Sony CEO: Competitors can go first in console battle

A lot has been speculated about the upcoming next generation consoles. Whether it's an eight-core AMD CPU for Sony's Orbis or Microsoft's Durango being released before Thanksgiving, nothing is definite. But Sony CEO Kaz Hirai seems content to sit back and see what the competition will do first.

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A lot has been speculated about the upcoming next generation consoles. Whether it's an eight-core AMD CPU for Sony's Orbis or Microsoft's Durango being released before Thanksgiving, nothing is definite. But Sony CEO Kaz Hirai seems content to sit back and see what the competition will do first.

"Why go first, when your competitors can look at your specifications and come up with something better?" Hirai said in an interview with The Times. He wouldn't go into more detail, but with the respective consoles being far into their development cycles, it would seem unlikely that any significant changes could be made at this point without a major delay. It wouldn't be the first time a CEO played coy or offered a bit of misdirection.

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  • reply
    January 21, 2013 4:30 PM

    John Keefer posted a new article, Sony CEO: Competitors can go first in console battle.

    A lot has been speculated about the upcoming next generation consoles. Whether it's an eight-core AMD CPU for Sony's Orbis or Microsoft's Durango being released before Thanksgiving, nothing is definite. But Sony CEO Kaz Hirai seems content to sit back and see what the competition will do first.

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      January 21, 2013 4:35 PM

      Hey Kaz, the competitors went first this generation. Want to know what happened? "Giant enemy crabs!" .. "Five hundred and ninety nine US dollars!"

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        January 21, 2013 7:11 PM

        they also went first in the previous 2 generations as well (Dreamcast, Saturn before that) and Sony came out fine

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      January 21, 2013 4:45 PM

      Wow, I wouldn't have guessed this...seems like a bad move considering how it all went down last time.

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      January 21, 2013 4:49 PM

      Wow... that's pretty ballsy, considering the most recent generation of consoles...

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      January 21, 2013 5:56 PM

      I lot of people seem to speculate that the 360 dominates all over the world. It's clearly a second-class citizen in Japan, despite efforts to include J-RPG's, bullet hell, and fighting games.

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        January 21, 2013 6:31 PM

        The 360 has under 5% market share in Japan. In Europe, the PS3 has marginally better market share than the 360.

        Since Japan has almost no PC game development culture to speak of (since there has been no PC gaming consumer base, aside from the PC98: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NEC_PC-9801 ), you usually see non-Nintendo-exclusive games come out for PS3, and then if they're going to be sold worldwide, with a 360 version.

        And, of course, Kinect bombed in Japan because Kinect doesn't work so well in small apartments.

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          January 21, 2013 9:16 PM

          Well, depending on how you look at it, there are more PC titles in a typical video game store than any particular console's titles. The first floor might cover console games, then the entire second floor could be PC. However, the PC floor would probably be 95% porn games

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          January 21, 2013 11:55 PM

          not sure about the market share in Europe, and if so it's because of the blu-ray player

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        January 21, 2013 6:32 PM

        [deleted]

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          January 21, 2013 6:47 PM

          Hell yeah. Not modern Final Fantasy, but games that have that same mechanic.

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            January 21, 2013 8:39 PM

            [deleted]

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              January 21, 2013 8:40 PM

              skies of arcadia

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              January 21, 2013 9:35 PM

              My problem is the length...there was this whole stupid arms race of "our game is the longest" in the 90's which usually translated into "our game has the longest most horrible grind" and "our game is chock full of really stupid plot twists to make the story drag on longer rather than telling a good story".

              I loved Chrono Trigger and I can still play the occasional Dragon Quest game...but for the most part I don't have enough time for shorter games...any JRPG (including said DQ games) I *KNOW* I'm never going to finish so unless I just want to enjoy playing through a good little chunk of it and moving on I'm never going to start it.

              I *DO* intend to go back and try to get further in DQ8 though.

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          January 21, 2013 7:53 PM

          NI NO KUNI! It's gonna own, s0n!

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          January 21, 2013 10:04 PM

          It would appear: http://www.shacknews.com/chatty?id=29566326

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          January 22, 2013 12:40 AM

          Those in Japan do.

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          January 22, 2013 6:56 AM

          My copy of Ni No Kuni shows up today, SO FUCKYEAH!

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        January 21, 2013 7:54 PM

        Japan is a small market.

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          January 21, 2013 9:11 PM

          It's one of the strongest countries, market-wise. At some points, Japan has competed directly with all of Europe, in terms of video game market share. Microsoft has spent a ton of money trying to secure a good share, and I still see plenty of their ads out here.

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            January 21, 2013 9:34 PM

            It's still an important market but it pales in comparison to North America and Europe. It doesn't seem like MS is trying hard to win Japan over any more, and that's just smart business. Europe is the real prize now, I wouldn't be surprised if it emerges as the most important market over the next 5-10 years. If MS is able to command a strong lead in both of those markets, Sony can dominate in Japan and still be in a considerably bad place numbers-wise.

