Introduction, expert discussion panels, hardware workshop
Final day features hardware workshop and Quake Live tourney finals
The final day of Quakecon 2012 featured more expert discussion panels from leaders in the gaming industry about the latest games people at Quakecon were excited about like Dishonored, Halo 4, and Borderlands 2 to name a few. We also hosted our annual hardware workshop and gave away more than $30,000 worth of hardware and prizes to over 2,000 workshop attendees!
The BYOC area and exhibit hall also reached capacity for Quakecon attendees to see the semi-finals for the annual Bawls chugging competition and play in Tribes: Ascend mini tournaments at the Alienware exhibit. We also got a demonstration of John Carmack's original prototype virtual reality headset that he initially debuted at E3 this year. Carmack is working with Oculus Rift to design VR headsets for gaming that include stereoscopic 3D and a wide 110-degree field of view. The day concluded with a huge party to watch the annual case mod contest finals, Bawls chugging finals, and Quake Live finals.
The first discussion panel we attended included Adam Sessler, Michael Pachter from Wedbush Securities, Raphael Colantonio and Harvey Smith from Arkane Studios who discussed the latest game trailers for Assassin's Creed 3, Dishonored, Borderlands 2, Far Cry 3, and Halo 4 for XBox 360. The panel touched on why each of these titles will succeed or fail and how each one is breaking new ground with better graphics, intriguing story lines, and fluent gameplay.
We were also able to briefly attend another panel on Doom modding that included Justin Blankenship from Hit Detection, Brendon Chung from Blendo Games, JP LeBreton from Double Fine, and Robert Duffy from id Software. The panel gave an overview of the latest doom modding tools like Slade and Doom Builder 2 and discussed the challenges with building unique architectures for this legacy title.
PC Perspective Hardware Workshop
Our annual hardware workshop showcased more than $30,000 in hardware from a variety of vendors including NVIDIA, MSI Computer, and Corsair who were the primary sponsors for the event. Ryan hosted the workshop and immediately kicked off the event by raffling off a couple Corsair V1500 (which we recently reviewed) and V2000 gaming headsets as well as two EVGA GTX 570 graphics cards.
The PCPer staff hid 25 tickets under some of the seats in the main ballroom that workshop attendees could trade in for an AMD A8-3870K unlocked Llano 3GHz Socket FM1 quad-core desktop APU. Most of the tickets were found, but two were never turned in to our staff. However, it was a fun way for us to get the audience engaged in the workshop.
After giving away some more hardware, MSI discussed their latest line of NVIDIA 600-series graphics cards. One of the cards they had on hand was their GTX 680 Lightning graphics cards being modeled by Ryan.
Ryan also showed the workshop audience MSI's latest Z77 Big Bang MPower motherboard that features a 16-phase CPU VRM, multiple diagnostic LEDs and voltage measurement points, and 802.11 b/g/n WLAN and Bluetooth. This board was originally introduced at Computex in June, but is currently not available to consumers.
NVIDIA also gave attendees an in-depth look at the Kepler GPU architecture that powers its latest 600-series graphics cards. The company also mentioned its past successes with Fermi GPUs and how they were able to use that platform to create its latest Kepler GPUs.
After giving out some more swag, Philip from PCPartPicker.com stepped up to the stage to discuss his year-old website that helps people pick the best hardware for their systems. He also brought a couple Samsung solid state drives to say thanks to the audience for supporting Quakecon and the hardware workshop.
This couple got married on the second day of Quakecon and have been loyal hardware workshop attendees since 2009. We congratulated them on their wedding in true gamer fashion with a Thermaltake Chasar MK-I mid-tower gaming case, Western Digital 1TB SATA hard drive, and a Corsair GS800 800W power supply.
We had a fantastic time entertaining the workshop audience with tons of great hardware and expert demonstrations of MSI and NVIDIA's latest products and technologies.
The workshop ended abruptly on the main stage because we were told to wrap it up 15 minutes early. This caused us a few issues because we still had thousands of dollars in hardware to give away to workshop fans. Ryan didn't flinch, and moved the workshop into the MSI booth in the exhibit hall where we finished up raffling away the rest of the hardware. We apologize to our attendees and appreciate how they hung in there with us as we rolled with the main stage scheduling conflicts we encountered.