Some people may ask why is there still a need for LAN parties with console domination, MMO’s and high-speed internet, but if you are asking those questions then you don’t get the point. A LAN party is just as much about social interaction as it is about gaming. I personally met the majority of my Miami friends after joining a LAN party and it was the best experience I’ve had regarding gaming.
LanSlide PCs is a company that peeked my interest because not only do they build high-end gaming systems, but they focus on the LAN party aspect of PC gaming. Originally people would bring whateversystem they had to a LAN party and often the custom or self-build systems were extremely large and heavy. However, as time went on more and more people built smaller systems so they could specially take them to LAN parties. The company Shuttle was a godsend to LAN party goers because of its small form factor. Having a place to turn to in order to have custom gaming systems build for LAN parties just seemed like a good idea.
Now while LanSlide does specialize in custom build LAN ready systems that doesn’t mean they aren’t meant for everyday and even extreme gaming. Another good thing is that their wide array of options allows you to select a system that fits your needs from components to price. You can select your processor choice and build from there with various case sizes and pricing from around $800 for the entry level system all the way up to $4800 for the extreme gaming rigs.
Now their PC-Pack is defiantly a LAN go’ers dream, it is a large backpack designed to hold almost everything you would need to take to a LAN party. I was able to get my hand on one and I was impressed by its sizes, design and craftsmanship. The pack can hold a 22 inch flat panel monitor, gaming keyboard, headphones, your mouse and a ton of other accessories you would need for on the go gaming. What’s cool is the pack splits when opened so you can fit all your items in separate compartments where they remain protected and won’t bounce around. My only complaint was on the website under “What doesn’t fit” it lists Florida.
You’ve seen Justin’s gamer profile, but we wanted to get a little more information on him and LanSlide PC.
What is the vision, the overall goal of LanSlide?
LanSlide was founded by a group of gamers sick of dragging their oversized desktops around. We’re dedicated to bringing powerful but portable desktop computers to the gaming community because we find being together, in the same room, gives a level of interaction and shared experience that can’t be matched over a computer connection. So I guess you could say our vision is to make it easier for gamers to get together and play games. At the same time, our goal as a company is to create affordable gaming machines that are well-suited to the needs of our gamers. Too many companies have forgotten that last bit, which is a big part of why we felt we needed to create LanSlide.
With high-speed internet and consoles, do you believe LAN parties are still popular?
All you have to do is look at conventions like PAX and Digital Overload, where tons of gamers show up with their gaming rigs, to see that LAN gaming is alive and well. A close friend of mine has two of the major consoles, yet I can’t remember the last time we played a game on them; I’m over there several times a week with my PC, however. The multiplayer games are just more interesting on PCs. Try playing an RTS, MMO, or FPS on the console; it’s just not as good for that kind of game play. I think consoles have PCs beat in the single player genre (although they don’t have to, hint hint, cough cough game producers), but when it comes to multiplayer, PCs are where all the interesting stuff is happening. High speed internet and the move towards centralized servers only make it easier for people who are not in the area to log in and join up. People have always liked to get together in person, no matter what their interests, and what better thing for gamers to get together over than video games.
What makes LanSlide stand out from other manufacturers?
When we took a look at the industry, we found that a lot of computers were oversized and overpriced. So when we founded LanSlide, we set out to change that. All of our computers are portable and we make a point not to overcharge for high-end machines. We also take the time with our customers to make sure they’re getting the best machines to suit their needs. We’ll often e-mail back and forth several times with a prospective customer to help them build a computer. In addition, we take our feedback very seriously, and when someone has a good idea, we try to implement it as quickly as possible.
How would you help a gamer choose one of your systems?
It really depends on what kind of games they play. There’s a wide range of PC gamers, from the hardcore to the super-casual. For most people, who only need one video card, we recommend any of our small form factor systems. For people who are really hardcore and want insane rigs that are going to blow everyone else out of the water, we have a mid-tower that’ll take 2-3 video cards. If you want to do all of that AND do it in 3D, go for one of our 3D systems, which set you up with everything you need to game in 3D. Our biggest piece of advice, though, is to make sure you get a rig that’s going to solve the in-game problems you’re having and improve your gaming experience. We also recommend you buy a system that leaves you some room to grow as a gamer.
Tell us about the concept behind the PC Pack?
You go through the trouble and expense of buying all this awesome gaming gear, so shouldn’t you have something to protect it? That’s the idea behind the PC Pack (http://www.lanslidepcs.com/productdetails.asp?pid=40). It’s basically a backpack designed to hold and protect up to a 22″ widescreen monitor, extra-long gaming keyboard, mouse, headphones, and all the other things you need to run your desktop. It makes it easy to transport your computer in one trip, since our cases are all easy to carry, and everything else goes in the PC Pack and can be put on your back. Imagine the difference when walking into a big LAN party on the third floor of a conference center, where you only have to make the trip once, half the weight is on your back instead of in your arms, and you have a free hand to open the door. There’s just no comparison to moving your computer without it, plus it saves you the heartbreak of losing your brand new monitor to a flight of stairs.
How do you think 3D gaming will change the face of PC gaming?
3D gaming makes for a more immersive experience, and that has a huge impact on the player, making it possible to get much more involved in the game. There’s nothing like the feeling of being the main character in your favorite FPS, ducking to take cover behind objects while you work your way through the enemy camp. Furthermore, we believe that, as 3D gaming becomes more prevalent, game developers will start designing specifically for 3D, and that may create a whole new class of games that play in new and amazing ways.
If you haven’t experienced a true LAN party you should and if you need a system to take then LanSlide might be right up your alley. In the end you can’t replace the interaction you get face to face and in person so anyone who is fighting to keep LAN parties going is awesome in my book. I personally loved to go to LAN parties then load up an Atari emulator sometimes just to piss people off, good times.