IEM Sydney is about a lot of things, for some people it’s about the thrill of a hard-fought match of Counter Strike or Overwatch. For others it’s an opportunity to check out the latest and greatest from Intel and the other hardware vendors.
For me, as with many events, I just love to see the weird and wonderful ideas that brands use to grab attention at the event, and this year Centrecom grabbed mine.
In one of the most weirdly Japanese activations I’ve seen at an Australian gaming convention, Centrecome has brought a vending machine that dispenses PC parts.
Well, to be clear it dispenses display boxes that you hand to the Centrecom employee to get your PC parts.
I’d be horrified if they were bouncing $600 motherboards around in a vending machine, That would be a recipe for disaster.
As for what you can get out of the machine, it’s a selection of the hardware available online from Centrecom’s website, and varies from day to day.
Being at the Intel Extreme Masters, of course everything is Team Blue hardware, with a range of 8th generation I3, I5 and I7 motherboards coupled with Cooler Master CPU air coolers.
There’s also Asus motherboards and GPUs that have cycled in over the days. Cases from Thermaltake, copies of Windows and Microsoft Xbox controllers.
HyperX also have a suite of RAM and SSDs in the machine for people after a performance kick.
Great question, Nathanael.
Surely this isn’t a viable solution for the length and breadth of deals and availability online? Well, I think it’s somewhere between the culture of events and the deals available. Because of course, if you’re thinking about buying a new SSD, you could shop around online and wait for delivery, or there’s this one right here, now…
Many of the products here are bundled in pairings that you can’t normally find shopping online, so it makes it slightly harder to say if the prices here are good deals, but mostly it looks like you’d save between $10 and $50 on a purchase, depending on the products.
But really I think it’s the novelty, all weekend the machine has had a line of people standing around it taking photos and plenty buying hardware. Chatting to one of the booth attendants, he said the machine has needed to be restocked a couple of times during the day, with the smaller products selling out the quickest.
At the end of the day, customers love a souvenir or a bargain from an event, the vending machine is a cool drawcard and Centrecom have managed to set themselves apart from other vendors on the floor.