Play Expo took place at Manchester’s EventCity over the weekend, and we were there to check out the retro gaming action.
The UK retro gaming crowd was out in force, and they brought some kit with them – there was an incredible range of arcade machines (largely provided by the great folks over at Retro Games Party!) and classic home consoles available to play on the show floor. Hundreds of vintage machines acquired and maintained by collectors over the years had been brought together to make up one of the most impressive retro video game selections you’re ever likely to see.
There was also a strong pinball representation – it’s not often you’ll find a selection of tables this good in one place!
We had a chance to show off the JXD to attendees – it’s hard not to be impressed by the device when it’s running N64 and Dreamcast games on both the touch screen and the TV.
Bitmap Books’ hugely successful Commodore 64: A Visual Commpendium also proved hugely popular among attendees.
In addition to retro stuff, Play Expo had a lot of modern gaming options, too – hands-on previews of PES 2015 and Minecraft for the PS4, an expanded indie section, and competitive tournaments for staples such as Halo, PES, League of Legends and a host of fighting games.
Andy Pearson (General Manager at Funstock.co.uk) had this to say:
“I’ve been to a lot of events this year and nothing has even come close to this! WOW. The guys have raised it up to another level now and for me, this is the number 1 gaming event. As a consumer I would rather pay to visit this, than EuroGamer (and you can quote me on that!). You spend your whole time PLAYING games instead of queuing to play games. It’s a great experience and I’m already looking forward to next year!”
Speaking of competitions – the finals of the Classic Gaming Championships took place at the Expo, with Gavin Ward taking first prize. He took home a Neo Geo X + Megapack, and also a copy of the excellent Commodore 64: A Visual Commpendium. A big congratulations to Barrie and all those who took part in the final and regional heats.
There were some great non-game attractions at the Expo – including the DeLorean from Back to the Future, Bumblebee and Barricade from Transformers, and the Iron Throne from Game of Thrones (just visible on the left side of the picture below!).
Play Expo website: http://www.playexpo.net/