A new consumer expo in New Zealand covering videogames, technology and digital entertainment will debut this September.
Announced this morning, Digital Nationz will be held at Auckland's Vector Arena over two days on 28-29th September 2013.
The expo will offer gamers the first opportunity to experience the next-generation PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles prior to the launch of those platforms later this year.
Both Sony and Microsoft will have large stands at the event, say organisers, with next-generation titles as well as upcoming titles for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 on show. EA, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, Ubisoft, Sega, Media Design School and the NZGDA will all be represented.
Speaker sessions and panel discussions will feature international game developers, Kiwi game studios, and industry experts.
The expo will also include a 200-person competitive gaming LAN tournament playing League of Legends and StarCraft II.
Vector Arena business development manager Peter Hall said Digital Nationz was conceived when he saw a gap in the market. "New Zealand is one of the few countries where a major electronic/digital expo doesn't exist," said Hall. "The 'extremes' are covered for the hardcore fans of comic books and TV-series and for those who are developers and programmers, but mainstream New Zealand has nothing.
"I wanted to create an event heavy on content both international and Kiwi made," Hall continued. "In short our goal is to let you engage, discuss and explore the digital world, by putting future products, prototypes and concepts in your hands right now."
Digital Nationz seeks to give New Zealanders "insights into the future, present, and past of their favourite digital entertainment experiences", such as gaming, movies, and music, as well as a look at cutting edge technology in the fields of digital animation, design, and consumer robotics.
Prototypes for new technology will be on show including the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset, and 3D printers.
An interactive History of Video Games Museum will have "every console ever made" on display, starting with the Odyssey, while the Digital Artz Gallery Exhibition will display Kiwi-made game art including concept art, cinematic and gameplay footage, poster or box art, and 3D printed models of some creations.
The expo will also host a Robot Wars championship event, as robotics students, hobbyists and professionals pit their creations against each other with "blow torches, buzz saws and Kiwi ingenuity".
Earlybird tickets will be on sale tomorrow and cost $14 for an adult 1-day pass, or $24 for a weekend pass. LAN passes, VIP tickets, and discounted child and student rates are available.