Best Buy Tech Wonderland is back this year after being a virtual event in 2020. This year’s event takes place in Toronto and Montreal. In Toronto, on November 19 and 20 from 12:00 pm to 8:00 pm, Yonge-Dundas Square will be transformed into a Tech Wonderland full with the coolest latest and greatest tech. And, in Montreal, on November 26 and 27 Jacques-Cartier Pier will become a tech paradise.
A special preview media event was held here in Toronto Thursday night to get a sneak peak at the event and I was able to attend. Yonge-Dundas Square is pretty big so for Best Buy Tech Wonderland a fairly large area is fenced off to contain all the festivities. Upon entering you really do feel like you have entered a tech wonderland. Holiday music fills the air from the Telus stage, Christmas trees and holiday lights throughout the space are perfectly placed.
The Santa Smart Sleigh powered by Google
Smackdab in the middle is The Santa Smart Sleigh, which is powered by Google. While jolly old saint nick wasn’t there, I was able to play around with Santa’s Google Nest Hub Max that powers his sleigh. With simple voice commands such as Hey Google “power up the Smart Sleigh”, “check on the presents” and “play holiday music” Santa’s sleigh came alive!
By all means, powering up the sleigh was the most impressive. As a result, Santa’s sleigh rumbled and the Google powered engines on each side of the sleigh kicked into high gear. There was even white mist coming from the back of the engines! It was quite a spectacle to see and experience!
The Sony Experience
After literally having a blast with Santa’s Smart Sleigh, I headed over to the Sony Experience. This area was divided into three sections. The first section is a home office setup. The Sony SRSXG500 portable speaker was on display.
This compact portable speaker really packs a punch and has up to a 30 hour battery life. As a result, I was quite impressed with its performance. A pair of Sony WH-1000XM4 headphones were also on display, but still in the box. Speaking with the Sony Experience rep he told me about these Bluetooth headphones and explained that they have adaptive noise cancelling technology and Dual Noise Sensor for some pretty impressive sound.
Stunning Sony 8K TV and surround sound home theatre system
Afterwards, I moved into the living room setup they had. The main attraction is an absolutely stunning Sony 8K TV. Without doubt, pictures and words do not do it justice! You literally have to see it with your own eyes to appreciate the incredible picture quality this TV is capable of.
Sound was pumped through the HT-A9 surround sound home theatre system. The system is composed of four speakers that can be hardwired or wireless and a central box that ties everything together. The HT-A9 has 360 spatial sound mapping that makes you feel like you are in a movie theatre and the sound is coming from all around you. Surprisingly, this was all pretty impressive and neat stuff!
Massive Sony 100-inch TV
Last, but certainly not least, in the Sony Experience booth is a massive 100-inch TV. I currently have a 65-inch in my living room and this 100-inch TV made it look small! The BRAVIA XR X92 LED 4K UHD Full Array Smart Google TV is an absolute beast! And, I mean that in a good way. One day this awesome TV will be mine!
Finally, for those with a keen eye, there is a contest with a pretty neat prize. If you find Techie the Blue Shirt Elf, who has hidden himself in some festive scenes on the 100-inch TV, you can enter for a chance to win a home theatre setup-up. Visitor just need to take 2 pictures of Techie in 2 different scenes on their cellphones, and submit both images for a valid entry.
The Fun Zone, presented by Oculus
Thereafter, after finishing up with the Sony Experience, I made my way over to the Fun Zone. Presented by Oculus, this area gives you the chance to try out the company’s latest headset, the Oculus Quest 2. Additionally, two retro arcade machines from Arcade1UP, Street Fighter II and Pac-Man are available to play for free.
I got to try out the Oculus Quest 2. Having used Sony’s PlayStation VR previously, I can tell you the Oculus Quest 2 is in its own class. Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge is awesome! You play as a droid repair technician and get attacked by a group of pirates and fight alongside your favourite Star Wars characters including R2-D2 and C-3PO. Without doubt the visuals are crisp, clear and the immersion is top notch.
The Microsoft Experience
Lastly, after playing a few rounds of Street Fighter II and Pac-Man in the Fun Zone, I headed over to the Microsoft Experience. Several Surface Pro 8 tablets were set up to try out. There was a contest, if you write a letter to Santa and drop it in the mailbox, next to Santa’s Google powered Smart Sleigh, you could win a prize.
I got to check out the Surface Pro 8 and use the Surface Slim Pen 2. What is really neat about these wireless pens is that they provide a bit of force feedback. When writing, it simulates the feeling as if you are writing on paper. It’s pretty neat!
The Xbox Series X experience
What would a Microsoft Experience be without the Xbox Series X? Luckily, I didn’t have to wonder. Next to the Surface Pro 8 tablets, a Xbox Series X was set up. On it, you could play Forza Horizon 5 and the Halo Infinite Multiplayer beta. Correspondingly, this is a great way to showcase the hardware and the platform, if I say so myself
Finally, I ended my visit to the Best Buy Tech Wonderland with a quick play of Forza Horizon 5 in the Forza Playseat. This setup is composed of a custom race car seat along with a steering wheel and pedals. If you’ve never played a racing game with pedals and a steering wheel, you’ve got to try this out. It adds a whole new level to gameplay and an experience that you simply can’t get with a controller!
The Best Buy Tech Wonderworld is a fun time for all
All in all, I had a blast at the Best Buy Tech Wonderworld. It was fun to see and get my hands on some of the latest and greatest technology from Google, Sony, Oculus and Microsoft. If you’re in Toronto on November 19 and 20, head down to Yonge-Dundas Square between 12 pm and 8 pm. Not only will you have a lot of fun, but you also might win a prize or two!
Find gifts for your friends and family at the best prices during Black Friday Month. If you need gift ideas, check out our Holiday Gift Guide. Even after Black Friday, you can look forward to more sales during Cyber Monday.