The Gadget Show Live 2014 Impressions

April 23, 2014

The Gadget Show Live was recently in my home town of Birmingham, at the NEC. It’s one of the most popular technology shows of the year,  and I was lucky enough to attend to see the best of the gaming industry in action. Although it’s not completely a gaming focused show, I was curious to try out the Xbox One for the first time, along with some of the titles I have yet to get my hands on. Was it a worthy journey? Yes, completely.

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My focus at The Gadget Show Live was of course the Game Zone. The last gaming event I went to was GAMEFest a few years ago, and I wasn’t expecting the same amount of content at The Gadget Show. but was left pleasantly surprised with what was on show.

Now I did get to play the Xbox One for the first time, but surprisingly it’s not what I had the most fun. That honour went to a massive projector screen that had a little game you may of heard of. Yup, the frustrating yet addictive Flappy Bird. Set up on an iPad, but projected onto a screen that was at least seven foot high. I was tasked with beating the high score of 64 in order to win a prize. To give you a bit of background, I have played Flappy Bird on my phone to the extent that I have almost broken it. That said, having a high score of 194 put me in a confident mood. What actually happened, I won’t say too much about. Still, needless to say I had plenty of tries, but left with a high score of 22. I’m just glad that iPad wasn’t mine!

Titanfall was the one though, the game that instantly made me want to get an Xbox One as soon as I put the controller down.

That failure past me, I entered the Microsoft booth and was suitably cheered up. The Xbox One really made an impression on me throughout the day, with Microsoft employees on hand to show me a variety of things that could tempt me into a future purchase. Kinect was a big part of my experience on the day, something I was a tad cautious about after not being too impressed by it on the Xbox 360. When I said that to the Microsoft representative at the booth, he quickly took me over to have a go at Kinect Sports Rivals.  Setting up a rock-climbing stage, he explained the actions I would need to take in order to be successful, and I must say that I did find Kinect on the Xbox One to be quite more responsive than its predecessor. There I was, climbing away with Kinect watching and obeying my every command.

Titanfall screen 2

Other than Kinect, I also was delighted to get some hands-on with both Forza Motorsport 5 and Titanfall. Forza I found to be pretty good, offering up rather decent handling and fantastic visuals. Titanfall was the one though, the game that instantly made me want to get an Xbox One as soon as I put the controller down. It expands on what the likes of Call of Duty and Battlefield already bring to the table, and I can not stress enough how much fun it is to control a Titan. I felt in complete control, dominating my opponents at every turn thanks to my epic skill, of course. If you own a Xbox One, but don’t have Titanfall… What are you doing?!

Another game I got my hands on at The Gadget Show Live was Sniper Elite III. The representative there asked me if I had played any of the series (I haven’t) and then set me up with a strategy.  Talking me through the level that was on show, he explained that stealth was key in Sniper Elite III. Damn, I should have listened! The first few attempts saw me quite stupidly go in all guns blazing, getting me killed very quickly. Once I finally listened to the advice, I started to progress properly. Sneaking round corners to get the perfect headshot felt so damn good!

It is clear to see why Turtle Beach are the leading company in terms of gaming audio.

Whilst playing Sniper Elite III, I got to try out one of the sexy Turtle Beach headsets. Before I move on, let me tell you that before that playthrough, I was not a fan of headsets at all. How wrong was I? The headset I had on completely immersed me in the game, making me feel like I was in the battlefield. It is clear to see why Turtle Beach are the leading company in terms of gaming audio. Most of our team here at NGB own one or two of them! As I type this article, I am looking at the Turtle Beach website, planning to purchase my very own headset for the PlayStation 4.

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Moving on though, as I attended the show on Saturday, there were games that I unfortunately did not get to try. I was gutted I didn’t get to check out Evolve. The queue was huge, like really really long. However, I managed to speak to a few people that played Evolve and they absolutely loved it. To say I can’t wait to get my hands on it would be an understatement.

Leaving The Gadget show Live, I felt great about gaming as a whole. I own a PlayStation 4, but trying out the Xbox One left me wanting one with Titanfall as soon as possible. Looking around at the sheer number of games on show and the people interested in them, it kind of confirmed what already knew. Gaming has a brilliant future, and will continue to grow for years to come. More than that though, the day I spent at The Gadget Show Live 2014 was thoroughly enjoyable from start to finish. I can’t wait to see what 2015 will offer!

Be sure to check out the fantastic blog post over at Curry’s TechTalk website for other impressions from The Gadget Show Live 2014.

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