Hirai Talks Motion Control, PSP Go, And Blu-Ray In The PS3
It was great to see Sony boss Kaz Hirai back at E3 this year (he officially revealed the PSP Go during the E3 press conference), and thanks to a recent Guardian interview, he has more to say concerning the PlayStation business.
One of the first questions Hirai fielded regarded motion sensing, and whether or not he saw it as the "future of gaming." Hirai had a good reply: he said that "it all depends on what the content creators can do" with such technology, and if the consumers will respond well to that new software. He did say he's "pleased with the response to the demo" Sony showed off at the conference, and many publishers are excited about it. As for the PSP Go, the important question centered on the lack of physical software; was it a risky move to go download-only with the new handheld? Kaz doesn't think so, as he cites the current size and continued growth of the PlayStation Network; he figures that 24 million accounts worldwide translate to a good market for something like the PSP Go. Lastly, and perhaps most interesting from our point of view, Hirai was asked whether or not it was a mistake to include Blu-Ray with the PlayStation 3. His response:
"Purely from a gaming standpoint there was no other choice for us. Why? The capacity of the disc. Last year's Metal Gear Solid 4 was pushing 50GB as it was. If it was on DVD it would have been a 6 disc set. The packaging and cost would have been prohibitive and it would have been hugely inconvenient to consumers. So from a gaming standpoint there was really no choice if you wanted a high definition gaming experience. Kojima-san has been pushing the boundaries already. And then there is the motion picture issue. The PS3 installed base certainly went a long way to making the movie studios side with Blu-ray rather then HD-DVD or supporting both. Ultimately it ended up being the right thing for the entirety of the industry as consumers don't need to hedge their bets. We had a lot to do with making Blu-ray the de-facto standard. That's great. But our decision to include a Blu-ray drive in the ps3 was mainly driven by gaming priorities and what the content creators could do with the storage space."
Well, we'd have to agree with that. For the most part, Blu-Ray has been nothing but a positive addition to the machine, especially since HD-DVD bowed out early in the high-def format war. As for the motion sensing and PSP Go, we reserve judgment for now but can easily say, "we'll wait and see." Our expectations are way high for both, though.
6/11/2009 Ben Dutka