PlayStation Interview: Kaz Hirai
We talk exclusively to the global president of SCEI to get new details on where the PlayStation business is headed and what PS3 owners can look forward to next.
Kikizo: Sure, I think it's great that he has this title Father of PlayStation, because when we think about how different the industry might be today were it not for his work it's quite a fitting title, and that should be his legacy rather than any of the issues of the last two years or so, which some people may be right or wrong to have pinned on Kutaragi-san.
Hirai: But you know, again, if you really have the opportunity to sit down with him, to talk to him, he's just very passionate, and he's so full of ideas, that I think in a corporate environment, you can only do so much, and I think he was just ready to try those ideas on.
Kikizo: One thing that you and I spoke about last time, which led to maybe a bit of awkwardness afterwards, was about the Sixaxis, motion, and rumble. But you guys have now reached an agreement with Immersion I believe. When do you think that we may learn more about a product that reflects this agreement? [I.e. - an official rumble-enabled Sixaxis controller for PS3].
Hirai: Uh, well that's something that I know the consumers have told us they're looking to have in the PS3 controller, it's something that we're obviously looking at, now that we've reached an agreement with Immersion. We're also looking at a variety of other things that we can incorporate with the controller, and we'll come out with announcements when we think we have the right mix of features for the PS3 controller. I mean, as you know, that's also an evolving peripheral, if you will, in that we started out with the original PS1 controller with no analogue, and it's come all the way to this point, so obviously, as we go forward, it's not the final model for a PS3 controller, so we'll see what comes down the road.
Kikizo: Sure. Now personally, I enjoyed all the conferences this week... I think all three companies have a great line-up for this holiday and beyond. One thing think I noticed about Sony's - towards the end I would say, with Jack Tretton speaking - obviously he was nervous, as he admitted at the start, but his tone towards the close seemed almost apologetic, very thankful, and very appreciative of the media continuing to support Sony, looking to the future. This seemed very clear to me. Is that an attitude that is reflective of the whole of the SCE group at the moment?
Hirai: Well, I think he mentioned that, "past success is no guarantee of future success", I think we all realise that; we're not the only company in the business, and that we need to prove, time and time again, with every generation of console, not just once but every year, that we're committed to delivering the best entertainment experience possible - mostly and predominantly through the game offerings, which we talked about and showed at our press conference, and I think through Jack, and me as well, we wanted to reiterate that we're going to do everything we can to make sure that we meet and hopefully exceed the expectations that the consumers have from the PlayStation brand and the PlayStation family of products, whether it be PS3, PS2 or PSP. And so I think what Jack said is dead on as far as I'm concerned, from how he personally feels, from how I personally feel, and how I want the organisation to think about delivering the best that we can for the consumers every day.
Kikizo: And from your 'shareholder' point of view - as this isn't a consumer-facing issue - I think behind the scenes, it has been important for you to demonstrate that you have a clear path forward to reduce the cost of manufacturing the PS3, to reduce the barrier of entry at retail hence the recent price announcement - and I don't know if it's the same with the new PSP for better margins on hardware - but can you comment briefly on this hardware [financial] strategy at the moment?
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Kaz Hirai Interview
Kaz Hirai Interview (July 2007 - audio only)
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Kaz Hirai Interview
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