Monday, December 5, 2016

PlayStation Experience 2016: Sony Doesn't Know How Many Fans They Have, Lines Them Up

It was all triangles, circles, squares and a x's in Anaheim over the weekend with the third PlayStation Experience being in SoCal this year. The Anaheim Convention Center had a huge dose of vitamin teenager angst and gamers as they trotted in a played a wide selection of indie titles, while others only dreamed at the chance of playing bigger AAA games that had their lines capped or got booked before they even got there. Sony has fans and they showed up in force to see the latest from the brand. PlayStation paid back this kindness with a mediocre event in planning. Things you might expect with a volunteer event were still very obvious problems at PlayStation's third convention. In the following, will highlight what we liked and disliked at the experience.


Lines, not of coke, 80's reference
- We don't know what numbers Sony got when people registered for the event, but it was clear they didn't share that info with the exhibitors. Or the exhibitors didn't care, either way the line for the bigger titles were monstrous. Some were capped at a three hour wait time, like Waypoint. Others just had standby like Capcom's Resident Evil 7, which was booked completely on Sunday at 10:30am. The event started at 10 am.

-Sony's convention is a for-profit event. You'd think they'd just bring huge sections of Vita's and PlayStation 4's to play on. Why not bring a huge selection of games to play and try out. Y'know just have an open arcade? They didn't and you could see people, bored and without access to titles to play.

There were so many places they could have just put consoles and let multiplayer games go on.

-Grand Turismo lack of goods. From what we heard they only brought 200 shirts to accommodate their fans.

Hello garbage, my old friend.

This isn't about what's bad for you, it's just that everything inside and out of the convention tasted terrible. Sony could have gotten some good food trucks, but the likes of the Devilicious food truck, don'e ever eat there and the convention food led to some of the worst eats we've seen and sadly tasted.

Sony could easily have gotten some good eats and at a price for fans. Special food based on their games perhaps? Make a Kratos coleslaw a Parappa hot dog. Or just something decent to eat for their fans.

-Indie town, fend for yourself

The indie games there shined with fun as many of the creators came out in person to show them off or just don't have the resources to get someone else to show it. Sony in turn cared very little in telling them how to prepare for the event, such as giving them no real info on what to expect. Their gamemakers, not event planners. As per usual Sony crammed them into sections reminiscent of ghettos when there was plenty of open space. It took us forever to find GNOG.

*One of the same lines I heard from fans while waiting in lines was how poor Sony planned on actual people being at booths and making room for them.

-The PlayStation Store has line?

What made the littlest of sense what the insanely long line for the PlayStation store. This was just a place to buy special PlayStation gear and it had one of the longest lines at the convention.

How does a store have a line and if Sony had run two other shows you would think they would know to expand it or find a way to make it easier for fans to buy their goods.


-App, will travel

The PlayStation Experience app, though only available starting the day of the event worked remarkably well. Each booth could scan your badge and in turn would update that app on your phone unlocking PS4 themes, games, discounts and even cards.

It also had an exhibitor guide and map.

Only downside, was that it couldn't connect your PSN account and just unlock your earned items or get you a trophy in PSN for attending the event. It gave you codes for your rewarded items and we thought it was funny it had your account info, but couldn't really connect to it.

-Cards, a fun concept that had you picking up collectible cards from the booths you visited. Just some nice mementos from you visit.

-Capcom, yeah it lost on Resident Evil 7 lines, but still placated fans with having consoles to play around its booth and a signing from Street Fighter's Yoshinori Ono.

Oh, and that little Capcom Cup. Nah, it was a sporting event for video games fans. You could sit in the stands and watch people duke it out in video games. An experience people don't usually get.

-Hard to believe, but PlayStation's first day went until 10pm. Yup, the floor was open, not just the Capcom Cup. That's a pretty great move as most conventions go as late a 6pm. If you drove all the way out you got an extra four hours to get your game on.

-Goodies, you did get a goodie bag worth having with a PlayStation reusable water-bottle, sunglasses, t-shirt (sizes you wanted went quick) and a commemorative banner.

We can't believe Sony needs a lesson in how to be a functioning event. We would call some aspects on par as the non-profit Anime Expo. A volunteer event that each year manages to screw up. Last year, almost burning artist alley alive by sending it to the basement and not having air conditioning on for two days until the artists complained enough.

Sony isn't AX, but it came close and that's not a compliment.