Kaz Hirai Talks PS3 Slim, Price Drop Timing, Motion Control
It has been a big year for Sony and Kaz Hirai. The SCE boss introduced us all to the PSP Go at E3 and last week, he proudly unveiled the PS3 Slim, which also represented the long-awaited and much-appreciated price cut.
Not long after, he had a chat with the TimesOnline, and the interview includes plenty of important topics, as you can see. As for the Slim, Hirai said Sony "felt it was the right time;" the combination of cheaper components and the increasingly impressive exclusive software lineup contributed to this decision. As for the current sales, Hirai said it's not a good idea to try to make an examination on the third anniversary of a system that has a 10-year lifespan. "The fifth anniversary and beyond is when we really start to say, 'how's our trajectory looking?'" Hirai also wanted to clear the air regarding critics who said Sony tried to pack too much into the console; he reminds us all that when he first came back to Japan to promote the PS3, he wanted to reinforce the fact that the PS3 is a games machine first. They go on to talk about bringing new gamers to the PS3; Hirai says the best way to do this is simple: "compelling video game titles." We gotta agree with that..don't you?
As for the motion control that wowed us all at E3, he says we can expect to see this new technology by "spring of next year." While the technology is great, though, Hirai still wants to have "great software that supports" that special controller. Lastly, Hirai answered a common question concerning the fate of physical media; here's his response to the query, "Do you think physical media such as DVDs and even Blu-Ray have a limited time left?"-
"No. Perhaps we can sit down three years from now and have a beer, or two or ten, while we wait to download 40 gigabytes of data for a full ps3 game. That's still going to take a lot of time. We're in over 100 countries and there are areas where consumers still don't have access to the type of broadband that we have. The death of physical media is a very nice conclusion, that seems to be nice to say, but it’s not something we're going to see soon. We are committed to the PSP 3000 and the UMD business. A lot of people like to speculate that we're getting out of that business, but nothing could be further from the truth. We're not going to deprive consumers in all those other countries."
We've always liked this guy. Hirai and Tretton have also appeared to be competent, highly skilled executives who are also straight-shooters. And as far as we can tell, based on the events of the past year or so, Hirai and Co. have done one hell of a job in bringing the PS3 into the limelight and keeping it there.
8/24/2009 John Shepard