A MAME cabinet. An upper-decker LAN party. Flashy PC cases.
It's the kind of gear you'd expect out the front of a PC retailer. Except it's not. It's a PAX booth. For Harvey Norman.
Given Gerry Harvey's cantankerous attitude towards online shopping and the retailer's general lack of enthusiasm for the hardcore gaming market, it's weird to see them have a presence at PAX.
PAX usually isn't the place you go for the hard sell. That's EB Expo. PAX is where you see your distributors, component manufacturers, devs, panels, tabletop retailers. Brick and mortar stores that make mad bank off Fitbits and vacuum cleaners? Nope. Not PAX.
But Gerry Harvey and co. have made a real effort this year, seriously. Here's some photos from the show floor:
When did Harvey Norman get into the neon-coloured, flashy PC case game?
The MAME cabinet is pretty cool. Also, massively not-Harvey Norman.
OK, a LAN party with Battlefield and COD bros is pretty on brand for Harvey Norman.
All things aside, it's still so weird. Harvey Norman don't usually court gamers - mostly because they don't sell what gamers want, and when they do it's never at a decent price. Could the PAX booth be part of a change in strategy?
Yeah, probably not. But hey. Enjoy the free LAN party and MAME cabinet while they last, I suppose.