On December 6 and 7, the big PlayStation Experience event will be held, giving us a look at 2015 games, offering up panels for people to attend, and surprising us with new game announcements.
To learn a little more about PS Experience, GameSpot caught up with Naughty Dog Community Manager Eric Monacelli and Media Molecule Community Manager James Spafford, where Monacelli detailed three new panels:
- Greatness for Everyone — Panel with representatives from Titanfall developer Respawn Entertainment, 505 Games, Sony’s MLB development team, and Sony’s University Relations team. Monacelli says, It’s the perfect panel for people hoping to learn how to break into the game industry. (Sunday 11:30 AM)
- Project Morpheus and VR as a New Era for Games — This panel will feature representatives from Sony’s London Studio and Until Dawn developer Supermassive Games. In addition, the director of Morpheus R&D team, as well as PlayStation executive Shuhei Yoshida, will be on-hand. (Saturday 12 Noon)
- Entwined Panel — Developers from Pixel Opus will talk about their game, their relationship with Sony, and more during this panel. (Time TBA)
A full list of all the panels and times is coming prior to PS Experience, but it was said that not all will be streamed.
Moving towards the creation of PlayStation Experience (PSX), Monacelli says it came out of a recent PAX East where they gathered members of the Worldwide Studios community team and spent time with fans. After being so energized by the response, PSX was eventually formed as a result.
That whole concept spiraled into a bigger event. We were like, ‘We have this really awesome fan base and these really wonderful people that we get to hear from … and how can we talk with them in the most authentic and real way possible?’
Holding such a big event in the month of December is rare, with other events like E3, gamescom, and Tokyo Game Show taking place around the summer months. As Monacelli puts it, if games come out all year-round, why shouldn’t they show them off all year-round:
We’re trained historically that E3, all the big news comes out around that. Or if you’re in Europe, all the big news comes out around gamescom. Hopefully we can create this event in the December time-frame, maybe it’ll move, we don’t really know yet, but for now it’s one of those things where we want to plant our stake in the ground and say, ‘We have great content coming out all the time.’ And we want to be able to have a dialogue with our community, with our fans, year-round.
I think it really came down to, we have some great content we want to show moving into the holiday season, and just sort of the momentum of PlayStation 4 and continuing that. And just showcasing some of our upcoming titles and things we have going.
Featuring 110 indie developers, Monacellia says PSX will include “a mix” of AAA and indie games, with all the major Sony studios in attendance.
Spafford added, “I think it’s representative of PlayStation as a platform in general. PlayStation 4 has tons of great indie stuff, it has tons of great AAA things from first-party and third-party. And this event has all bases covered.”
As for the types of announcements you can expect at PSX, Monacelli teased some surprises:
We have a bunch of announcements coming, some pretty exciting stuff from across Worldwide Studios teams. One of the biggest elements, like you’ve seen at other cons like BlizzCon is sort of the surprise effect. Like Overwatch, right? That sort of came out of nowhere and it was really cool to see. So I think we want to keep those close to the vest until the day comes. We’ll definitely get it out there. We have a ton of great panels, a ton of great games you can play, and some really cool swag and collectible stuff.
For those attending PSX, Monacelli said there will be surprises they hear about first.
Looking at the Sony keynote scheduled for Saturday at 10am PT/1pm ET, Monacelli said, “The keynote itself Saturday morning is going to be pretty great, I think. There will be a lot of cool announcements and information there.”
Monacelli then addressed whether or not Sony’s announcement would be aimed at casual gamers or the mass-market:
There’s going to be a lot of other opportunities that sort of spiral out of this PlayStation Experience that speak to a more mass audience. Be it from some of the reveals and some of the media hits we’ll have after those reveals. Or if it’s just the fact that we have this really cool, new thing that we’re showing and everybody gets some eyeballs on it.
All in all, Monacelli says PlayStation Experience and its community involvement is crucial for developers:
These are the people that are going to buy your games, they’re going to play your games and really, genuinely care about what you’re doing. So these sort of events are crucial for development cycles and just sort of knowing if you’re headed in the right direction or knowing if you need to take a step back and assess what you’re actually putting out there.
It’s going to be a very busy weekend with The Game Awards on Friday night and PlayStation Experience on Saturday and Sunday. We’ll be covering all the news, and Chandler will be attending both events.