2022 and PAX Melbourne is back this year after a two-year COVID-enforced hiatus.  Most of the big names are here as expected but the most impressive booths at this year’s PAX Melbourne are the locally made games.  Aussie developers have been busy while we have all been locked down and they have some great games to show off.

The big names

Intel

Where would gamers be without a highly powered chipset running overclocked pushing the highly specced hardware and of course the game itself.  Recently Intel launched the 13th Gen Intel Core processors with a big focus on performance for the enthusiast.

Intel state that their 13th Gen chipset is the fastest chipset in the world, in fact on multi-threaded performance, the 13th Gen chipset is 40% faster than the previous generation chipset.  This improved performance may be in their enthusiast chipset now but the good news for everyone is, this new optimisation and performance will be arriving on ALL of their 13th Gen chipsets in 2023.

Combined with their 13th Gen chipset is a new graphics card – the Intel ARC graphics card, built with software first and foremost.  This does require software developers to optimise their software for the ARC graphics cards but with other companies such as MSI and Acer working on their own ARC graphics cards you can be sure that optimisation will come soon.

My favourite part of the Intel booth though was their new NUC – although it wasn’t there but the discussion was.  Intel has a new version of their performance NUC arriving soon – the Serpent Canyon, complete with 12th Gen Intel chipset and ARC graphics card.  It could well be time to replace my Hades Canyon.

Asus ROG

Of course, Asus are at PAX 2022 with their gaming sub-brand – ROG.  ROG has a huge booth at PAX 2022 with all of their laptops, desktops and more, and the entire range, from their work/play hybrid Flow Z13 up to their eSports quality Strix Scar laptops.  For those who don’t have the money required to purchase a Strix laptop, there is their volume driver – the TUF gaming series.  

The TUF laptops are just a small step down with their specs – for example slightly lower refresh rates (144Hz versus the 320 in the Strix laptops) or a max 3060 GPU card in it.

Others

Other big names in gaming that have large, loud booths include HyperX showing off their audio and keyboard ranges, Western Digital with their new SSDs, including one for the PS5, Logitech with their range of gaming and other peripherals, Lenovo with their Legion gaming range where you can have a crack at gaming on one of their laptops, Sonic Frontiers as well to check out the latest Sonic game yourself and more. 

The Aussie developers

It is difficult to single out just one or two of the excellent Aussie- (and New Zealand) developed games and I shouldn’t because they all looked fantastic.  I did love the idea and the fun of Dead Pets Unleashed, the colourful and challenging Idle Gangs from Mini Mammoth Games along with various roleplay games and some decent FPS games – all from local developers.  Oh and who doesn’t love a good Bullcrap game!

If you are heading in to PAX 2022 over the weekend I urge you to head on over to PAX Rising and check out the fantastic locally- developed games.   Even if you can’t get there yourself – PAX is sold out for the weekend – you can check out all the local games on the PAX Rising web page.  Our region of the world really does have some talented developers.

Other highlights

Although it’s not my favourite past time, table top gaming has many fans.  For those there are a heap of new games, including card games from local developers, to check out along with your old favourites that you can join in with others to play along with.

Once again if you want to just to a bit of gaming yourself there is a PC gaming setup for you to play against other gamers, along with a console gaming area that allows you to choose the console you want to play on and the game you want to play.

This was a highlight of my son’s when I took him last time PAX was on – it allowed us to check out other consoles and games that we wouldn’t normally have a chance to do so.

Who wasn’t there?

Alienware

Surprisingly, there were a few big names missing from PAX Melbourne this year with one big one – Alienware.  Dell’s gaming arm has decided to move their show over to Fortress Melbourne, Melbourne’s biggest gaming den.  

Over here they have set up the Alienware Arena where you can watch (while downing an alcoholic beverage or two) Australian streaming talent live stream from Fortress’ Streamer Pods along with the Fortress PAX Gala.  The Gala begins after convention hours today (Saturday) to bring the gaming community together in the Alienware Arena.  

As always with these types of events, there are prizes to be won with over $55,000 of prizes up for grabs so if you want a chance to win prizes head on into Fortress Melbourne over the weekend.

I’m still not sure why Alienware are not at PAX itself but they at least have made an effort to do something in town – unlike some other big names.

If you have a ticket to PAX Melbourne this weekend head on over to the PAX Rising and check out all the games the local folks have to offer. For the full PAX Melbourne schedule download their app or check out the website. Aside from that, have fun checking out your favourite manufacturers, developers and go and play some games!