Earlier this month, Sony Computer Entertainment America hosted the PlayStation Experience (PSX) in San Francisco. PSX is a consumer event that gives fans announcements of new wares, enables them to try out upcoming games and products, and offers panels discussing all things PlayStation that they can watch.
The recent PSX also gave attendees the chance to get their hands on a series of PlayStation-oriented cards called PlayStation Collectible Cards. Cards were handed out for free for checking in at PSX booths and events (by scanning your PSX badges on an RFID device at certain booths), getting hands-on time with certain games, and if you happened to know the right people to talk to on the show floor. There were also plenty of opportunities to trade cards with other attendees.
Dan "Shoe" Hsu, Sony's senior manager of partner alliance, who was one of the driving forces behind the creation of the PSX 2015 cards, explained to GamesRadar+ that this year's PSX cards deviated a bit from the cards available at PSX 2014 in Las Vegas.
Collectible cards from PlayStation Experience 2014.
"The first PlayStation Experience took place in Las Vegas, so thematically, it made sense for us to give out playing cards as collectibles," Hsu said. "Attendees could find various suits and numbers across the show floor, and if they found them all, they would have a complete 54-card deck.
"Because this year's show took place in San Francisco, we wanted to try a new format - one that would work as an ongoing program rather than one self-contained deck per show."
When the decision was made to offer the cards at PSX, there were myriad details they had to go over. The folks at Sony certainly didn't want to take the low road and end up offering cheap cards. They wanted PSX attendees to be excited about seeking out and getting cards.
"A lot of work and decisions went into these cards - art and graphical design, budget approvals, etc.," Hsu explained "Which games would go on the cards? How many cards do we make? What card stock do we use? Which foils do we use? How are we distributing them? How will the fans earn Trophy Cards? And then we had four different trips to the printers to approve all the different proofs.
"Internally, a lot of different people from different departments had to come together to make this all work: creative services, marketing, first party, third party, PR, events, etc. In addition, we worked with nearly 30 publishers and developers to design and get approvals on all their respective cards.
When the manufacturing was done, 130,000 cards had been printed for PSX 2015 with 35 different designs. However, because the decision was made to offer "rare" versions of certain cards, they ended up with 66 different card faces. (A complete list is at the end of this article.) Hsu said the "common" versions were produced with bronze-colored foil and printed in quantities ranging from 5–10 times the amount of their respective "rares," which sported shiny holographic foil and an asterisk next to its card number. The four "trophy" cards, which were handed out for checking in at a certain number of PSX locations, were the only ones produced without "common" versions; all of them are considered rare.
"We focused on our top priorities from first and third party," Hsu explained. "The larger booths received about 2,500 ‘common' cards and 500 ‘rare' cards, while the smaller booths received 2,000 and 200, respectively."
When he was asked if he can tell us what are the rarest of the PSX 2015 cards, Hsu shared his perspective with us.
"The Silver, Gold, and Platinum Trophy Cards ran out much more quickly than we had anticipated, so those ended up being difficult for many people to get," he said. "The Assassin's Creed Syndicate card was tricky to find because the game's kiosks weren't actually in the Ubisoft booth. But the single hardest card to find was the "rare" version of Paragon. Five specific people from SCEA and Epic Games each had 100 of these to give away. You had to be lucky to catch those random handouts - or you had to track these folks down if you caught wind of this on Twitter."
If you're starting to get the feeling that Sony's PSX cards are somewhat like Penny Arcade's PAX pins, Hsu said that, while the appeal for event attendees is similar, the two collectible items are like apples and oranges.
"I personally love and collect pins, whether they're from PAX or Disney World," Hsu stated, "but Penny Arcade pins and the PlayStation Collectible Cards are different programs. Fans earned PlayStation Collectible Cards by completing specific challenges at PlayStation Experience - such as checking in at booths, winning multiplayer, etc."
Hsu continued to explain that, while Sony won't offer a platform to facilitate selling or trading cards among collectors - "It's up to the collectors to find and trade these amongst themselves," he said - it will offer a subsite on PlayStation.com that collectors can scope out to see what cards have been created. And as he noted earlier, the collectible-card program will be an ongoing project, eventually growing with new cards being offered outside of PSX.
"Future cards will continue where this first series from PlayStation Experience 2015 left off," Hsu said. "We have not yet announced what the next cards will be or when or where they'll appear."
More free collectible cards for other PlayStation game franchises? If they don't get lost in the shuffle, that'll be a pretty good deal.
Here's a full list of all the PlayStation collectible cards so far:
Card number / Card description
001* Platinum Trophy
002* Gold Trophy
003* Silver Trophy
004* Bronze Trophy
005* PlayStation Experience (rare)
005 PlayStation Experience (common)
006* PlayStation VR (rare)
006 PlayStation VR (common)
007* Uncharted 4: A Thief's End (rare)
007 Uncharted 4: A Thief's End (common)
008* MLB The Show (rare)
008 MLB The Show (common)
009* Ratchet & Clank (rare)
009 Ratchet & Clank (common)
010* Shadow of the Beast (rare)
010 Shadow of the Beast (common)
011* RIGS Mechanized Combat League (rare)
011 RIGS Mechanized Combat League (common)
012* Hob (rare)
012 Hob (common)
013* The Last Guardian (rare)
013 The Last Guardian (common)
014* Fat Princess Adventures (rare)
014 Fat Princess Adventures (common)
015* Drawn to Death (rare)
015 Drawn to Death (common)
016* Alienation (rare)
016 Alienation (common)
017* Gravity Rush Remastered (rare)
017 Gravity Rush Remastered (common)
018* Call of Duty: Black Ops III (rare)
018 Call of Duty: Black Ops III (common)
019* Star Wars Battlefront (rare)
019 Star Wars Battlefront (common)
020* Destiny: The Taken King (rare)
020 Destiny: The Taken King (common)
021* Street Fighter V (rare)
021 Street Fighter V (common)
022* Disney Infinity 3.0 Edition (rare)
022 Disney Infinity 3.0 Edition (common)
023* LEGO Marvel's Avengers (rare)
023 LEGO Marvel's Avengers (common)
024* Battleborn (rare)
024 Battleborn (common)
025* Assassin's Creed Syndicate (rare)
025 Assassin's Creed Syndicate (common)
026* Paragon (rare)
026 Paragon (common)
027* Zodiac: Orcanon Odyssey (rare)
027 Zodiac: Orcanon Odyssey (common)
028* Dead Star (rare)
028 Dead Star (common)
029* Amplitude (rare)
029 Amplitude (common)
030* Darkest Dungeon (rare)
030 Darkest Dungeon (common)
031* Firewatch (rare)
031 Firewatch (common)
032* Day of the Tentacle Remastered (rare)
032 Day of the Tentacle Remastered (common)
033* Don't Starve Together (rare)
033 Don't Starve Together (common)
034* Killing Floor 2 (rare)
034 Killing Floor 2 (common)
035* Salt and Sanctuary (rare)
035 Salt and Sanctuary (common)