A location, size and design that is sure to grab any visitor’s attention that walks into GameStart 2015 is the PlayStation booth that occupies the biggest area at this year’s GameStart Asia. The two story PlayStation booth not only sees the most number of games for hands on but also a retail area with crazy deals and a mini stage that is crowded during demonstrations. If anything, Sony Computer Entertainment Hong Kong (Singapore Branch) sure has pulled out all the stops for this booth this year.
Welcoming visitors to GameStart 2015 is the retail section of the PlayStation booth where you can not only drool over the limited edition Darth Vader PlayStation 4 set but also take a preview at various upcoming PlayStation 4 covers that come in many colours. The PlayStation VR set is also on display, but like the covers, these are not for sale yet (to the dismay of this writer who got his PlayStation 4 on launch day and feels the needs to “colourfy” it). Those looking to get their hands on a shiny new PlayStation 4 set were also in luck as many good promotions and deal were offered. A quick look around sees many PlayStation bags as some of the deals were so good, many gave in and took out their wallets.
Next up is the Street Fighter V area where a huge wall with the characters from the game can be found. Here visitors get to hands on the unreleased game and try out all their favourite characters, challenge their friends or others to a round and even take a selfie with a cosplayer in the traditional Chun Li outfit. Fans were also in for a treat as the men behind the game, producers Yoshinori Ono – with his signature Blanka toy and Tomoaki Ayano – who wore a Chun-Li costume, were down for a special segment at the GameStart 2015 stage to complete the Street Fighter V experience.
The central portion of the PlayStation booth (with its huge sign and logo) houses various hands on stations for visitors to give games such as Need for Speed, Guitar Hero Live, Mighty No 9 and even the unreleased Battleborn a go. Friendly booth staff were also on hand to help and guide visitors with the games and in some cases even as a playing partner if needed. I had a good time talking to one staff while watching my videographer self-poison himself at the Need for Speed booth (who later bought a PlayStation 4 set from the retail section) and these little extras definitely improve the overall experience.
Towards the end of the PlayStation booth on the right side (facing the giant PlayStation signage) housed the AAA game titles such as Star Wars: Battlefront and Call of Duty Black Ops 3. There a sizable number of hands on stations were available for visitors to try the game out, reflecting the status of the two games. There were even sights of Stormtroppers and cosplayers in military gear posing and trying out the games themselves which added to the overall feel of the booth.
Of course one major highlight of the PlayStation booth this year is the appearance of the PlayStation VR in South East Asia for the first time. A whole level 2 was dedicated to the PlayStation VR where all public slots were fully booked. An interesting thing that was done up at the level was at each PlayStation VR station, there were 2 screens facing outwards to the general area, one to show the person trying out the PlayStation VR and one to show the actual live gameplay. I guess this is a good consolation for those who didn’t get the slots to at least get a glimpse of what it’s like to play it. We also managed to get some time with the PlayStation VR and I am already looking forward to getting one on release day.
Rounding up the PlayStation booth this year at GameStart 2015 is the mini stage located right under the PlayStation Signage where a big screen in the back complements its well. From game demos and trailers to audience interaction and mini competition segments, the area is always crowded when an activity is ongoing.
Not forgetting also the pleasant and pretty booth babes that were all smiles posing for photos and taking selfies, this year’s PlayStation booth experience is one to remember and I would love to see them top it for next year’s GameStart Asia.
Photos by Ken Koh
Do check out our photo gallery of GameStart 2015 over at our Facebook page.
By Kenneth Wong
© POPCulture Online 2015