Nike’s PG 2.5 x PlayStation: the Sneakers for Gamers
Sony and Nike collaborated to create the PG 2.5, inspired by the PlayStation, Sony’s legendary console. With Paul George, an NBA small forward and avid gamer, as the face of the new line, they created a fitting tribute to both gaming and basketball. Click here to find out more.
The Creation of Sony and Nike’s PG 2.5 x PlayStation
By now, it should go without saying that gaming is a global phenomenon. Nowadays, you’d be hard pressed to find someone under 40 who hasn’t at least played a video game or two in their lives. Video games offer such a broad scope of expression and appeal that there’s something out there for anyone to enjoy.
It’s no wonder, then, that the gaming industry is one of the largest in the world. It has seen unprecedented growth, and some calculations point to it being worth even more than Hollywood. With so many game developers, publishers, and consumers around, things are only looking up for the gaming sector as a whole.
It’s not just the game sales and transactions within those games that make this industry a serious money spinner. Merchandise plays a sizable role in gaming, offering magazines, collectibles, posters, and much more. Even fashion can’t resist the allure of gaming: T-shirts and hoodies with gaming-related imagery are only becoming more and more commonplace. Shoes and sneakers of this kind have also grown in popularity, as seen in Vans’ shoe line inspired by Nintendo characters.
We recently witnessed another amazing union of gaming and sportswear. In 2018, Nike entered a partnership with the Sony to release a brand new, limited edition, line of sneakers inspired by the world-renowned console, Sony PlayStation. Such previous collaborations saw great success in the form of PG 2 x PlayStation, and the two companies felt the time was right for a new iteration: the PG 2.5.
The Face of PG 2.5 x PlayStation
The linking figure between these two worlds was none other than Paul George, small forward for Oklahoma Thunder, who is the face of the new sneakers. The six-time NBA all-star has already promoted the PG2 line and is the promoter of these sneakers as well.
Eric Lempel, senior vice president of Sony’s marketing department, certainly agrees with choosing Paul as their poster boy. He saw Paul as the perfect combination of the two worlds and was enthusiastic about getting him on board for this kind of project.
The Fascinating Design of the PG 2.5
The design of the shoes was the result of a collaboration between Tony Hardman, a designer working for Nike, and George. They took inspiration from the PlayStation 1 controller for a more vintage feel. After a few changes suggested by George, everyone present felt happy with the final result.
The design implemented some very exciting features. One of these stood out in particular: the LED emblems on the shoe tongues. These LED lights, placed behind the emblems of the PS and George’s own logo, shone a blue hue evocative of the PlayStation. The idea of putting LED lights on sneakers was an old brainchild of Hardman, who never realized it in Nike’s basketball shoes. Another peculiar thing about the shoes was the voucher code on the back. Shoe owners could redeem these and receive a free Paul George Dynamic theme for their PS4.
Response to the PG 2.5
Upon the release in February of 2018, the sneakers were sold to both gamers and basketball fans more than admirably. Nike’s SNKRS app saw them sold at an astounding pace, and the online communities were abuzz about them. Lempel himself remarked on how absolutely massive the hype surrounding the shoes was.
Sites like GOAT and StockX also got a slice of the pie. Seeing that the shoes were limited edition, their value surged after retail stocks went dry. Many took advantage of this and put their GP’s on sale using these resale market brands, where they charged much more than they spent. Given the value of such collector items, there was no shortage of people willing to pay the higher price.
Air Force 2: Gaming Sneakers for Everyone
For those who don’t bother with expensive collectibles, Sony and Nike had another release in mind. They planned to introduce the new Air Force sneakers, which would be more affordable to the wider public. Fans of the footwear giant saw subtle suggestions of the coming Air Force 2 in published behind-the-scenes content about Air Force 1. Their suspicions were bolstered at E3, where a billboard sporting Nike’s iconic logo alongside the PlayStation’s emblem greeted the visitors.
E3 attendees had all their doubts cast aside when Nike officially announced the Air Force 2. Much to their delight, Nike told them that the only way to purchase the shoes was to order them at the nearby Sony tent, giving these visitors the privilege of being the first to wear the new sneakers. The shoes sold out at lightning speed, and within an hour there wasn’t a single pair left.
Future Plans for the Sony and Nike Team
Thus far, neither Sony nor Nike have said they plan to release a new gaming-themed footwear.
The odds of this happening are very good, though. Both Sony and Nike have expressed how happy they were with the reception of their creations. Hardman highlighted how interconnected gaming and basketball fandoms are, and he is sure that more projects of this kind will hit the shelves.
He points out how many kids and young people are now playing basketball video games more than basketball itself. He sees that as a merging of gaming and sports, and he finds this hybridization fascinating, hoping to explore this motif further in the future.
Considering how well previous results of their cooperation went, there is little doubt that this duo will be back for more. With so many beloved Sony releases (like God of War, Last of Us, need we go on?) to draw inspiration from, there is certainly no shortage of design material. There is also no lack of gamers and basketball fans, and they will be more than happy to show love for their passions with their new sneakers.