Sony might be onto something with their current stint of customer service. While conventions give ample opportunities to demo new games and hardware, it's tailored more for press rather than the public. Those tired of waiting in absurdly long lines with virtually no comforts to help bide their time should check out the PlayStation Vita Social Club. It's a mini E3, of sorts, with a focus solely on the upcoming handheld, the Playstation Vita. The Vita Social Club is a series of eight locations (possibly more) designed with the gamer in mind and open to everyone.
Treated as a posh club complete with memberships and hosts/hostesses, gamers can be spoiled (in the best possible way) with drinks, snacks and, of course, games. Guests receive a menu with everything available in the club, which allows them to customize their experience -- gaming Ã€ la carte, if you will. The play areas are decorated with luxurious furnishings and the walls are lined with Sony-inspired art. Playstation Vita systems litter the space and offer a myriad of demos to try.
Touch My Katamari, Rayman Origins, Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3, and LittleBigPlanet were just some of the big name titles shown at the recently opened Los Angeles social club — also, some game called Uncharted. Sipping drinks and noshing, jumping from game to game while sitting on comfortable leather seating is a far cry from sitting on the floors of a showroom, waiting hours for five minutes of game time.
The real advantage to these clubs is the ability to try out less hyped titles, ones that players might be on the fence about or may have never heard of. This allows smaller game developers with fantastic titles to get the attention they richly deserve, but might not get in shadows of other blockbuster games. Some amazing projects that caught a particularly large amount of attention were Sound Shapes, Army Corps of Hell and Gravity Rush.
Before putting money down on any new piece of hardware, gamers need to make sure it is worth the investment and the selection of launch titles for the Vita is leaps and bounds above most other handhelds, making a very convincing argument for buying it from the get-go.
Sony clearly understands the importance of being in touch with the public and their Vita Social Club offers many opportunity few others can and does great service to their fans.
The Vita Social Club is ready to serve gamers in the following cities: San Francisco, Los Angeles, Miami, Atlanta, New York City, Boston, Chicago and Austin.
The rest of us will need to pick up our own Playstation Vita when it arrives February 15, 2012.
Follow me on Twitter @8BitBomb