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Vacation (6) : EuroGamer Expo - EGX (2014), Earls Court,London, Sept 2014

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Yesterday,  I attended the EuroGamer Expo (EGX) at the Earls Court Exhibition Center in London, U.K. The journey up to London, by train, did not start too well, due to works being carried out on the railway tracks. This meant that we first had to go to Brighton to catch another train up to London. Hence, a journey that should have taken an hour and a half ended up taking about three hours. When we got to London Victoria Station the Circle and District underground lines were closed, which meant taking the C1 bus to Earls Court and us arriving almost an hour and a half late.

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Figure: The Earls Court Exhibition Center, Earls Court, London.

Once there we soon cheered up, as we wondered around and customised ourselves to the array of exhibits. All the usual protagonists were there including Sony's PS4, Nintendo's Wii U and 3DS, Microsoft's Xbox and now Minecraft. However, compared to last year's event, which was really full on, probably due to the imminent release of the PS4 and Xbox One consoles at the time, this year's one seemed to be a bit lackluster in comparison. There were no iPad game developers, as far as we could see, neither were there that many independent game houses.

We only saw one company demonstrating a game that uses the Occulus Rift, which was disappointing in it's self. Here is the day's story told through the lens of a Canon EOS M Compact camera fitted with a EF-M 22mm f/2 lens.

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Figure: We arrived late and saw gamers already stuck in to Dota 2. My son plays this game and quite likes it. The visuals are stunning and it looks really interesting, but I have not played it myself. The use of lighting through the Exhibition Centre was really interesting and makes one wonder about how other people go about their jobs. A lighting designer? It's not something I would have gone to university for, but when I see the ambience, like in the photography above, it sounds interesting, although not as interesting as a rocket scientist or physicist!

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Figure : Minecraft was there as one would expect and as usual their  stand was absolutely packed, like most stands in all fairness. We decided it wasn't really worth queueing up, for probably at least an hour, to play a demo of the next release or whatever people were queueing up for. Anyway, I have never played Minecraft before and now that they've been bought by Microsoft I am unlikely to start. My only vested interest in Minecraft is in 3D printing Minecraft characters for the kids, honest! 

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Figure: This is a shot of the huge Far Cry 4 poster that was on display. Again don't really know much about the Far Cry genre, but the poster looked good. Apparently, the game is about escaping from a prison in hell, sounds like most people in their day time jobs to me! 

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Figure: The Playstation exhibits were unparalleled and their display were absolutely stupendous. The displays must have been 60 plus inches when measured across the diagonal and the vibrance of the colours was stunning. The Sony display's would not look out of place in the type of houses shown in Cribs, or whatever that program is called, on MTV. A display of this size would barely fit through our front door!  On the stage were the usual suspects attempting to out cry themselves, as they attempted to advertise the latest features of their wares. 

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Figure: NBA2K15 on the PS4 looked great. The realism of the characters was what I liked best and although I'm not a basketball player myself I wouldn't mind playing a game or two after a long day's hard work. EA's FIFA 15 was also on display, although I vowed not to get it, as it requires to much investment in one's time to do well. My son  might get it though and if it's in the house who knows? Playing the odd game or so wouldn't take that much time would it?

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Figure: DRIVECLUB, now we are talking! I'm a huge fan of car racing simulators and quite enjoy playing DIRT and GRIT on the XBOX 360. However, DRIVECLUB on the Playstation seems to be a different kettle of fish altogether. Due out in October, on the PS4, again the graphics look absolutely superior and I might just get this one. I have been toying with the idea of building a DIY simulator for a car driving sim harness  and this game might provide me with just the motivation I need to get started.

Although, it is  shame that console manufacturers do not provide access to realtime 3D position and orientation data to aid the process. I would like to see this feature in the next generation of consoles, maybe via a USB port, to aid third party hardware developers. Its one big advantage PC gamers have at the moment, as it is not too difficult to extract this data from 3D graphics cards.

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Figure: The Ninendo stands were well attended with Nintendo seeming to concentrate on the Wii U and the handheld 3DS consoles. I quite like the Wii U and the genre of games being developed for it. They seemed to be more mentally challenging than the PS4 and Xbox One games with all their gory detail. Splatoon on the Wii U went down really well, as during my son's team play they lost by 42.7% to 43.2%, a real cliff hanger indeed.

The exhibition  area was divided into two separate parts with the upstairs part being for attendees that are eighteen and over due to the PEGI age rating of the games. We didn't actually go to the 18+ area, so I can't say which games were on display there or whether they were any good or not. 

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Figure: I felt Nintendo did really well and will predict now that the Wii U should improve the profitability of the company in the long run, as the console is still a favourite with the younger gaming generation. Some Wii U games like Splatoon, Pikmin 3 and Mario Kart 8 are all great games that will climb up the gamers board of honour.

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Figure: At first when I saw this I got quite excited, as I thought it was a simulator. However, it turned out to be just a shell you could sit in to get your photography taken.  Destiny is a next generation PS4 games, like Battlefield, that is played in story mode in a multi-player environment, which promises a lot.

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Figure: I came across this this character, who we don't think is Harlequin, being interviewed for someones blog or Internet channel. 

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Figure: Caption to follow.

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Figure: Caption to follow.

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Figure: Caption to follow.

 

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