Nike has never been afraid to use different technologies to experiment with its sneakers. After all, this is the company that brought you the Mag and HyperAdapt, two shoes powered by auto-lacing mechanisms. And while its latest basketball silhouette isn't as tech-forward as those, there's still plenty to like here, especially if you're both a sneakerhead and an avid gamer. Meet the PG2, Paul George's new signature shoe, which Nike created in collaboration with Sony and was inspired by the PlayStation. Sorry, Xbox, maybe next time.
According to Nike, George, who currently plays for the Oklahoma City Thunder in the NBA, considers himself one of the league's biggest gamers. Because of that, he wanted a sneaker which would represent his love for Sony's console when he's out on the court. All across the pair, you'll find several details paying homage to the PlayStation, like a tongue with a "PS" light-up logo in blue. The other tongue, meanwhile, feature George's own logo. You can turn them on or off with a button located inside the sneaker, and you'll feel a pulse when you press it that's meant to mimic vibrations from a DualShock controller.
The batteries in the shoes are actually self-contained, so there's no need to charge them. Nike said the power has a life span of more than 150 hours, so make sure you use the light-up features wisely, otherwise you'll have to do some tinkering if you happen to run them out. Meanwhile, the insole is made up of a galaxy-themed graphic that Sony provided to Nike, which was designed to resemble the company's dynamic PlayStation wallpapers. You'll also notice that the lace locks have the same light colors as the buttons on the PS controllers: blue, green, pink and red.
All in all, in terms of gaming inspiration, the PG2 is definitely an improvement over George's first signature shoe from last year. For the PG1, Nike teamed up with NBA 2K17's developer on a "2K" model, which featured a sock liner with an image render of George taken from the game -- as a symbol of his time as the title's cover athlete.
Tony Hardman, designer of the PG1 and PG2, told Engadget in an interview that the key with this version of the PG2 was to be respectful of Sony's PlayStation intellectual property, while at the same time ensuring that George was going to be comfortable wearing them. For the latter, there's Nike's Zoom cushioning technology on the midsole, which is completed by a blue rubber outsole that glows in the dark.
Hardman added that it was important to get all the colors right throughout the shoe, so that it feels like it matches the aesthetics of a PlayStation controller from the moment you see it. As a bonus, he said, there's a PlayStation Network barcode on the right shoe that will give customers access to a Paul George dynamic theme on the PS4, plus a surprise he wouldn't go into details about.
The "PlayStation" PG2 is set to hit stores on February 10th for $110, though you'll have to act fast because it is a limited edition model. Until then, you can watch George debut it today during the game between his Oklahoma City Thunder and the Cleveland Cavaliers.