Hi guys, I wanted to do a quick public service announcement for those of you who (like me) find yourselves stuck in the North of England, far away from the seemingly constant festivities that are exclusive to those pesky Londoners!
Play Expo is taking place at the Trafford Centre's Event City in Manchester next month, and it's as close as we're gonna get to a major conference. I attended last year and had an absolute BLAST! The entire aircraft hangar-sized hall was a sea of retro consoles, pinball machines, specialist merchandise and cosplayers, and it was wonderful. It's not all retro games though, last year there was:
- An official Nintendo booth complete with playable Mario Kart 8 and loads of other games
- Oculus had a big booth where loads of people could try the headset out for themselves
- From Software had a playable demo of Dark Souls 2 and official merchandise;
- Ubisoft had Assassin's Creed: Black Flag playable on PS4s (yes, in October of last year, MONTHS before the console's release!)
- ...and lots of Indie studios had smaller set ups showing off their smaller budget offerings.
It was as close to E3 as you'll ever see outside of London, and this year's Expo promises to be even bigger!
This year's major companies attending have yet to be announced, but there will be the regular assortment of retro consoles (including every console ever made with all their biggest games); pinball machines and arcade cabinets will be present in force; a HUGE indie offering; actors from Red Dwarf and Star Wars will be in attendance and you'll have the opportunity to take pictures with the Iron throne from Game of Thrones and Bumblebee from the Transformers movies. As if all that weren't enough there;s even the chance to compete against other gamers in prize tournaments in competitive games like Mario Kart, Halo and FIFA.
There's still lots more (a ridiculous amount actually) in addition to what I've already listed, so check out the official Play Expo website for a more complete line-up. If you live anywhere even remotely close to Manchester you owe it to yourself to make the trip, and experience this kind of huge event for yourself. The link to buy tickets is here, and rest assured, I will be available on the Saturday to whoop your ass at Super Smash Bros Melee! You've been warned!
Below are some pictures I took from last year's event.