THE iDEF, held from October 30 to November 1 2009 at the Royal Exhibition Building in Carlton, was an amalgamation of the eGames Expo, the Digital Lifestyle show and the Develop ICT Skills and Careers Expo.
Organisers promised bang for your buck, as it was three shows for the price of one ticket (adults $18, concession $13).
There was breadth, and we were excited about how much there was to do and see, but were disappointed by the lack of depth and unity – three separate websites promoting three-shows-in-one were a tad confusing, and unnecessary, we felt.
We missed the big boys, Sony and Nintendo at the eGames expo,which was supposed to be a highlight of the festival. Microsoft could have celebrated their recent launch of Windows 7 (and its relevance as a gaming OS) but instead opted to put up a bank of screens demoing an Xbox 360 racing game.
Ubisoft, however, did make their presence felt at the show: their lively staff were cajoling people to do MC Hammer moves on their flashy Just Dance platform. While not dancing, the enthusiastic lot also previewed the highly-anticipated Assassin’s Creed 2, Avatar and Splinter Cell Conviction games.
And then there was 2K Games, who set up several screens featuring their hot new shooter, Borderlands, which has been dubbed as Diablo with guns.
The bank of car-sized speakers accompanying the Shoot ‘Em Up movie screened on a large home-theatre setup at the Digital Lifestyle Show was impressive. But the prices on most of the gizmos on sale at this end were the same as what you’d be forking out for elsewehere, and would have done better with generous trade discounts for visitors.
The Develop ICT Skills and Careers Expo was what you would expect at any university open day – universities and educational institutions were there with the usual array of brochures promoting their courses.
Overall, we’d give it a 6 out of 10. If iDEF wants to bring a truly exciting show for the masses, it needs to get the big boys on board, and get exhibitors to showcase the latest in cutting-edge products (think E3) and offer more competitive prices.
Get those things on board for 2010 and punters will pour through the doors.