Sony’s Kaz Hirai Details the Future Strategy for PS4 and PlayStation: Promises Mindset Changes and Investment

Sony recently held its corporate strategy meeting in Tokyo, explaining the future moves planned by the publisher to exploit the PlayStation brand and make it as profitable as possible. The company’s CEO Kaz Hirai talked at length about PlayStation 4, PlayStation Plus, PlayStation Now and more.

One of the most interesting points was made during the Q&A Session, as Hirai-san explained that the PSN and PlayStation Plus are going to “grow hugely,” so this year is the right time to invest in building up their infrastructure:

For PlayStation Plus and the PlayStation Network Business in General, but also the video and music businesses and the networking in those areas, the market there is going to grow hugely, but at the same time as we see the growth of the business, we have to be prepared with a solid enough network infrastructure. We have to be able to accommodate the increase in subscribers by having a solid enough network system and infrastructure and therefore we believe that now is the time of investment, so that when we see a growth in subscribers we can still maintain the network business, so this year is the time when we have to invest in infrastructure building.

Hirai-san also mentioned that Sony needs to change its mindset on the business models related to PlayStation in order to offer new experiences:

New Experiences for the user is what we’re always aware of. […] We’re saying that TV is going to be a totally different TV, and a different dimension. SCE is selling consoles now, but with PlayStation we need to rapidly change that business position, so we need to really transform that mindset. That’s what I tell people and what I tell myself. To change my mindset totally.

It’s worth mentioning that the original speech in Japanese talked about selling consoles and having to buy disks, but the second part was omitted by the English simultaneous translation.

During the opening speech Hirai-san explained the future PlayStation strategy in great detail, even if the numbers provided are the same we already heard in previous releases. Still, he made quite a few relevant points, that you can read in the full transcript below:

This fiscal year we are set to consolidate our leading position in the home console market by further expanding PS4 sales around the world. Following its introduction in North America in November 2013, in 5 months, PS4 has launched in 72 countries and regions achieving cumulative sell-through of 7 million units as of April 6. It’s been a hugely successful launch, but the key to the long term success of the platform lies in how solidly we can continue to grow the installed base. In terms of game titles for PS4, as of April 13, 47 titles had been launched with a total of 20.5 million units being sold via retailers and over the network on the PlayStation Store.

By extracting the best creativity from all of our partners in the game development community, PS4 has dramatically expanded the possibilities of game play. But at the same time, PS4 is also designed to provide the kinds of social experiences via the network that offer users a richer gaming experience than ever before. PS4’s remote play function also allows users to easily enjoy the PS4 experience on their PlayStation Vita, expanding the PS4 gaming experience beyond your living room, and making it available anytime, anywhere. From a profitability perspective, PS4 is also already contributing profit on a hardware unit basis, establishing a very different business framework from that of previous platform businesses.

The network functions that are possible with PS4 continue to evolve by the day.

Approximately half of PS4 users are registered to the PlayStation Plus subscription service, while the number of active users on the PlayStation Network and Sony Entertainment Network exceeds 52 million worldwide. Many of our users now enjoy an array of game, music and video content via the network. And our PlayStation App for smartphones and tablets that lets players share their PS4 experience to their mobile devices, is also proving hugely popular, with the total number of downloads already exceeding 4.5 million. Sales from our network business including game, music and video services exceeded 200 billion yen in fiscal 2013, and we intend to further expand that figure going forward.

When I was telling you about our entertainment business earlier, I said that the shift in digital content delivery from downloads to streaming is only going to accelerate. In the case of game content, the data format is completely different from movies and other  video content, so there needed to be a technological revolution before we could switch from distributing game content via downloads to streaming. But starting this summer, we will begin distributing PS3 games via streaming to our users in the U.S. on an open beta version of our new PlayStation Now streaming service, first for PS4 and then PS Vita. And that’s just the first step. Going forward, we will use streaming to deliver the PlayStation experience worldwide. We also plan to make PlayStation Now compatible with new “BRAVIA” LCD TVs to be launched in the U.S. market this year. And in the future, we intend to extend its availability to a wide range of networked devices.

So, as you can see, in the Game and Network business we are set to secure even greater sources of profit by further expanding our content, software and network services on the firm foundation of a platform business that continues to generate stable profit itself, and offer our customers even more new and exciting entertainment experiences. This year marks the 20th anniversary of PlayStation. The PS2 platform was the biggest success until now in terms of profit, but I believe that PS4’s hardware, software and services have the potential to combine and develop into a platform capable of generating even greater profit.

