The highly anticipated gaming event, Play Expo 2013, came to Manchester’s Event City last weekend, showcasing the latest in gaming. At the event there were stalls selling retro consoles, old videogames, and other merchandise, as well as stands previewing new games from Nintendo and Ubisoft, amongst others.
The hall at Event City was packed with videogame enthusiasts throughout the duration of the expo, some turning up in costume to cosplay as their favourite characters from gaming lore.
One of the main attractions of the event was inevitably the PS4, which was on display almost immediately upon entering. Gamers who waited in line were given the chance to play Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag on the next-gen console, almost a full month before Sony releases the PS4 on the market.
Also available nearby was a playable demo of Dark Souls II for PS3, the sequel to the 2011 action role-playing game developed by From Software. The game launches in March, next year in the UK and the US, but gamers were given an incredible chance to try it before its official release.
At the event there was another product that drew considerable attention. This was the Oculus Rift: a virtual reality headset that places gamers in amidst the action.
The device, which is developed by the company Oculus VR, is still currently in development for consumers, with no specific release date attached, as of yet. However, company CEO, Brendan Iribe, has stated his desire to release the device to the public before the end of 2014, should it be possible to do so.
At the Nintendo booth gamers were given a hands-on impression of several Wii U games, including Mario Kart 8, Super Mario 3D World, and Sonic Lost World. In addition to this, they also had the chance to play some of the new and upcoming 3DS games, such as Pokemon X & Y, and the Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds.
The general response to Nintendo’s booth was positive, with many individuals praising the intuitive controls of the Wii U game pad, and the creativity of the new releases.
Other than the previews of these upcoming titles, there was also plenty of other stuff to see at the event. In the re.play area gamers were encouraged to revisit old gaming consoles, with the likes of the PS1, Dreamcast, and Super Nintendo available to play. Also, within the event hall, there were a collection of merchandise stalls and pinball machines to satisfy visitors.
In short, Play Expo was a success. The two-day event managed to strike a perfect balance between providing for a casual audience and more hardcore gamers, offering enough entertainment for both to enjoy over its run.