Sony Exhibit Envelops PlayStation Enthusiasts
The No. 1 video game platform in the world continues to dazzle and delight each May. The annual PlayStation booth at the Electronic Entertainment Expo has officially crossed the line from exhibit to destination.
With the goal of showing off the new PSP handheld device for the first time ever in North America while supporting the more-viable-than-ever PlayStation 2, Sony Computer Entertainment America got together with the teams at Pinnacle and Mauk Design to craft the master plan.
The booth needed to be immersive, sure. But it also needed to allow for traffic from all directions and contain people inside the footprint in a way that wrapped them in the brand and cut down lines of sight to other exhibitors. “The key words we kept using were ‘immersive’ and ‘adventurous,’” says Ed DeMasi, PlayStation’s director of creative service.
The result was a 44,000-square-foot exhibit inspired by a turbine engine design. Around the footprint were illuminated mesh blades and video screens that came together to form a branded perimeter. “We don’t typically use walls, as we want people to be able to come in freely,” says DeMasi. “This allowed for the free flow, but once people were inside they were enclosed in our world.”
The overall exhibit resembled a giant sports arena, laid out in ascending levels and in concentric circles. Museum-like displays showcased a large variety of games. There was little in the way of actual signage copy. Instead, messaging was accomplished through environment video, music, gaming sounds, stylized architecture and hands-on demos. “We try to host people in an organized way—as best we can with 62,000 people,” says DeMasi.
The PSP display was used as the focal anchor used to pull people in. At the center of the footprint were the featured game titles PlayStation was hyping at the show. The far walls housed the booth’s corporate desk, which served as the hub of meetings, media and announcements.