During Sony’s Investor Relations Day 2017 in Tokyo, Sony Interactive Entertainment Deputy President Tsuyoshi Kodera gave more insight on the situation of the PlayStation business.
First of all, Kodera-san was asked whether the release of the Nintendo Switch and of the upcoming Microsoft console code-named Project Scorpio is seen as a risk, and could potentially lead to a loss in user base.
He mentioned that the market will be “activated” thanks to the presence of competing consoles. While Sony will always be watchful on what its competitors are doing, they will make sure “not to have any uncertainties about the positioning of the PlayStation as a core market presence.”
Kodera-san also talked about PlayStation VR, mentioning that when the volume of shipments will increase, there will be more room for reducing the cost of the headset. Yet, before pursuing greater volumes, it’s important to provide a high-quality experience for customers.
The company is currently listening to the feedback of users and digesting it, aiming to continue to improve the usability of PlayStation VR from both the hardware and software points of view.
Once the product is strengthened, the company may “conduct activities which could affect the price.” That being said, Sony plans to “achieve a good balance in future activities.”
Earlier in the call, Kodera-san admitted that there has been a shortage of PlayStation VR units, but the situation was improved by increasing production in February.
Another interesting piece of information was on the progress towards cloud gaming. Sony’s view on the issue isn’t a case of a full “all-or-nothing” conversion, but a matter of maximizing the life-cycle value of Sony’s IPs and developing new distribution channels. PlayStation Now offers the opportunity to maximize sales, with subscription services creating new business opportunities.
Last, but not Least, Kodera-san mentioned that the introduction of PlayStation 4 Pro was aimed to achieve upgrade sales among core users and also gain new users. On the other hand, Sony will continue to work on the standard model by providing attractive games to continue to win over “light” users, and increase sales of PlayStation Plus. On top of that, a key factor for the success of PlayStation Plus will be how to retain the current 26.4 million subscribers.