The Penny Arcade forums feature a wealth of information about PAX and I highly recommend a newcomer to take a look at them. Folks over there are very helpful and friendly. Head over to the PAX forums and take a look for yourself. Below are some helpful links to threads to get you started on your information quest.
- Hotel information - Hotels sell out quick (The Seaport is already sold out, which is the hotel right across the street from the event), book quick!
- PAX East train alliance Play vidjagames and board games with gamers while on route to Boston, great idea.
- FAQ thread Generic FAQ thread, many questions are answered here
As PAX gets closer, pre PAX meetups will be discussed and planned. Pre PAX meetups allow folks who live in Boston or are flying in early to meetup, talk, socialize, and usually drink. Boston is a historic city and thus many events will center around this (museums, freedom trail, USS Constitution, etc).
What to expect at PAX East? Microsoft and Nintendo have always had booths at PAX East since its inception however Sony has not graced us east coasters with their presence thus far. Hopefully they will this year. PAX is generally focused around the fans but there may be closed door meetings and showings for members of the media. The majority of announcements and gameplay showings will be open to all. The floor will be full of developers showing off their games. Indie developers get a lot of love at PAX and you should expect to see some really cool titles from them. The plus is usually Indie games can be played quickly instead of waiting two and a half hours to the play the Darkness II.
PAX East also has a free PC play area, where you can play some of the latest titles with little to no wait. Also worth noting, is the free boardgame play area where you can check out games to play with old and new friends. PAX is a great experience, I highly recommend you purchase at least a 1 day pass and come take a look!