Roughly 7000 hardcore gamers and tech geeks chomping at the bit to test out the latest gaming consoles swarmed Vector Arena on the weekend at the inaugural Digital Nationz expo.
An opportunity to trial Microsoft’s Xbox One and Sony’s PlayStation 4, both of which are set for release in New Zealand in late November, were the main drawcards in a highly interactive event which also saw Kim Dotcom take on 100 people in 100 games of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.
The lines for the two rival consoles were full throughout the two days, with fans seemingly happy enough with both of them to re-join the queue immediately after their playing time elapsed.
Hogging of the consoles was widely criticised even though no gamers ever felt like giving up their hard-earned place.
Another popular piece of new gaming technology with the masses was Oculus Rift. The virtual reality headset immerses the user in a 3D interactive world, providing a surprisingly realistic simulation experience and some inevitable dizziness when you re-enter the real (now boring) world.
Sitting comfortably in his personal gaming chair, Kim Dotcom wasted 98 percent of his opponents at CoD on the Sunday, suffering one draw and one loss in his 100 game charity binge.
After each consecutive victory, Dotcom simply wiped the sweat from his brow, ate a piece of candy and gathered his thoughts before the next young pretender stood up to the plate.
Digital Nationz also showcased a history of video gaming museum, allowing gamers to take a trip down memory lane by playing some of those classic consoles like Atari and Sega.
The early gaming consoles were an apt point of comparison to today’s high-tech contraptions, epitomising how far gaming technology has developed in just over 40 years.
Demos of a host of yet to be released games, a dedicated Fifa lounge, a Disney area and much more made Digital Nationz a fun event for people of all ages and gaming tastes.
As well as actually trialing new games and consoles, the expo gave guests a unique opportunity to attend talks from some of the brightest minds in the gaming industry.
Crytek producer Michael Reed and Epic Games lead animator Jay Hosfelt were among those who spoke at length about the intricacies of the industry and were fired questions from their worshippers.
While predominantly focused on gaming, the expo also showcased mesmerising technology such as human replica 3D printing.
One of the event co-ordinators, Jack Grey, says Digital Nationz absolutely exceeded expectations, and this was testament to the hard work of organiser Peter Hall and everybody else involved
He says the event will surely be back again next year and could expand to have far more digital consumer technology outside the gaming world.