Computex, unlike E3, returns in 2023!
Chris Szewczyk, Globetrotter
This week I’m mostly playing Grand Theft Auto IV: Long time no see this classic. Even though it’s 15 years old, it feels as fresh as anything I’ve played lately. There is no substitute for a good story.
This month I mainly test graphics cards: I reviewed AMD’s RX 7600, which meant retesting many competing graphics cards from Nvidia, AMD, and Intel! After months of maturing as a driver, the Arc A750 surprised me.
Computex is one of the largest trade shows in the world. After the cancellation of CeBIT in 2018, Computex is the most important computing and information technology event of its kind. But does it still make sense in a post-Covid world, where so many presentations, product presentations or showcases can be held virtually?
As far as Computex is concerned, the answer is yes, and I’ll explain why. But it’s interesting to contrast Computex with another major global trade show, the much-loved but now presumably defunct E3.
The 2020 and 2021 trade shows are all but canceled. For those of us in the industry, this really sucks, although it’s also completely understandable. At that time there were more pressing global matters. In 2022, Computex returns, but strict requirements to enter Taiwan mean it’s a hybrid show, with both live and virtual events.
Sadly, E3 hasn’t recovered from the Covid years, with major exhibitors preferring to hold their own events, whether online or in person. In March, we learned that the E3 2023 edition was canceled, perhaps forever.
Computex is still highly relevant, and it’s a very different kind of show than E3. I’m pretty sure Computex will be with us for many years to come.
Computex is not like E3
The PC Gamer hardware team proudly showcases booths from big brands and all the key tech and cool stuff related to PC and gaming. We might show you products from 30 or 40 suppliers, covering many different technology areas, from components to laptops, peripherals and more. But TAITRA (the organizer of Computex) issued a press release in March saying it expected 1,100 exhibitors and more than 3,000 booths.
That’s a lot of suppliers. Many of these lesser-known exhibitors displayed a variety of interesting wares, as well as many more mundane ones. They’re not there to impress the media or get the attention of passers-by. They are businesses out there selling stuff to other businesses. People go there to network and form partnerships. That’s why Computex will always have a future in one form or another.
E3 is/was primarily a showcase of games. It’s a way for publishers and vendors to promote their games and merchandise to the public, either in person or through the media. I’m simplifying things, but posting a YouTube video is as easy as having a flashy keynote, and people are going to watch it on YouTube anyway. E3, while beloved, isn’t really necessary from an information dissemination standpoint.
Gaming is a multi-billion dollar industry driven by billion-dollar companies. These companies have so much money, they can easily host their own global events and get 100% of the attention and media focus without sharing any news cycles.
In short, E3 needs big publishers, not big publishers need E3.
Booth beauties. It’s time to move on.
Back at Computex, there were a few things worth discussing. “Booth Babes”. They run throughout the show. While the world increasingly sees the practice as a product of a bygone era, Taiwanese culture doesn’t seem to be there yet.
I’m a straight male with my own aesthetic preferences. But I also grew up with three sisters, which gave me total respect for women and appreciation for feminism. I just don’t understand how a pretty woman with something as mundane as an M.2 SSD is more likely to get me to buy said SSD. Women are not ornaments, nor are they objects of male pleasure. It’s not like Computex nor does it have female or LGBT visitors!
I remember seeing a particularly lovely young lady in the middle of a main road surrounded by maybe a dozen photographers. She smiled for the camera, showing off a placard guiding visitors into the booth. The crowd dispersed, and I saw her sigh deeply and rub her cheeks, but within a few seconds, someone wanted to take a photo with her, and suddenly she smiled again. This is totally exploitative.
It will be interesting to see if they catch on like they did at the last Computex I attended in 2019, I hope not.
What to Expect at Computex 2023
Over the past few years, Computex has seen its fair share of major announcements, or previews of new technologies or upcoming products. Things like CPUs and new motherboards to go with them, as well as graphics cards, have been around. This year has been a little quieter on that front, though that’s probably because we’re in the middle of a major corporate release cycle.
It feels like just yesterday that Nvidia launched the RTX 4090, Intel launched the 13th generation series, and AMD introduced the Ryzen 7000 series CPUs and RX 7000 GPUs. We’re still a long way from a new CPU or GPU announcement, though we might also see something from Intel about its next-gen Meteor Lake CPUs.
There are always new laptops on display. Expect to see many 13th-gen models equipped with Nvidia’s RTX 40-series mobile GPUs. AMD will also be showcasing systems, including ones with the latest APUs and maybe some mobile GPUs. One can hope.
Not to mention the stunning shell mods and drool-worthy systems. Below is a small selection of some of my past personal favorites. More will be on display at the 2023 show.
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Storage is one area where we should see a lot of action. With all the big manufacturers gearing up to launch their latest PCIe 5.0 SSDs, you can be sure there will be plenty of demo systems showing off large sequential (if largely irrelevant) transfer speeds.
There will be a ton of new peripherals. New keyboards, mice, and headsets will be in abundance as ever.
Jensen Huang, Nvidia’s chief executive, will also be there to give a keynote address, although there are indications that he will spend time talking about topics such as artificial intelligence, enterprise solutions, automation and robotics. GeForce probably won’t even be mentioned.
Stay tuned next week for PC Gamer’s coverage of all the cool tech throughout the show. I’m sure there will be some crap too, but it’s always fun crap! In fact, one of the most rewarding Computex experiences is spotting strange or quirky products, or hidden gems for that matter, in less-trafficked aisles.
Jacob, Katie and I are now packing our bags and heading to Taiwan to bring you all the funniest PC gaming ever.