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PSN Community Update: A Chat with PSNStores.com

Morgan Haro's Avatar + Posted by Morgan Haro on Mar 08, 2013 // Community Manager, PlayStation Digital Platforms

Being a part of the PlayStation Community can mean a number of different things. By and large, most people keep it pretty simple: they game, check out news, game reviews and maybe engage in some heated competition online. Others find it satisfying to flesh out FAQs, or walkthroughs, or contribute to other online references. Then there some who become a go-to source of information about a certain area of PlayStation gaming.

With that in mind, I figured it might be interesting to hear about what it’s like to run your own dedicated PlayStation website. I reached out to Chris Kuspis, editor-in-chief of the community-run website PSNStores.com. We did a quick chat online that I hope you guys find illuminating. Who knows? Maybe one of you will find an opportunity to carve out a niche for covering the PlayStation universe!

PSNStores

PSNStores.com is a PlayStation enthusiast website, started by members of the PlayStation Community. They are not affiliated with SCEA or SNEA.

Morgan: For the uninitiated, tell us a bit about PSNStores.com; maybe in a sentence or three.

Chris: PSNStores.com is a place for smaller digital only games to get coverage. When it started it was basically just a place where I posted all the new releases for every PlayStation Store across multiple regions. So if you wanted to know what was out on the Japanese PlayStation Store for the week, we would have it. Now while we still do that, we are now more focused on providing overall coverage of content found on any PlayStation Store.

Morgan: It’s interesting, with a focus on smaller titles, I’m sure back when you first started, you wouldn’t see many disc-based titles, if any, released digitally. It was mainly just bite sized (yet awesome) PSN Games. Nowadays, it’s bit different with things like Day 1 Digital being fairly commonplace on PlayStation. Has this shift changed how you guys cover content on PlayStation Store?

Chris: Not really. Sure big titles like Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception are popping up on the store, and that’s great, but we really want to keep the spotlight on smaller budget games. Most of the time it is just a few people working on them and PSNStores.com gives them an outlet that is always willing to talk about their title.

Morgan: I can see that. So, what inspired you to put a lot of your energy towards building this site? What was the moment where you realized ‘I need to do this’?

Chris: I had been doing (and still do) a weekly PlayStation Store post on a popular internet message board to keep those guys updated and stimulate discussion on PSN content. At the top I would post news about upcoming releases some recent reviews, things like that. I noticed that for some games it was really hard to find information; keep in mind this was back when PlayStation Blog just started. So a few days later I got the idea to make a website and boom PSNStores was born.

Morgan: So, ok, you started your site, things are off and running; but any special challenges or things you didn’t see coming that proved to be a hurdle in the beginning days, or maybe even more recently?

Chris: It is always the things you don’t think of. Like the cost of webhosting, how do you make money on a small site, things like that. It should be noted that most of us have full-time jobs outside of working on the site. It really is something we do because we love talking about games.

Morgan: I can imagine most people in the community, if they chose to take seriously starting up their own site, or being some sort of source for news/opinion on gaming would be in the same shoes where they might need to maintain a full time job. So in this business where news and stories can break at any time, how does PSNStores.com stay on top of this stuff?

Chris: Social media sites are a big help. Most of the time, smaller companies and devs will post news out to their Twitter feed or Facebook page before sending out information to the press. If something pops up, I can post it right away, even if it’s at 3 AM.

Morgan: Well, obviously, social media is going to continue to play a big part in how we all get our gaming news, and of course how we watch our friends play games. How do you see your site, and the content and coverage you guys work on, evolving as we march into a new generation of gaming?

Chris: I think video coverage is going to be the next big thing, especially with what we’ve seen from some of the features discussed on the PlayStation 4. Right now only a few people here at the site have ways to capture video to use when we do a weekly live new release show. But with the social features on the PS4, it seems like we could make videos showing off interesting parts of games rather quickly.

Morgan: Yeah, I’ve been a big fan of events like EVO which really captures the excitement of fighting games so that anyone can have a blast watching it. But it’ll be really interesting to see how this continues to be a part of gaming culture. To close it out; any words of advice you want to give to any aspiring game writers / bloggers who want to make a name for themselves in the field of community-based gaming destinations?

Chris: Go to events, like PAX, and talk to developers. This industry is all about networking. Also just start writing, even if you don’t have a website. There are plenty for-free services out there where you can get your thoughts out online. If anyone has any specific questions I will be hanging around the comments and try to answer them the best I can.

Morgan: Appreciate the insight, thanks Chris.

That’s all for now. Check out PSNStores.com and feel free to follow them on Facebook and Twitter for another lens on PlayStation coverage that you can get in addition to the PlayStation Blog. They also run a regular podcast you can tune in to.

Do you run your own community destination that covers PlayStation content? Or maybe you’ve got a completely different way of interacting with the PlayStation Community that you think we should cover. Reach out to me on the PS Forums (Username: mochuuu) and let’s chat!

