Desktop, Emerging Technologies
Research: Ethnography, Longitudinal Study, Out of Box Experience (OOBE), Personas
At a Glance

Product experiences begin from the moment you get them in your hands. When Sony wanted to understand how the PlayStation game console experience measured up against the competition, they came to us.  


We conducted a benchmark study for Sony to analyze the initial user experience of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox to evaluate each first-time release. Our team approached this by using a mixed-methods user research approach to benchmark the initial experiences.

How we did it

Our team went right to the action and conducted field ethnography with gamers who pre-ordered their consoles and were waiting in retail store lines for the midnight pick up to understand gamer culture, identify insights into gamer wants and needs, and uncover possible opportunities for future development. We then observed and documented gamer’s first unboxing experience with their consoles in an at-home ethnography to understand levels of excitement and moments of delight, pain points, and unmet expectations gamers had with both the PS4 and Xbox.


To gain a deeper understanding of how people interact with the individual consoles on a daily basis over time, the same participants took part in a weeklong longitudinal (diary) study. Insights were used to create gamer personas and all findings were delivered via an interactive dashboard comparing the two consoles, PlayStation 4 and Xbox.

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