The PlayStation Experience is bigger than I expected.
I thought the PlayStation Experience wouldn’t be too large. Something closer to a small convention than a major event. I mean, it’s the 20th anniversary of the PlayStation, sure, but it’s also a celebration of only one of the "big three." I was excited, of course, but figured it was PS4 centric. How big could it be?
I was wrong. The PlayStation Experience is a massive endeavor and I feel foolish for ever questioning it. I wrote this article in parts throughout the day on Saturday, so please excuse the disjointed nature.
My first hint that this was going to be something of a mini-E3 was a few nights before I left for Vegas. I looked on my Facebook timeline and saw a number of my friends posting about a PlayStation Experience Groupon offer. It was a portend of things to come.
When I arrived in Vegas, I happened to start talking to an employee at the Venetian’s Godiva shop. He asked why I was here, and I mentioned PlayStation Experience. His eyes lit up, and he started going on and on about how excited he was and his desire to attend.
But, the clearest indication that the PlayStation Experience is huge hit me when I was sitting in line at the Media check-in line, waiting for it to open. As I strolled down the Sands Expo hallway, I marveled at the mob of people clustered together, waiting in line. It was extraordinary, and an outpouring of Sony love in a single demonstration.
I expected a small, low key, opening ceremony. Nothing major, perhaps 2,000 odd people gathered together to hear the opening address. Of course, this was what I imagined when I thought the PlayStation Experience was going to be more quaint. I was astonished as the hall kept filling with people. More and more constantly poured in, all excited about their favorite, Sony systems. The tension was palpable, though that could have been the rampant dubstep.
Now, I pick this up after having spent an entire day on the show floor. The people kept coming. Lines were endless. There were even hour long waits to play the Destiny expansion early, even though it will be available on December 9, 2014. Forget trying out Project Morpheus, unless you have a magic Media badge that gets you into the press lounge where the wait is far more manageable. If you wanted to play a game that first day, seven out of ten times there will was a line.
Some places were less crowded than others. I had no trouble finding a cushion to plop down on to play Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late. The wait for independent games was small to non-existent. Still, even the booths that weren’t as busy were far from empty. There might have been a momentary lulls, but it wouldn’t be long before someone wandered over to give some love to the less prominent endeavors.
The thing that pleased me most was the Vita response. I’ve been to E3 for years, and each time I’ve seen the Vita demo stations vacant. People don’t show up in the same numbers. At the PlayStation Experience, they did. If a Vita was empty, it wasn’t for long. People wanted to play and enjoy these games, and it made me smile.
The PlayStation Experience has been, thus far, extraordinary. Sure, I haven’t had my hands-on time with No Man’s Sky yet. Still, it’s much more massive than I ever expected, and I sincerely hope the event will continue and grow.