Sony Interactive Entertainment

Console experience health check

Playstation 4 Console



We recruited 24 participants across two key markets, the USA and Germany. Participants were recruited from criteria provided by Sony, based on previous research into the console user base. Participants agreed to take part in a 2 week study which would involve:

  • 2 hour initial home visit to gain contextual knowledge about their playing setup
  • 2 week diary study to gain knowledge about how they use the console over time
  • 1 hour one to one follow-up sessions to ask probing questions on their behaviour during the study

The home visits gave us a deep dive into the real world experiences and issues that players have, and provides a depth of knowledge which can never be gained from lab based interviews. Players were able to show us how their home environment can affect everything from playing time to purchasing behaviour.

The diary study then allowed us to view these behaviours over a longer period of time, and in the words of the participants themselves. We were able to view and report on conflicts between what the participant initially said and their actual behaviour. The diary study was also crucial in mapping the player experience, and finding their various routes through the console.

International Perspectives

The study was conducted in San Francisco, US and Berlin, Germany. By creating the home visit and diary study guides for both markets, we were able to ensure complete consistency of approach. We worked closely with the user experience team at Sony Computer Entertainment in San Mateo to deliver the US study, as well as our own German speaking consultant and a German partner to deliver for that market. This cross market approach allowed us to deliver international insights, showing clear similarities and disparities in experience.

Innovative Outputs

As well as delivering traditional PowerPoint style reporting, Spotless was tasked with delivering engaging and useful outputs which could be quickly distributed and consumed by teams within Sony. We used the data from home visits and and the diary study to create focused Player Journey Maps which conveyed the experience of different types of players through the console. We mapped various player journeys, as well as the key touchpoints, opportunities and blockers – quickly showing how well areas of the console experience which were working for players.

Ben Logan - Director

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