Forums

Chat with fellow PS gamers in our Forums! There’s plenty to talk about, with different sections including:

PlayStation Plus
PlayStation Home
PS Trophy Leaderboard
Whatever you want (aka Off-Topic area)

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//Add Your Own

39 Comments

1

+ tiny_tim31 on March 8th, 2013 at 12:26 pm said:

Where’s Indie Brad?


2

+ kassatsu on March 8th, 2013 at 12:28 pm said:

Hi Chris here. As I said above, will be in here all day to answer questions about running a site or whatever!

@1 LOL.


3

+ TwinDad on March 8th, 2013 at 12:33 pm said:

Where are the wrestlers, I can’t find them in the header?


4

+ dsigns209 on March 8th, 2013 at 12:36 pm said:

Got you guys on my main RSS feed. Keep up the good work.


5

+ tiny_tim31 on March 8th, 2013 at 12:37 pm said:

If you don’t mind sharing, how profitable is the site (if at all)?
Any plans to update the look of the site? How about a mobile version? I know you guys are a small team and all have full time jobs, but it would be sweet.


6

+ Go_Buddie_Go on March 8th, 2013 at 12:37 pm said:

I’m a frequent viewer of your site, It’s where I get all my info on new and upcoming PSN titles I may have not known about.

Awesome job, folks.


7

+ Generous6680 on March 8th, 2013 at 12:41 pm said:

Play Station pls Put Free Games for Ps Plus if Possible

GodS Eater Burst
Final Fantasy 7 and 8
Warior Orochi 1 and 2
Dino Crisis 1 and 2
Medivel
Resident Evil 1 and 2 and 3

Members why Ps Store US havent game of Ps Store Jp

Members all people know Ps Store Japan have many game for Ps Vita and so nice Games


8

+ kassatsu on March 8th, 2013 at 12:43 pm said:

@3: Should have worked that in some how.

@5: We make enough in ads to cover the costs for hosting the website (server rental + bandwidth) and podcast hosting but not much after that.

If you do want to start a site you can get a lot done with a simple domain hosting plan + a free service like Cloudflare.

As for site updates: I have been working on a new look for the site for the past month or some, I hope it launches soon (before GDC) and it will have a mobile version built into the design :)


9

+ snakeeyes211 on March 8th, 2013 at 12:44 pm said:

When will I be able to go to the PlayStation store to purchase games and downloadable content on a iOS device such as my iPad??


10

+ kivi95 on March 8th, 2013 at 12:59 pm said:

Great site that I visit daily. Keep up with the good work!


11

+ Wozman23 on March 8th, 2013 at 1:04 pm said:

I love the site, as I’m also a huge advocate for downloadable indie titles. The mainstream doesn’t give them near enough respect. I think you guys were where I discovered Velocity, which not only blew me away, but allowed me to interview Robin for the amateur site I write for. I’m also anxiously awaiting news from you guys or Queasy as to what Tuesday’s Sound Shapes DLC is. I’m really hoping for a new album.

Sony should absorb you guys and pay you generously… and me too, for suggesting such a great idea!


12

+ tiny_tim31 on March 8th, 2013 at 1:08 pm said:

Thanks Chris! Keep up the great work!


13

+ Monterossa on March 8th, 2013 at 1:09 pm said:

I like PSNStore.com, they did very good jobs.


14

+ kassatsu on March 8th, 2013 at 1:13 pm said:

@Wozman23: Thanks a bunch, it is great to hear comments like this. We really work hard to get the word out on smaller titles. FuturLab are a great group of devs and I am super happy to see them working on bigger and better things.

Coconut Dodge Vita will be a sleeper hit for 2013.


15

+ vesra on March 8th, 2013 at 1:15 pm said:

Is this going to be a series? If so, may I suggest an interview with Sebastian Moss from PlayStationlifestyle.net. Also, @kassatsu, some pointers on how to have a better community integration with site fans would be nice. Love that you guys cover PSM game releases. Only place I know for info. Thanks for that.


16

+ jibjab79 on March 8th, 2013 at 1:19 pm said:

The 1 million dollar question…
A physical copy of a new game costs $60.00 plus tax, which I understand that packaging, shipping to putting a game on the store selves cost money.
I also understand that the age of digital downloads were suppose to make things cheaper for the consumer, because it eliminates the middle man.
So why are these digital downloads the same price as the physical disks , minus the tax?
There are no real benefits to download games other than the game won’t get scratched and damaged. But with digital downloads and limited space on a PS3, there is no way to download them all.


17

+ Ecto_Kooler on March 8th, 2013 at 1:25 pm said:

@ tiny_tim31 you rang?


18

+ kassatsu on March 8th, 2013 at 1:33 pm said:

@versa

That is something that is really tough, we are still struggling with it to be honest. It helps to have an open commenting platform like Disqus or livefyre (one less step for commenting). People are far more likely to post something if they don’t need to make a new account to do so.

Twitter is something that is pretty easy to manage and gives you almost instant access to your readers. I try to reply to pretty much every tweet we get. It can be a lot of work, but then people will know you are not just some robot that is spamming links out.


