Sony's CEO Kaz Hirai Analyzes PS4's Success and the Depth of the Experience Offered Only by Consoles

By Giuseppe Nelva

September 14, 2014

Sony’s President and CEO Kazuo Hirai is definitely happy about the success of the PS4 so far, even if he feels that more can be done for the Japanese market and doesn’t intend to rest on its laurels. He analyzed what brought to the historical announcement of 10 million consoles sold to customers in nine months during an interview on AV Watch.

I certainly can’t deny that before the PS4 was released, there were discussions like “there are no more chances in the console business, smartphones are better.”
However, we faced that challenge by carefully thinking about “isn’t there something that can’t be experienced there?” By adding together things like the value of the games and the high quality visuals on a big screen, it has become something which we can support.
As a consequence of the experience with PS3, [we determined] that an X86-based architecture which would allow easy development would have also been an advantage.

But above all, it’s now important that you’re able to share experiences in the social space beyond simple gameplay. In short, being able to broadcast at any time and boast “I was able to perform that trick.” We studied a platform in which you can’t just also play, but also be “involved.”

Considering that, a factor of the PS4’s success is “because it’s a  console, the experience is deep.” Still, more than anything else, it’s important to have fun games. For Japan we’ll have 44 titles ready by the end of the year.

Hirai-san continues by mentioning that selling 10 million units was a bit unexpected, and the console had very high ratings and produced satisfactory results, but he thinks that Sony needs to work harder on the Japanese market.

He concludes by explaining that while the strategy didn’t change since the times of the PS1, and Sony makes the consoles for “gamers” first, it’s also important to offer other services at the same time. And even at the stage the continued support of the core is important, while keeping that balance is necessary to continue expanding the numbers.

Incidentally, Hirai-san also takes buckets of Icy water to the head. Like a boss.

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Giuseppe Nelva

Hailing from sunny (not as much as people think) Italy and long standing gamer since the age of Mattel Intellivision and Sinclair ZX Spectrum. Definitely a multi-platform gamer, he still holds the old dear PC nearest to his heart, while not disregarding any console on the market. RPGs (of any nationality) and MMORPGs are his daily bread, but he enjoys almost every other genre, prominently racing simulators, action and sandbox games. He is also one of the few surviving fans of the flight simulator genre on Earth.

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