That very building is what remains of an urban entertainment center on a scale never attempted before - the crown jewel in Sony's entertainment empire.
The Metreon, 1999 - a design thread.
CROSSNIQ+ is a late 90's flavored "y2k" puzzle game inspired by your PS1 and Dreamcast favs.
This is our LAST WEEK, so please support if you can! It would mean so much.
This was the height of their brand power, and they wanted to show it.
Their concept - Metreon, nestled in the heart of SF.
Celebs like George Lucas attended, as was live entertainment (sponsored by Metreon tenants). Sony, focused on elegance, even gave away bottles of commemorative wine.
These ATMs weren't typical, either - they dispensed "Metreon cards" (think Disney Dollars)
It looked like a Moebius comic, too. The theming and design of the arcade were absolutely breathtaking.
Badlands - a demolition derby "VR pod" and Quaternia - a networked TPS in space - looked the part, but failed to wow visitors.
The art and design captured the spirit of Sendak's illustrations, as did the the large scale of the wild thing statues (w features like rolling eyes).
The glass floor showcasing sand below, the pod-like monitor stands, the neo-Space Age stools - THIS was a y2k space.
Hear Music had an extensive library of albums for sale. Sony wanted them there, for guests to listen to. All of them.
Called the Sony MediaServer by its engineers, this seemingly simple kiosk which allowed guests to listen to any song from Hear's catalog required a MASSIVE local server.
Sony spared NO expense.
It was grand, almost romantic.
It didn't work.
Tenants suffered and slowly closed.
Sony Style and the childrens areas were closed, and the arcade (Airtight Garage -> Portal 1 -> Tilt) changed hands several times (gutting its theming in the process) before it closed.
The last holdout of Sony's vision was the PlayStation store, which served a relatively admirable tenure until it closed in early 2010.
So what's become of the Metreon today?
The answer is, sadly, deep in the realm of the ordinary.
I like to think that somebody recognized them as artifacts.
Thank you SO MUCH to @nicoles for additional photos! You really helped make this thread possible
CROSSNIQ+ is a late 90s flavored arcade puzzle game hopefully coming to a Switch near you!
Good on you! You've earned some VIDEO BONUS CONTENT!
For starters, here's a local news feature on the Metreon around the time of its opening.