The Tech of PAX AUS
As is my habit, during PAX I wandered through the tech section, looking for things that jumped out at me, things that show some innovation. There are of course lots of bright chroma lights, fancy buzz words and loud presenters giving out free t-shirts to the adoring fans. However, beneath all of the glitz and glamour of these insanely large and seemingly expensive booths, there were a few things that really caught my eye, things that I could see myself investing in to improve my gaming experience.
Nvidia and Ray tracing.
Last year I got to see this technology in its home computer infancy. Everything was a little “PR spin” back then with very few titles using the tech, however, this year was different. This year I got to see a range of titles utilising this tech in ways that seems a little like black magic to be honest. Control, Remedy’s wonderful action hit from earlier in the year used it for reflections and shadows. This brought the world of Control to life in ways I didn’t think possible, amazing reflections in windows that even included the glow of Jesse’s gun and shadows that even showed the minute gaps between her ever-evolving weapon. It was pretty impressive. The other title I saw running was Metro Exodus. This was on show the year before but this time around they were showing the impressive lighting that comes about thanks to the expansion’s flamethrower. There is no getting around it, the ray tracing does some beautiful things with light and reflection.
But perhaps the most impressive visual improvement I saw was for Minecraft. Yes, you heard that right. There is nothing I can say that will make you think Minecraft looks impressive, so I am going to show you.
Impressive right? Who would have thought that Minecraft could be used to sell video cards?
Razer Turret for Xbox One
With the recent addition of keyboard and mouse support for certain titles on Xbox One, the need for a practical lounge keyboard solution has become more urgent. In steps Razer with the Razer Turret for Xbox One. This was a pretty impressive bit of gear. A mechanical keyboard built into a very stable desk that sits comfortably on your lap with an extendable mouse pad. The mouse pad is even slightly magnetised so the mouse doesn’t slip off while playing. It felt to me like a well thought out solution to the problem and while I doubt that the Turrent could replace a traditional keyboard and mouse, it is the best solution I have seen for sitting on your couch and still having the extra functionality a Keyboard and Mouse offers.
Alienware’s New Aurora
This year was the year of stupidly huge and insanely lit up PC cases. Everywhere I turned there seemed to be these behemoth systems that were the size of a VW and had more lights than an 80’s nightclub. Sure these pcs look great and I have to admit they have a certain appeal, they are just not practical for anyone that is lacking a dedicated room the size of an aircraft hanger. Alienware went a different direction however with their latest version of the Aurora range. Small, sleek and lightweight with an incredibly well designed with an easy to upgrade interior, the cases are subtle yet still eye-catching. If this was a car it would be a Jaguar or Rolls Royce in a field of loud Mustangs and frankly as I get older style and practicality is much more important to me than bling.
So there you have it, a couple of techie things that caught my eye during PAX AUS 2019. Now I just need to find the money to buy them all…