attended a PAX convention before so we weren’t really sure what to expect. We knew the focus was gaming of course what we saw, floored us…
Texas does do everything big! What we saw were booths that could rival those of SDCC! A fair amount of the booths were very elaborate, towering, and filled with the sounds and colors of some small clubs! Some of the heavy hitters like Twitch and Grey Box were on-deck in the very front of the exhibition hall and they had definitely pulled out all the stops. A lot of members from the gaming world were in attendance: exhibitors, programmers, devs, cosplayers (make sure to check out our photos!), collectible and apparel vendors, gamers, and general fans filled the multiple levels of the convention center. It wasn’t that easy to have a plan of attack and stick with it because at every turn, there was something else that would catch your eye and make you want to take a closer look. But we tried. Below you’ll see some of the standouts that we took special notice of while we were at PAX South. While there some things we missed out on, one thing is for sure….
We’ll be back there again in 2016.
As we strolled the show floor, we had to keep reminding ourselves to close our mouths to keep the drool in. This wasn’t an easy task to accomplish with industry leaders like MSI and Logitech showing off their goods. They had some of the sweetest gaming rigs and peripheral devices on display there running tech that is and isn’t available in stores. The games of choice for their demos? Borderlands and Evolve to name a few! Some familiar con favorite vendors were there as well ready to fulfill the needs of collectors and gamers alike.
Loot Crate carved out a corner and stood ready for those seeking those missed crates, exclusive Funko POP! vinyl figures, shirts, and more.
Glitch Gear of course made it to the show. You can’t be a gaming convention without having these guys there. If you don’t know Glitch, pause your game and check them out for the some of the best gaming tees and hats around featuring Bioshock Infinite, Portal 2, Half-Life 2 and more!
WeLoveFine brought their signature big, bubbly booth to the exhibition floor. Not only did they have a great selection (as always) of various fandom tees like Marvel and Adventure Time, but they also had fantastic gaming-inspired clothing from games like Team Fortress and Portal.
There was plenty to buy and of course not enough money to get it all. We did find two new products that look to breathe new life in your gaming experience. The first product is called the GlomTom which is going to make those all-night multiplayer sessions super comfortable. We were lucky to sit down and take one for a spin! Want more info? Check out our spotlight article for more details.
The other nifty product we saw was more on the tech side. If you’re looking to bring a more visceral gaming experience home but don’t want to don one of those “VR-Daft Punk-headsets”, you should look into the KOR-FX! While it may look like something your Rainbox Six loadout might call for, it’s actually perfect for us civilian gamers. When it’s not turning heads at CES, this immersion vest is bringing the experience you see on-screen and putting it on your upper body. In a nutshell, the mad scientists over at Immerz Inc. have gone above the era of rumble packs and into the realm of “acousto-haptic signals” which deliver precise hi-def signals to your chest cavity so you feel the game…..not just play it. Interesting right? Get the rundown from their site here.
And last but certainly not least…….the games. Ohhhh the games. There were plenty to play and see demos of while there. From big name releases to smaller but equally awesome indie games, there was no way you couldn’t find something that would grab you. There are other sites out there that covered the bigger games there like Grey Goo from Grey Box so we wanted to shed some light on some of the other games we noticed while at PAX South. Here’s a few that got our “honorable mentions” …
Black Ice – We LOVED this game!! This was hands down the game that had both of us looking at each other like “yeah….we may need to dust off our PC gaming skills.”
Description: “Black Ice is a cyberpunk first person shooter (FPS) with strong RPG elements. Think Borderlands meets Tron. Jack into cyberspace and make hacking runs on megacorp servers, but watch out for the dangerous Black Ice defending them!”
This War of Mine – Even though we didn’t get to play this one, we did take some photos and got some time to check it out. The folks playing this looked very intense and drawn into the game, which is always a good sign. The graphics were beautifully dark and gritty and you could tell they pretty much set the tone for the game. We’ll be getting the demo no doubt about it.
Description: “This War Of Mine provides an experience of war seen from an entirely new angle. For the very first time you do not play as an elite soldier, rather a group of civilians trying to survive in a besieged city. During the day snipers outside stop you from leaving your refuge, so you need to focus on maintaining your hideout. At night you get a chance to scavenge nearby locations for items that will help you stay alive. Make life-and-death decisions driven by your conscience. Try to protect everybody from your shelter or sacrifice some of them to endure the hardships. During war, there are no good or bad decisions; there is only survival. The sooner you realize that, the better.”
All in all, we had a great time. We got a chance to see terrific games that are coming out and on their way, try out some new tech that could very be our way back into PC gaming, see some funny panels like the Rooster Teeth crew, and just hang with fellow gamers. Being from and living in Texas, it’s pretty awesome that now we have a big name con like PAX here. We can’t see it going anywhere – fingers crossed – and we couldn’t be more thrilled. So Seattle, Boston, and Australia….watch out. Texas is on the map now. Long live PAX South!