PAX East 2014: our top 5 moments

These halls were bursting with costumed video game fans of all ages. This is PAX East, one of the largest, most popular gaming conventions on the east coast, and we've seen the latest in gaming hardware and software … but mostly hardware.

Looking to grab one of those new gaming laptops with Nvidia's latest GPUs? Vendors like Origin, MSI and Gigabyte all touched down in Boston to show off their latest wares. If you're hot on accessories, check out the freshest peripherals from Logitech, Astro Gaming and many more.

PAX East 2014

Let's hope that thing doesn't work

And here come the goods. Check out what we went hands on with at the show:

The hottest hardware

The latest scoops

We also caught a few major bits of news from this year's chillier Penny Arcade Expo. Companies like Titanfall maker Respawn Entertainment and Civilization creator Firaxis hosted major panels with exciting announcements. Not to mention a serious scoop elsewhere from the show floor.

PAX East 2014

Walking around has been a blast...

In an unexpected turn of events, an unnamed source revealed to PC Gamer that the Steam Controller will launch sometime between this coming September and November. In addition to that morsel of news, the source also told our PC Master Race overlords that we can expect at least 500 Steam OS games in time for launch this fall.

Another major announcement: Firaxis pulled the curtain back on Civilization: Beyond Earth. This marks the developer's first strategy game to take place outside the confines of our atmosphere since Alpha Cenaturi way back when. Naturally, PC Gamer has an in-depth interview with the upcoming game's lead designers.

To cap off PAX East in a way, Titanfall creators Respawn Entertainment held a panel looking back at the game's development and what's to come. In addition to the new map pack called Titanfall Expedition, which is due out this May with three new environments to stomp around in, the panel talked up a few new future features.

The team hinted at new play modes, which will be introduced for free. In particular, Respawn is interested in launching experimental variants on existing play modes, or "Rifts", for limited periods and keeping what sticks with the community.

"It's a very different way of playing the game," lead designer Justin Hendry said on the panel. "We look at it as The McRib. If it were super popular all the time, it would be a staple on McDonald's menu."

It's Storytime ... time!

Harmonix co-founder and CEO Alex Rigopulos already regaled us with tales during this year's Storytime panel. But Rigopulos also hinted at the future of music gaming. The Harmonix head talked up Fantasia: Music Evolved, an "explorative" music game based on the famous Disney film.

"In some ways, Fantasia is a return to our earliest routes," Rigopulos said of Fantasia. The Harmonix head was referring to the more PC software-like releases of the studio's past, like The Axe. Fantasia stands to sell plenty more copies, though.

"Another thing I want to talk about today, is just how fricking trippy it is," the CEO gushed before showing off a video detailing the scenes players will witness while playing Fantasia. He was not kidding. Fantasia, playable only on Xbox One and Xbox 360 with Kinect, will launch this fall.

Rigopulos also talked more about its first-ever early-access game, Chroma, a rhythm-based first-person shooter that looks as if Daft Punk pumped Call of Duty full of dubstep bullets. Players move around and fire their weapons to an overarching beat in this class-based, team-focused shooter. Want to land that sniper rifle shot? Better fire on the downbeat.

"We're working on a bunch of different axes of experimentation with this," the Harmonix chief said. "I think of [Chroma] as a package of experiments around an idea." Chroma has no release date yet, but has been launched in an alpha stage for select Steam users.

There's a lot to take in, and it's already been a fun, glorious ride. Join us right here or from our Twitter and Facebook channels for the best from PAX East 2014 and future events.

Joe Osborne

Joe Osborne is the Senior Technology Editor at Insider Inc. His role is to leads the technology coverage team for the Business Insider Shopping team, facilitating expert reviews, comprehensive buying guides, snap deals news and more. Previously, Joe was TechRadar's US computing editor, leading reviews of everything from gaming PCs to internal components and accessories. In his spare time, Joe is a renowned Dungeons and Dragons dungeon master – and arguably the nicest man in tech.