This year the show-for-gamers has moved from the more rustic setting of the Melbourne Showgrounds to the heart (or at least a major artery) of the CBD, the Melbourne Exhibition Centre. The PAXAUS show also spills into the adjoining Melbourne Convention Centre for shows and panels.
For the only PAX outside of North America there is already a slightly different vibe. After playing a bit of a wait-and-see card last year, the success has attracted more big-name publishers to the show floor, most notably Xbox, 2K, Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment, Oculus VR and Bethesda join Ubisoft, Wargaming, Riot games with League of Legends and Nintendo with the large electronic gaming booths.
There are real military tanks on the show floor.
Of course, PAX makes a big deal about the Indie developers and has positioned them prominently using the very successful display booths from last year, expanding into traditional booths and giving these fresh faces the opportunity to shine.
The freegaming areas, and tabletop arenas are back, perhaps slightly modified for space from the previous year, but as popular as ever. There are a great deal of excited faces, a few apprehensive ones on the booth population and the whiff of an interesting potpourri in the air as PAXAUS kicks off in Melbourne.