We’ll have to see if Sony will manage to turn its game business into a fully profitable self-sufficient entity, but I can’t help hoping that they won’t change their mindset from selling consoles and disc-based games too radically. PlayStation Now has potential and it’s a great accessory to the PlayStation brand, but I personally can’t see it becomeing the “main” PlayStation business, at least not for a long time.

It’s also interesting to see that Hirai-san intends to invest in strengthening the network infrastructure despite the company’s financial losses. If anyone had any doubt on Sony’s ability to expand and invest, this should tell them that the Japanese giant is more solid than some would like us to believe.

Join the Discussion

  • Saxhleel

    Corporate strategy meeting in Tokyo

    • Somebodyissilent

      So wrong…and yet so right…

      • Jecht_Sin

        So ugly. 😀

        • Somebodyissilent

          They need pants.

    • SkinnyAssGamer

      such gorgeous and glorious men

    • Negi Springfield

      LMFAO ! The Legendary Four Horseman ?!

      • Sucka Free

        There are five of them…..and no horses

        • SuperJamaican


        • Negi Springfield

          Actually , No , That`s the actual name of this wrestling stable shown in the picture.

          Ric Flair , Arn Anderson , Ole Anderson and Tully Blanchard , The guy in the middle is JJ. Dillion which was their manager.

          • Sucka Free

            Ah, shows how little I know about wrestling…

          • Sucka Free

            still, you would expect the Four Horsemen to be all black armor and weapons….not fat and glittery 😛

    • Rock Mu

      You just made my day with this… TREMENDOUS!

    • Synthetic Construct

      Ric Flair(?) doesn’t work there anymore.

    • Jose Martinez

      you forgot one thing; jack is gone and replace by new AI system. 🙂 Damn The Patriots!

      MGS if you know what I’m talking about.

    • ipot_04

      The Four Horsemen… yet, they’re five.

  • SkinnyAssGamer

    Sony just keeps on working. Keeps on delivering through hardware, software, services, etc. Sony is making Microsoft humble right now and probably Microsoft is crapping their pants right now because of Sony. #Can’tWaitTillE32014

    • gRammarnazi

      I laugh at how people like you complain about ‘xbots’ then continue to post things like this. : /

      • SuperJamaican

        Laugh it up while you can.

      • SkinnyAssGamer

        i like how you read my comment and thought i was talking about the fans even though i clearly only stated ‘Microsoft’ and said nothing about Xbots in this post. #LearnToRead

        • gRammarnazi

          Uh, where did I say anything about you talking about the fans?
          Just because you’re saying something (offensive) do not saying anything about the fans

          • chrisredfield31

            You shouldn’t be pissed off at something not even meant to pissing people off.

          • gRammarnazi

            I’m not pissed off, just saying that some other people will be.

    • Xtreme Derp

      You’re just trolling here

  • ThrashMatt

    the only mentions of the vita were in relation to its use with ps4 and ps now…this is worrying

    • GameDev345

      might as well bundle it as i have suggested numerous times

  • Negi Springfield
  • Craig Sloan

    Sony seem to be really on top of things with the PS4. PS4 is being talked about in the same essence as the PS2. It seems to be the dominate home console in the market that everyone is talking about. PS Plus is a great service, PS Now could be really good, Protect Morpheus has tremendous potential and the PS4 itself is a great piece of hardware.

    They’ve said that the PS4 has already made them a profit so far. Something that they usually make a loss on and rely on software to make a profit on. So that’s good news for Sony. Now all we need is games like The Order, Driveclub, Uncharted, God Of War and any other new IP that comes from their studios and we will all be happy.

    • Negi Springfield

      PS4 might not be dominating Japan as expected , But the main reason is because there are no games that appeal to the japanese audience ( currently ) , But once Japanese games come like Kingdom Hearts III and Final Fantasy XV or probably japanese games that comes out before that , PS4 will dominate more than they ever doing now ! Xbox One has no chance of winning there when you have Nintendo and SONY ruling the place.

      • superkarma

        Honestly, I don’t see PS4 dominating Japan, at least, not as much as the PS3 did. The Asian market is rapidly switching over to mobile platforms, which is why the 3DS is absolutely killing it over in Japan. It came out 3 years ago and already has 15-16million sales in Japan alone.

        I’m sure PS4 will do decent enough in Japan, but I’m not expecting amazing numbers from that market. Microsoft, on the other hand, should really not even bother with a Japan launch, but I understand why they have to. 9 years later and they still haven’t broken 2 million sales for the 360. X1 will only do worse.

        • megablast16

          I agree, home consoles in Japan just aren’t that popular anymore irrespective of manufacturer. It doesn’t really matter though to be honest, Japan is a relatively small market anyway, Europe and North America are where the huge user bases are now.

