Heart of the PC: NVIDIA at BlizzCon 2011
October 21, 2011
By James Wang
Blizzard sure knows how to draw a crowd. More than 260,000 turned up for this year's annual BlizzCon mega event. A new World of WarCraft expansion was announced. New trailers were shown for Diablo III and StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm. And the GSL finals will be played here, the first time the tournament is played outside of Korea. The NVIDIA booth has been jam packed all day. Check out the highlights below.
Chris Metzen of Blizzard made the big announcements of the day. First, World of Warcraft will get a new expansion pack called Mists of Pandaria. Second, Diablo III is approaching the homestretch in development and when it’s released, every World of Warcraft player will receive a free copy. This sent the crowd into a roar. Finally, a new trailer was shown for StarCraft: Heart of the Swarm showing the capabilities of the new units. Heart of the Swarm is expected to balance out StarCraft II in much the same way as how Brood Wars balanced the original.
The announcement of Mists of Pandaria along with the new Monk class sent the crowd into a frenzy.
Many of the World of WarCraft players who qualify for a free copy of Diablo III will probably still upgrade to the lavish collector’s edition with two disc Blu-Ray commentary and CD soundtrack.
The BlizzCon invitational this year draws top players from all over the world including multi-GSL champion IMNesTea, the fearsome Chinese player Loner, and Sheth from TeamLiquid.
Female gamers are on the rise at BlizzCon. These girls are among the first to try out the new Heart of the Swarm expansion pack for StarCraft II.
NVIDIA has one of the most prominent booths at BlizzCon. The LAN area is fitted with the latest GeForce GTX graphics cards. Guest speaker Ryan Shout from Pc Perspective along with NVIDIA’s Tom Petersen was on stage helping gamers with troubleshooting and upgrading their PCs.
These guys had barely recovered from the GeForce LAN last week before they headed down for BliizzCon. The young lady is a proud owner of a GeForce GTX 560 and asked if she should upgrade to a GTX 580 or get another GTX 560 for SLI. Tom recommended the latter option for the best bang for the buck. She’s still not happy about the IMBA (imbalanced) Terrans though.
In NVIDIA’s 3D Photo Booth, gamers got to take pictures with favorite Blizzard characters and see their pictures in 3D using NVIDIA 3D Vision. Here a radiant pre-Zerg Kerrigan poses for the crowd. You can check out the 3D pictures at 3DVisionLive.com.
Every PC in the NVIDIA LAN area was fitted with the new 3D Vision 2 glasses and monitors. The prospect of playing StarCraft II and World of WarCraft in 3D drew a huge crowd.
Freddy Jr. along with his father (background) came from Fresno to attend BlizzCon. I asked Freddy Sr. what it was like playing World of WarCraft in 3D. “Unreal dude, totally Unreal. Once you’re used to it, it’s awesome. I’d love to roll like this every day.”
Husky, who along with Day9 casted NVIDIA’s GeForce StarCraft Pro/Am Tournament, was at the NVIDIA booth taking questions from the crowd. When asked what advice he’d give to someone who’d like to become a caster, he said the key was persistence, don’t be put down by criticism, and make sure you stay true to your own style.
After prevailing in the Husky quiz, this Terran player got to play Husky live at the NVIDIA booth. Although “only” a Platinum player, he put up a pretty good fight. In the end, Husky’s deft use of Warp Prisms secured him the win.
For putting up a damn good fight and showing great sportsmanship, NVIDIA awarded him a GeForce GTX 560.