PAX this year almost felt like a PC convention, with its bevy of peripheral and component companies displaying all the latest and greatest tech they had to offer. It’s a great time to be a PC gamer – when isn’t it though? – with some exciting new tech on the way and some vast improvements to existing stuff. Here’s what we got excited about.
You want peripherals? We got peripherals.
If you’re in the market for a shiny new mouse or keyboard then PAX had plenty for you. From the latest and greatest Logitech offerings through to the brightest of Corsair’s RGB boards, there was something here for everyone. These days it feels like two things are true when it comes to peripherals; everything must have lights and everything must be mechanical. Thankfully we’re moving past the days of high dpi’s and other fancy specs and getting down to the pointy end of peripheral tech: how shiny is it? Really though, with the rise of PC gaming this kind of exposure to all of the different brands is great for consumers. It’s rare that you get to touch and use products before you buy them, but this year’s PAX gave potential buyers a great testing ground.
Finally, of course, there’s VR. By my reckoning something like 70% of all booths outside of the PAX rising had some sort of VR setup. Part of this is obviously to draw in the punters who haven’t yet tried the new technology to their booth, but it works both ways. Now a whole bunch of people who maybe hadn’t tried VR yet have had a taste of the emerging technology and can see what it’s all about. While there isn’t a huge variation in games yet – most revolve around solving puzzles or standing in place shooting stuff – this kind of exposure inevitably leads to more interest which leads to more games. With big companies like MSI creating “VR Backpacks” and peripheral manufacturers getting into the game early too, it’s hard not to see this technology taking off.
Zowie goes old school
Remember how old games always looked better in your head then they do when you fire them up today? That’s not just you, turns out that’s due at least in part to monitor technology (and maybe some rose coloured glasses). Back in the day everyone played on CRT monitors or TVs that don’t suffer from resolution or blurring the same way current LCD panels do. So how do you fix that? Well if you’re Zowie, you find a way to emulate the smooth and blur free CRT experience on an LCD screen. Sounds impossible, right? I thought so too until I tried it. I’m not sure how they worked their black magic, but I can’t wait to get my hands on one of their new monitors.
LG chases The Next Big Thing™
While Zowie is set on bringing the past back in the best way possible, LG are firmly focussed on what will be the next big thing. According to Russ Prendergast from LG, it’s all about high refresh rates and dense pixels. “I think what you’re starting to see now is with all the publishers and the games they’re developing they’re getting into more graphic detail,” he said, “so therefore you need to have graphic cards that can deliver higher or more dense graphics. Monitors need to be able to do the same thing.” That’s where LGs’ latest monitor comes in, sporting a 21:9 aspect ratio, 144hz refresh rate and the glorious colour of an IPS panel, and boy are they pretty. While 4K and 21:9 may be a pipe dream for most gamers for now, having companies like LG take a punt on the technology is what will eventually make it accessible for everyone.
So that’s it! That’s the tech that got us excited at PAX AUS 2016. Did you try anything that tickled your fancy? See anything new and cool you think we missed? Let us know!