The Ill Communication

PlayStation Experience 2016
December 5, 2016 | 22:32 | Written by: snake911

My thighs are still sore from all the walking I did on Saturday, but it's totally worth it because I was able to attend this year's PlayStation Experience held in Anaheim.

Since I'm never going to be able to go to E3 because I have no business being there, and I can't afford to go to PAX when you add in plane tickets, hotel, meals, and any other traveling expenses, PSX is the closest way for me to get that firsthand experience minus all of the professionalism and money.  And that's okay, even better in fact because I'm with a bunch of like-minded individuals that are just fans and want to have a good time.

PlayStation Experience, if you don't know, is an annual even Sony holds every year in December to give thanks to PlayStation fans by giving them an opportunity to play upcoming games, meet people from the industry, and to view panels where they talk about big games currently in development.  If anything, you can think of PSX like an E3 without Microsoft and Nintendo, and catered to fans rather than the press.

2016 is the third year for PSX, with the first one in 2014 in Las Vegas and last year's in San Francisco.  This year was in Anaheim which is just a 25 mile drive from me, so I had no excuses not to attend!  So I got my tickets as soon as I heard it was in Anaheim.  And since I've never been to a gaming expo before, this was going to be something new and exciting because I didn't know what to expect.

The entire event was both on Saturday and Sunday, but we only went on Saturday, but that was the day I wanted to go to because of the keynote that would happen that morning, so the day began by waking up at 5am to make sure we had enough time to get in line because access to the keynote was based on first-come, first-served.  But before we could get into the keynote line, we had to wait in the line to get our badges.  But when we get our badges, we also got a tote bag stuffed with a bunch of goodies, including a bottle of hand sanitizer being the most important thing as we would be touching controllers all day.

For starters, the tote bag you receive looks like the bag for the PlayStation store logo as it's a light colored blue bag with the controller symbols on it with orange handles.  In it you get some window stickers, sunglasses, a cloth poster, hand sanitizer, a water bottle, magnet sticker, a discount code for a game, and a PSX 2016 t-shirt.  Not bad, considering I wasn't planning on receiving any swag from just being an attendant.

Even with the trouble we had while in line getting our badges because of a shortage of Saturday only desks (there were more two day desks so we had to wait longer), we were able to get into the keynote line in time to be part of the audience.  Watching these conferences at home on a PC is nothing compared to being there live in person.  Seeing reveal trailers and hearing the crowd go wild for a new game was something else.

Glad to see Marvel wasn't as uptight as I thought they were going to be with their properties, allowing Capcom to make a new Marvel vs Capcom game with Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite.  Then seeing love for a lot of classics where they're getting remakes with favorites like Crash Bandicoot, Wipeout, and PaRappa the Rapper.  I might get all three of these when they come out.  When the keynote ended, the side of the auditorium opened up, allowing the audience to flood into the main hall to get some hands on experience with the products they just showed off!

PSX is cool because they made a game out of the whole event itself where your badge and phone are needed to play.  You see, your badge has a chip in it that's tied to your PSN account and staff members at the event would scan your badge with a smartphone when you visited certain booths to play a game or attend a panel, proving that you played a certain game or went to a certain panel.  Then with the PSX app on your smartphone, you can log in with your PSN account and track your progress to see what you've attended.  There were goals rewards you could collect by finishing all of the requirements needed for it.  Some rewards were like getting discounts for purchases on the PlayStation Store while others were getting rare cards.

Oh, right.  I forgot to mention that in addition to scanning your badge, most (but not all) booths were handing out cards after you played a game, or participated in an event.  They were really cool with awesome art on some of them and acted as an incentive to try out as many games as you could.  Some cards were rarer than others, requiring you to accomplish certain goals with the app.  I didn't get a whole lot of them because some lines were long and took a huge chunk of time.  It was a bummer that there wasn't a card for playing the Crash Bandicoot remake or the PaRappa the Rapper game.  It would have been rad to have those cards.

There were a few autograph sessions on Saturday and I was lucky enough to meet with Tim Schafer and have him sign my new boxed copy of Broken Age!  But at the same time it was a bummer because I got nervous when it was my time to meet him.  As he was signing the box, I kept trying to tell him how I like the Amnesia Fortnight series, but I kept tripping over the word amnesia, so I felt like a doofus, but Tim was really cool and told me they are doing another one soon!  Then later I tried to get an autograph from Hideo Kojima, but the line was too long (and would have taken forever to wait in line, missing out on the showfloor) so I ditched the signing.

As a quick summary of games I played and liked, I'm looking forward to Obduction coming to PS4 (stupid PC), Crash Bandicoot, PaRappa the Rapper, Windjammers, Sonic Mania, Snake Pass, and many more I'm sure I'm forgetting as I write this post.  Aaaaannnd, it was my first time playing anything VR related.  With their PSVR booth, I played both 2KVR, and NBA 2K VR game; and also a puzzle game called Statik.  Both games were cool and I was sold on the tech.  Now I get what others are talking about when they discuss VR experience.

And that's PSX 16!  It was really fun and it would be great to attend again.  So, even though it would be greedy to say it, but I hope Sony considers having next year's PSX in Anaheim again.  Come on Sony!  It's SoCal!  Sunny weather, nice convention center, close to many airports.  It's so nice you'll want to have your conference there twice!

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