      • Its going to be very interesting to see how many PS4s get sold when Kingdom Hearts 3 and Final Fantasy XV are released. Its interesting right now because just like the PS2, there is still notable games for the Japanese market. I am sure a lot are holding on their consoles for the next Tales and Persona titles first. I wonder when all these titles get released with Square Enix’s big titles. There could be a close window with many awesome JRPGs.

        • Negi Springfield

          I think , In this generation , SONY should really use their Japanese studio properly , Cause they`ve been busy focusing and investing on their other studio`s which games cater to the western audience , Not to mention , They haven`t really made any much games last-generation..

          But what I would like to see is a JRPG from SONY Japan Studio , That has this quality that rivals that of Final Fantasy , In terms of Graphics and Story-wise and Not to mention , The Last Guardian..

          But they said that Japan Studio`s has 5-7 IP`s thats coming on PS4 , So i`m really looking forward to that one..

          • KeeseToast

            The only problem was that Team ICO hasnt released any games but Japan Studio still released many titles on PS3 most of the bigger titles developed by external studios (

            So we just need Team ICO and Project Siren to release some brand new games on PS4.

      • chrisredfield31

        PS4 will certainly sell more in Japan once those games are out but my projections for Japanese PS4 is not much. Japanese studios still doesn’t have the financial power to back what’s needed for next-gen games. Only a handful of companies have that capability.

        In the PS2 generation, every studio and their mothers could develop. I think that indies are the future of Japanese next-gen development, as they could get back to that point, however they have not caught onto that train yet.

        • Negi Springfield

          Japanese studio`s does not need to make a game that is on-par with Final Fantasy in terms of graphics… Is that the reason why they are avoiding console nowadays ? Is that why they went portable ? I thought developing a game for a console this generation has gone abit cheaper than last-generation ? So whats the problem ?

          • chrisredfield31

            That was the reason for last generation, yes. Same problem this generation. Japan went portable back in the DS generation and they haven’t looked back since. 3DS is pretty hot in Japan but expect a big surge in Vita development similar to the PSP when Japan got bored of the DS.

            As for development costs, it’s gone up (as far as making a worldwide market game), so it’s only getting worse from here on out. That’s why I mentioned the possibility of indie development. If they can catch on with the rest of the world, we’d see more Japanese games similar to what we had back on ps2.

          • Negi Springfield

            Hmm… I mean , If that`s the thing that Japanese studio`s are avoiding , Then why not create a game in consoles that cost the same when developing a game in Portable Handhelds ? I mean , Is it really that different ?

            As for VITA , Yeah I kinda agree that VITA is doing well in Japan , But I really can`t say in other territories , SONY really needs to step it up and notch when it comes to their Handhelds , When they`ve got a beast of a competition , Nintendo , Which pretty much dominates the Handheld Market.

          • chrisredfield31

            Yeah, that’s where indies and kickstarters come in but it’s practically non-existent at the moment. I’m wondering where they are cause indies or digital games are perfect for Japan at the moment.

            About the Vita, yeah we are lacking in western development for the Vita. That’s why handhelds are predominantly Japanese so whatever Japanese is buying is going to be the dominant system for the rest of the world, cause that’s where the games are (and right now, that’s the 3DS).

  • Jecht_Sin

    MS puts the television in the console, Sony puts the games on its televisions. I think the difference is clear,

    • gRammarnazi

      MS Meeting

      MS Employee 1: We need an idea for the new Xbox, any ideas?

      MS Employee 2: I know! Let people hook their TV into their Xbox, so they can watch TV on their TV!

      MS Employees: $_$

    • chrisredfield31

      not only that but they have the future of TV in mind 😀

  • superkarma

    Only good things going forward. If PS4 can achieve the amount of success the PS2 did, that would be epic. I truly hope Sony can pull that off. At their current rate, it’s not as far fetched as it sounds. As long as they continue on this path, great things will come from it.

  • Delsin Rowe

    All hail to the Kaz. the man is one of the key members of ps4success.
    by the way, bring us a killing FPS Shooter kaz !
    something that can compete with Halo.
    Halo Killer !

    • Raven Nafariea


      • Delsin Rowe

        ohhh, i didn’t know destiny is a exclusive game for The Ps.

        • Raven Nafariea

          You didn’t say anything about a PS Exclusive just a Halo killer.

          • Delsin Rowe

            No, i said bring us a killer fps KAZ !
            since kaz is the sony’s boss, he just can give us a exclusive game like that.

          • Raven Nafariea

            Okay, I will ignore the Halo Killer part than.

