The top 5 most impressive sights at the PC Gamer Weekender
This weekend sees the UK's number one PC gaming show return to London.
Now in its second year, the PC Gamer Weekender is currently taking place in London's Olympia - and TechRadar went along to take in the sights of this celebration of PC gaming culture.
From teaching attendees how to custom-built PCs to letting them try out the latest and greatest VR technology, the show is a potent reminder of everything that's great about PC gaming.
So without further ado, here are the five most impressive sights from the PC Gamer Weekender. It's a big show and we had a tough job whittling our list down to just five, but if you're going along these are the ones to make some time for.
We were amazed when we came across this VR booth, which is a perspex box with a simple layout of walls contained within.
The game, which was created by AiSolve, then revolves around having to navigate a series of dungeons within this space in virtual reality.
But the thing that struck us most about the booth was how well it was making use of MSI's VR One virtual reality backpack.
The backpack fits the contents of a VR-ready PC onto the user's back, meaning there are no wires tethering them to a local gaming PC.
This means the player can completely freely navigate the small maze without worrying about the wires tangling on its inner walls.
It's certainly a simple demo, but it has us very excited for the future possibilities of tether-less VR.
A sleek VR backpack
VR backpacks were a big deal at this year's show, and HP had their own model to show off.
The unit wasn't final so details of battery life are yet to be finalized, but a spokesperson from HP told us that the hope is to provide the unit with four battery packs, of which two are in use at any one time.
This allows the user to charge a second two packs to swap in without having to experience too much of a break in the VR experience.
When in use, the backpack sits lightly on the back, and the two battery packs sit on the backpack's waistband, where they feel almost like pouches of ammo - very cool.
Although HP won't be the first to put out a VR backpack, this looks like it could be the sleekest implementation of the form-factor yet.
Of course, VR wasn't all about the backpacks. We also came across cult-favorite American Truck Simulator on the show floor, and its developer SCS Software had brought along an Oculus Rift headset for attendees to play the game on.
For the uninitiated, American Truck Simulator is a completely unironic simulation of the world of trucking. You pick a truck, pick up some cargo, and then spend hours (first virtual, then actual), driving it across rural America.
It's a very peaceful, relaxing game, and the whole experience takes on a whole 'nother level of escapism when experienced in VR.
Granted, you can't quite get into the trucking zone on a show floor as busy as the Weekender's, but we appreciated our brief escape all the same.
A blast from the past
Away from new technologies like VR, retro computers also saw a showing at the Weekender.
There were six machines in total: a BBC Micro, Spectrum 48K, Commodore 64, Amstrad CPC 464, Atari ST and Amiga 1200, running a variety of games from the first Prince of Persia to Manic Miner.
If ever there was a way to see how far technology has come since the 80s, it's by using these machines. With their non-standard keyboard layouts and awkward control schemes, it was tough to pick up and play the games on show without them making us feel like a mollycoddled millennial gamer.
Still, if you want to appreciate how good we have it nowadays, or if you just want to experience a little blast from the past, then we'd thoroughly recommend swinging by the retro gaming area.
21st century Punch-Out
Finally, one of the outright weirdest things we came across at the show was a game called 'The Great American Punch' where you, you guessed it, have a boxing match with the leader of the free world - Donald Trump.
The game was produced by a team of students at a recent game jam (so don't expect exceptionally high production values) and is billed simply as a 'cathartic experience' rather than an outright game.
Aside from the current game-mode, the team hope to include more world leaders for you to spar with in future versions including Vladimir Putin and none other than the Queen of England herself, Queen Elizabeth II.