19

+ DaMann22 on March 8th, 2013 at 1:38 pm said:

Great community spotlight. Love Chris and there twitch streams of PSN titles all the time and their podcast.

Take a look at PSNation.org and ProvenGamer.com for their support also. They have good podcast and PS coverage as well.


20

+ GOJCcc on March 8th, 2013 at 1:42 pm said:

PSNStores is a great place to find news about upcoming PSN games.
I check it almost daily.

And Chris is kind enough to answer any additional questions(over twitter or on the site) if he can.

Thanks

Keep up the good work!


21

+ kassatsu on March 8th, 2013 at 1:53 pm said:

@DaMann22

We are actually doing this week’s stream in a few hours :)

Lots of games to play too: Germinator, Fuel Overdose, Star Wars Pinball, Runner2, Urban Trial Freestyle (and maybe some Dance Magic or Pro Foosball)


22

+ banok on March 8th, 2013 at 2:23 pm said:

Hmm, needs more penguin…


23

+ grbolivar on March 8th, 2013 at 2:34 pm said:

Fantastic site Chris, congrats. I was looking for some website like this dedicated only to those small PSN games that are great but maybe a lot of people haven´t heard of.

Keep the good work, now you’ll have here a regular visitor ;)


24

+ dodgedoors on March 8th, 2013 at 2:37 pm said:

I know it’s not the same company, but i wish psn could tell me how a mistake they made with motorstorm rc complete for vita, left me with a refund and no possible way to EVER own it.


25

+ kassatsu on March 8th, 2013 at 2:56 pm said:

@grbolivar

Thanks, be sure to check the podcast out too as we usually talk even more in-depth about the games on there. It might be a tough listen the first few times (we are all good friends and there are a lot of inside jokes) but you get caught up pretty fast.


26

+ fireburn95 on March 8th, 2013 at 2:59 pm said:

Hi, Im a silent but deadly member of your website, (I dont really comment i just read it) but love it, ‘specially since i go to psn store alot your web helps me browse.A question… If this is Chris Kusp, why is your twitter privated? Im followed to you anyway but still… Also if you need a vita buddy just holla!


27

+ kassatsu on March 8th, 2013 at 3:21 pm said:

@fireburn95

I post personal stuff on that twitter account, mostly the reason it is private. :)


28

+ KosmoCrisis on March 8th, 2013 at 4:05 pm said:

Yay Chris, but what about the other editors on the site? Their awesome too, and some might say cute too.


29

+ BlaqMagiq24 on March 8th, 2013 at 4:17 pm said:

I actually visit the site regularly. Great content you post on there Chris. Your site is how I find out about most digital content. Keep up the great work :)


30

+ TJF588 on March 8th, 2013 at 4:56 pm said:

*goes to site*
*pokes around*
Ah, there’s the social media sites (read: my bookmark databases)!

Think I’ve run across your guys’ site before, primarily in the avenue of reviewing (“reaveniewing”?). Hope to keep up with ya! (Ever since Opera switched its menus around, I don’t ever open my RSS feeder anymore…)


31

+ Nevi901 on March 8th, 2013 at 5:32 pm said:

Crash & Spyro for Vita when?


32

+ cool_trainer on March 8th, 2013 at 9:01 pm said:

Dang I was hoping for some wrestlers too, unless they are super hidden.


33

+ kassatsu on March 8th, 2013 at 9:38 pm said:

I will put some extra wrestlers in the banner for you guys next week.


34

+ AizawaYuuichi on March 9th, 2013 at 12:11 am said:

I’d never heard of your site before, but after reading this interview and poking around your site a bit, you’ve earned a new fan/visitor. Very nice and simple layout. And it’s nice to see a site devoted to reviewing and exposing smaller titles that usually get a cursory mention here on the PS.Blog or elsewhere. Keep up the great job. :)


35

+ The_Dukenator on March 9th, 2013 at 12:15 am said:

@Morgan YourPSHome.net is another site showing stuff of PS Home for all regions.

Its funny how I’m the one who goes across the web to find info, sometimes quickly than others.


36

+ The_Dukenator on March 9th, 2013 at 12:17 am said:

@34 There is a similar site that I found one day, but it was more of a site that allowed you to gain access to old demos that were removed from the PS Store long ago.


37

+ ZaGe-zAiKaNo on March 9th, 2013 at 3:25 am said:

Your website’s on my bookmarks now. It’s really awesome, & neat. Aside from that, seeing how you guys already posted Creat Studios’s new tittle “Psych Yourself” coming this Tuesday i believe? is sweet!


38

+ JonJonXD on March 9th, 2013 at 8:09 am said:

I feel so out of the loop as I didn’t know this web site existed.

wow!


39

+ divineLite on March 9th, 2013 at 4:51 pm said:

I hope you also reach www,pushsquare.com

that site is sooo great to reach US and Europe’s news of Sony-related


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