    • Delsin Rowe

      I’m sorry I forgot this 😀

    • Graf Ulrich 88

      Hey Delsin,
      You want a Halo killer then you got it!!!
      PLANETSIDE 2 this Summer!!!
      PS2 will dominate online FPS for PS4 like it does PC. It is one of several SOE games (DC Universe, H1Z1, and Everquest Next) coming to PS4 that MS is very afraid of.
      PS2 is massive battles never experienced before on any console. It has up to 2,000 players battling it out on maps that make Battlefield 4 maps look like little sandboxes. The only thing to come close is size and scope was MAG (256 players) and that was on the PS3.
      MS is afraid, very afraid of PS2 and all SOE games. However, us PS4 owners are going to be in for a awesome FPS experience like we have never imagined possible on a console. Lastly, don’t forget that War Thunder will be coming out this summer to North America as well. It’s already in Europe and they love it.
      Rob aka Graf

      • Delsin Rowe

        i don’t know dude, planetside isn’t a real deal for me.

    • Sucka Free

      LMAO, that one’s pretty good

    • Somebodyissilent

      What is love…baby don’t hurt me….

      • Raven Nafariea

        Now I have that song stuck in my head, thanks… lol

        • Somebodyissilent

          Sorry. It’s the first thing that comes to mind when ever someone bobs their head.

          • Raven Nafariea

            Ha, mine also!

          • Somebodyissilent

            Great minds you know.

          • Raven Nafariea

            Think alike! =)

          • Somebodyissilent

            Yep. 🙂

      • incendy is dumbass
        • Somebodyissilent

          Wow this is the first time I’ve seen this video. I always listen to the mp3.

        • HawaiianDread

          Didn’t know this song had a video.

        • JustGaming

          Such cheese!

  • Sexy Mcgee
    • Sucka Free

      Not sure, I think I see how it’s relevant to the topic, thanks for posting it anyway. Good stuff

    • MTM2

      Impossible to dislike the Byrds.

  • Mus1ckFPS

    i really like the vision Kaz has, along with Based Cerny and Based Yoshida, this gen im really proud of SONY/Playstation very beautiful transition and even better from the Beginning of the PS3 to the Current PS4 very proud to be a fan of Playstation and gaming in general this year will be AMAZING and next year will be THE BEST YEAR EVER for Gamers

  • Mike G.

    Both consoles will have great looking games, but PS4 will be able to hit higher.

  • EdwardJamesKenwayACIV

    Well best of sony

  • Mikail

    Ok now bring local emulation of PS2 and PS1 on PS4 pleaseeee:(

  • neko working

    I hope integration with ebookstore and other Sony services 😉
    Buying Dengeki PS Magazine from Sony’s ebookstore is very un-convenient as the only choice are netcash and credit card. siiighhh.. i wish they allowing PSN wallet payment.

  • DLConspiracy//

    Well I am glad to hear they are going to expand their network. I have been hoping they would. Still not a fan of the lack of servers and chat quality. Its nice to know they are working on it.

  • bettergetdave

    Playstation Now will be a success in my opinion and is a strong business model. In Europe it will do extremely well since they prefer digital content over physical currently but the states are slowly coming around as well.

  • Kuro-Law

    Im hoping some of this investment goes towards the vita.

  • Guest

    It’s the investment that’s going to do Sony in for. Byebye!

    • superkarma

      You’re off your game tonight, Shakeslikecrazy. Step it up.

      • Guest

        Awww, Looks like I made the same little pauper kwy…

        • JustGaming


  • RealityCheck2013

    I wish SONY were a bit more aggressive 🙁 They need to destroy you know who 😀 because you know who if they were doing well they would try and destroy the PS brand, like they tried last gen with the help of most gaming sites :-/

    • Guest

      They will destroy the pauperbrand and take you with it as you’re the one throwing your cash at a dying company. It’s brilliantly fun to Watch.

      • Jecht_Sin

        You are an idiot.

        • chrisredfield31

          lol he’s at it again *rollseyes*

    • chrisredfield31

      What I love about Sony is that they don’t need underhanded business tactics to beat MS. They don’t need to buy off press, vloggers, Amazon or anything like that. They do it by offering quality products and that speaks for itself.

      Even in Kaz Hirai’s speech, he talks about quality and offering more of it for users. He knows that’s where the business is.

  • DoUbLeZz (Lydon)

    4ever Play! !!

  • Ikechi Onyenaka

    I wish they would ell us that they’re changing their Vita strategy to increase the install base. The PS4 is doing fine Sony. You also don’t need to focus on the PS3 that much either. Now’s the time that you should focus on bringing new consumers and hardcore Playstation fans over to the Vita. Also, they need to announce any games or projects they’re hiding for Vita at E3. We already know PS4 will get a lot of games so we don’t need to worry about that too much. PS3 needs little to know focus. Use this E3 to save the Vita and put an end to all of this bs once and for all.

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