Sony’s second annual Playstation Experience came to San Francisco. Attendees at the event got opportunities to test out many games still in development, compete in tournaments, test out Sony’s new virtual reality headsets, partake in photo ops, as well as collect a bunch of free video game goodies.
Held in San Francisco’s Moscone Center West, the convention took place on three floors. The first two floors had all the different gaming booths, while the top floor was dedicated for the opening keynote Saturday morning, followed by various panels throughout the day, and a Capcom tournament on Sunday. The second floor also had a livecast stage where interviews and gameplays took place while being filmed and broadcasted live for those who could not attend. All of the livecasts, panels, and debut trailers from the event can also be viewed on the official Playstation YouTube channel right now.
Since gamers really enjoy accomplishing challenges and unlocking rewards (such as trophies in Playstation games), the Playstation Experience offered a unique check-in rewards program. Attendees who registered with their Playstation screen name had badges that could be scanned at each booth to check-in. Different check-ins rewarded small bonuses such as avatars or free DLC for the game at that booth, or even a $10 PSN voucher. In addition, there were also collectable trading cards offered throughout the convention. Just like the difficulty tiers of trophies on Playstaion, more common bronze trophies could be received simply by checking in at certain booths or testing out a game. However, more rare platinum cards had harder requirements, such as getting top of the leaderboard on your team or beating a set high score. The Playstation Experience pamphlet did warn that the cards are very limited, so even if you completed all the challenges, it is not a guarantee that you will be able to receive the card if they have run out.
The convention was an 18+ event and there was a sports bar serving beer (themed after the playstation game MLB the Show, filled with trophies all against the wall). In addition to the posters, Playstation beanie and t-shirt, it was really nice to see that hand sanitizer was included in the complimentary goodie bag that was given to all attendees. Especially at an even focused on touching controllers that have been handled by so many different people throughout the day; this was a nice addition that more conventions should consider to help prevent “con plague.” Overall, the Playstaion Experience was a great weekend for passionate gamers to play and collect a bunch of video game freebies and merchandise.