PAX East 2016: Killer Rigs And VR Dominance Punctuate A Thriving PC Gaming Industry – Hot Hardware

Whoever the Einstein was that declared this a “post PC era” needs talk to the gamers and enthusiasts that flocked to Boston Convention And Exhibition Center this weekend for the sold-out PAX East show. And in good ol’ Bean Town, the Murphys might dropkick that genius for being overly impaired and “ship him off” promptly. In a record attendance of around 90,000 or so, there was plenty of console gaming going on, as well as mobile gaming on tablets and smartphones, and even board games but nothing compared to the crowds flocking around booths from major PC manufacturers and ecosystem partners like Kingston, Gigabyte, Corsair, EVGA, Logitech, NVIDIA, AMD and Intel. And VR was center stage with the prominence of the PC as a platform and driving force powering the experience. In the shot above, you’re looking at a 3 hour plus wait queue for Oculus Rift VR demos, all of which were powered by full-up desktop gaming PCs. “Post PC,” that’s rich.

In Intel’s recent layoff announcement, you might be fooled into thinking the company’s restructuring to focus on the IOT and cloud/data center, and shifting away from “client PCs,” was a sign of the times. However, if you sift through the tea leaves a bit more, you’ll note the company underscored the fact that 2-in-1s and gaming PCs were still a growth opportunity, and I would also argue that the latter is a better profit center opportunity as well, akin to the high-end products required in the data center (cloud) with plenty of architecture commonality.

But those are just the cold numbers for bean counters to pour over and as far as gamers go, the PC gaming buzz at PAX East 2016 was big, bad, modded, tricked-out, amped-up and virtually splendiferous.


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