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Up to this day, I still can’t remember how I found out about Upgrade Australia. The first time I went to this event was back in May of 2015 and it was awesome then but it is more awesome now. I only took a couple of photos in the first event I went to which was Upgrade Australia 2.0 and posted them on Instagram here and here.
Upgrade Australia (March 19, 2015)
The first one my wife and I went to was a little bit more formal as there was a stage and there were chairs below that stage for guests to sit in and listen to the latest news and upgrades in technology especially in the PC genre. It was held in The Roundhouse, University of NSW, Sydney. There were stalls for companies to showcase their hardware as well but most of the time people were sitting and listening. Back then, there were fewer sponsors compared to this year’s event and only Intel was the Platinum sponsor while the rest were Gold. The Gold sponsors were Gigabyte, MSI, Steelseries, and Synology.
The best thing I could remember and I actually tested while playing Assassins Creed was the eye tracking device that Steel Series had which was not even in the market back then. It was great but you had to keep your eyes open the whole time and on the monitor, otherwise you’ll find your character jumping off a ledge. It’s called the Sentry Gaming Eye Tracker.
Upgrade Australia 4.0
This year, the event was held in the Aerial Function Room at the University of Technology, Sydney last September 29, 2016. These guys love holding events on a Thursday and I’m not complaining, I just noticed it. We got there earlier and waited 10 minutes before they opened the event to the public. The first stall we encountered was that of Samsung and they had pens, mugs, and sleek water bottles to give away. After we took our eyes off the freebies, we looked at the whole room and saw all these amazing technologies in front of us.
Sponsors for these years event included Platinum Sponsors – Asus, Seagate, MSI, Razer, and Fractal Design while the Gold Sponsors – PLE Computers, Gigabyte, Samsung, HyperX, QNAP, and Australian Computer Society. All of these sponsors had stuff to give away except for one – Razer. Now, I was thinking that they could have at least given freebies but no, not even a simple brochure. All they had was the display of their products and one of their guys playing counter strike while streaming it live using a new webcam they have called the Razer Stargazer which was the best thing that intrigued me a lot. This special webcam allows you to stream your games and put any background you like behind you without using any blue/green screen. You can hate Razer for not giving away free stuff but you can also love them at the same time.
The best part of the show that I liked was the OMNI VR set. I’ve only seen this technology in videos on YouTube and now I am finally seeing it in person and even though I did not try it personally, I am sold on to what it can do when more games will be able to support it or are going to be based on its use.
One of the contests the organizers held was the best modded PC for the night where they give us guests poker chips which we can then drop on boxes of the PC mod we think is the best. I voted for the Warcraft modded PC but I didn’t bother to find out who won.
A lot of freebies were given away and I’ve made gallery of it on Flickr which you can view here or browse through them below. The biggest thing we got from Upgrade Australia 4.0 is the Fractal Design Define R5 in White and Gold. The best part about it is that it’s not yet out there, especially the color combination of White and Gold.
The next Upgrade Australia will be in Melbourne on April 2017. Visit their website here to learn more.