An Ode to PSX

An Ode to PSX
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Shawn Layden confirmed late last week that there wouldn’t be a PSX in 2018, and that totally bums me out. I already booked my vacation time at work, and I’ve saved up enough money and mileage points on my credit card in hopes of this December event. PSX had become one of my favorite times of the year, from an announcement and community standpoint. Now, I wouldn’t be surprised if this is just a one time deal. As a matter of fact, from the outside in, this is a smart play. PSX had three years of mind-blowing announcements, and it seemed last year Sony ran out of big announcements. So maybe skipping this year will make next year’s show even better (possibly having Ghost of Tsushima, Death Stranding, and PlayStation 5 announcements maybe?), but I can’t help but reminisce on the incredible community I’ve been lucky enough to be a part of.

PSX 2015 Line

At this point, I was about four turns away from the front. I stood in this line for two-and-a-half hours.

My first PSX was in 2015. A scheduling mishap at work caused me to miss the inaugural one in Vegas, but I knew I wasn’t missing that next year. San Francisco is only a four-hour drive from where I am, so I planned accordingly. Now, I would have gone anywhere in the country, but the close distance always helped. When I heard the announcement, I would have rather cut my left foot off than miss that opportunity. I should also mention that PSX 2015 was my first convention ever, so I was not only excited but nervous about what to expect.

Obviously, I wasn’t disappointed. That event changed my life and (re)solidified my love for gaming, the PlayStation community, and reignited my interest in wanting to get in this industry.

I’d never been to a place where I’d felt so welcome. I’d never been to a place where everyone was there for the same reason – yes, including Disneyland. PSX showed me the definition of community. I was also lucky enough to have a long conversation with the likes of David Jaffe, and I got to meet some of the IGN staff, but more importantly, I made friends with fans in the PlayStation community.

PSX Ratchet

Not to brag, but I got to meet Ratchet. He’s pretty cool.

For PSX 2016, I was fortunate enough to bring my fiancé to the show. While she doesn’t play games –  I’ve gotten her to play Overcooked and LEGO games and a few others – I’m lucky enough to have shared that experience with her. Being at that press conference was amazing; I’ll never forget how loud the crowd was when The Last of Us Part 2 was announced. It helped getting to shake the hand of, and get an autograph, from Tim Schaffer. Getting a sneak peek of upcoming games was the cherry on top.

Last year was another unforgettable experience (are you noticing a trend?). While some have criticized the way Sony handled the “press conference,” a lack of major announcements didn’t help, the running theme here is the community and how we all banded together to have a good time. I don’t need a flashy E3 announcement to have a good time. Just let me play great games with amazing people.

Community. That’s what I’m going to miss the most this year. I can’t disagree with Sony for skipping this year. If they don’t have a lot to show, well, then they have every right not to hold another PSX. I’m sure it’s an expensive event, and even with paid tickets, I wouldn’t be surprised if Sony loses money each year.

PSX Conference

My seat for the Showcase last year. I found similar seats each year before this as well.

So does Sony need to have big announcements and a flashy conference? Sure, I’d be willing to bet that’s why most people want to go, or even pay attention to the event. I know that’s why I wanted to attend initially. But after waking up at the crack of dawn and eagerly waiting in line, I realized what PSX really was about.

So, this year I’ll take a break. I’ll take the money I’ve saved and continue saving it. I’ll keep my credit card miles. I’ll continue to play the incredible games 2018 has had to offer. But all the while, I’ll do all of this in sadness. Sad that I won’t get to reconnect with people within the PlayStation community. Sad that I won’t get to preview upcoming games. Sad that I won’t get to meet new folks within the industry.

Sony, I’m disappointed there won’t be a PSX this year. But you know that when you announce another one, you’ll have a guaranteed ticket sale.

Brandon Stephenson

Brandon has been a gamer since he could remember. He plays any game recommended to him. Kingdom Hearts is a subject you don’t want to start him on. Outside of gaming, Brandon enjoys watching baseball. He wishes every console had a handle on the back like the GameCube.