Sony Stone

2015

Growing the Gaming Culture

Summary

PlayStation’s “Core User Base” (those who spend on Games, Video, and Music) was 0.5%, spending an average of $275 per year. However, PlayStation’s highest population (86%) of its users are “gamers” that only spend an average of $65 per year.

 

Project Goal

Sony PlayStation wanted to find a way to grow its small “Core User Base” by engaging its most significant population, the gamer.

Tactic

The goal was to design a cross-media experience that would appeal to its gamers. This experience had two main initiatives that would create a "Sony Lifestyle." The first would utilize mobile devices and PlayStation 4 as content and social discovery platforms. The second was a wearable device that would extend the gamer landscape into the physical world.

Result

Multiple concepts were created and showcased to Sony's internal ATDD and SNEI Service divisions. After my participation as the head researcher and designer, I was put onto another project. Sony corporate accepted the ideas but did not do anything with them. 

Current Situation

PlayStation users engage with the console at home and after work. They specifically interact either with games, music, or video often ignoring other media content not relevant to them.

Identified Opportunity

People engage with a variety of apps and services to connect socially, share, and consume media throughout the day.

Course of Action

Engage with gamers outside of the PlayStation console environment. Enable them to discover new content while developing meaningful connections with other gamers.

Objective

Remove barriers between modes of interface, generate awareness of content, and change the PlayStation experience.

Create Awareness

Expose Sony's expansive catalog. Surface local and global PlayStation content engagement trends. Connect gamers with recommended content by bringing surfacing it directly to their feeds.

Remove Barriers

Sony's media content is found in many different applications, platforms, and devices. Creating a central "core interface" that acts as a singular cross-media service will be a one-stop-shop for PlayStation users.

A New Experience

Expand the discovery of content from the PlayStation console. Draw it out to everyday situations like checking twitter or Facebook feeds. Consider other interface options such as IoT and wearables.

Content and Social Discovery

Using a centralized user interface on mobile devices and the PlayStation 4 console.

Wearable Connection

Extending the Stone experience into the physical world, connecting people, content, and devices.

Wearable and AR Lens

An additional feature of the wearable was the idea of an AR Lens. Being able to literally see other Stone users as avatars and stats when using the wearable with a lens.

AR Collectables and Accessories

Upgrade a user’s digital appearance by purchasing and collecting AR charms. Viewable through the AR Lens.

Results & Next Steps

My time ended with the Stone project after presenting the research and design concepts to leadership in Tokyo and the San Francisco Bay Area. The team and I proposed next steps for PlayStation.

Direction 1

Break up the Stone project into multiple proposals and engage with different Sony business units and product planning groups. 

Direction 2

Prototype and develop the Stone different concepts as a single experience by creating a specialized group for this project.