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              January 22, 2013 9:12 AM

              Also other Asian countries like Korea and china are an important market but not sure how well consoles do there. Probably very little business is done in china because piracy. However china is a huge market for games outside of consoles.

              South America is probably decently big. Clearly a lot of gamers there playing MOBA but not sure what the console landscape looks like.

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        January 21, 2013 8:05 PM

        You forgot Poland.

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        January 21, 2013 8:30 PM

        Success in Japan doesn't mean what it used to.

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        January 21, 2013 8:32 PM

        thing is, do they even need japan? clearly they tried with xbox, then said fuck it, and just targeting america and europe. they pretty handily beat sony in the US and are essentially tied with them in europe. i don't think they need japan.

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          January 21, 2013 9:06 PM

          They spend plenty of money trying to win Japan over. The gigantic Master Chief poster in Akihabara told me so.

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          January 21, 2013 11:52 PM

          It's a big deal. You sell a million and your competitors sell 10 million? Yeah, it's a big deal. It's not as big of a market as the United States or maybe Europe as a whole, but it's a huge friggin' market you can't ignore. You gotta keep trying.

          Actually, I think the easiest solution would be to buy Sega (or someone similar and more affordable?) and market the console in Japan as the "Sega Xbox". I'm serious. You'll get better sales in Japan, you pick up a few Japanese devs who can cater to that area, and you acquire a lot of cool / significant IPs marketable worldwide.

          Or you can try and appeal to them like you did with the 360. But you can't ignore it.

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      January 21, 2013 6:33 PM

      [deleted]

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      January 21, 2013 6:43 PM

      Considering that it's more about the software than the hardware (when you have to systems of a 'similar" nature), this doesn't matter so much. Get some great exclusives Sony, then I'll buy your system.

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        January 21, 2013 7:37 PM

        You must hate games, then. The PS3 has God of War, Infamous, Uncharted, Resistance, Jak and Daxter, Ratchet and Clank, Demon's Souls (which is still excellent even though the multi-platform Dark Souls is better), the core Metal Gear Solid series, and LittleBig Planet -- and those are just the AAA series, to say nothing of downloadable games such as Journey.

        Microsoft has Halo, Gears, Fable, and... what, exactly?

        I'm not trying to fan any console war flames. But the idea that Sony has no compelling exclusives is ridiculous.

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          January 21, 2013 8:32 PM

          As a non-console guy, only Uncharted and God of War on that list would motivate me to get a PS3. Likewise with Halo and the 360.

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          January 21, 2013 10:07 PM

          Forza. I'm a PC gamer, but that and Demon's Souls are the only console exclusives that really caught my eye (besides downloadable indie games).

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          January 22, 2013 12:07 AM

          Most ports on the ps3 are so atrocious they may as well be considered x360 exclusives.

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            January 22, 2013 12:09 AM

            That's not really fair these days.

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              January 22, 2013 6:42 AM

              Yeah, I haven't heard such claims in a looong time. I started playing PS3 in 2008 and haven't run up against any poor multi-platform ports. Not saying they don't exist, but either I've been lucky or Sony has long since put that failing to bed.

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          January 22, 2013 6:24 AM

          I hate games too!

          I have little big planet. It came as a bundle though

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          January 22, 2013 6:34 AM

          Great list of PS3 exclusives there. How about some PS4 ones?

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        January 21, 2013 7:45 PM

        exclusives are the most retarded thing ever. i already own a piece of hardware that would be perfectly capable of playing this game but i can't because ... why? i have to shell out another few hundred bucks for a very similar piece of hardware. as a consumer it makes no sense to me what so ever.

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      January 21, 2013 9:52 PM

      more like sony cant afford to go first at the moment, and need to see what can safely be trimmed to minimize costs while technically retaining the "best specs" title.

      I hope they're investing heavily in their software/UX though, because that's probably where this gen will be lost or won for them.

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      January 21, 2013 10:34 PM

      Translation: "our console is nowhere near ready, and we have no money."

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        January 21, 2013 11:06 PM

        Neither does Microsoft if this is to be believed:

        http://www.forbes.com/sites/adamhartung/2013/01/20/sell-microsoft-now-game-over-ballmer-loses/

        Where the hell is the money in the industry going? All I heard this year is publishers going under, being in the red and cancelling tons of projects due to lack of funds.

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          January 21, 2013 11:10 PM

          Yeah that seems a bit beyond silly.

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          January 21, 2013 11:13 PM

          That guy is a nut. So much wild speculation and knee-jerk reactions.

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        January 21, 2013 11:36 PM

        I think they just want another year out of the PS3 and they're hoping Microsoft announces, but ultimately says 2014 for release. I'm gonna bet they reveal at E3, but they pull a Nintendo and don't really go into specifics except to say that it's just as good as what Microsoft is doing and then they match Microsoft to stay competitive.

        I think they see their delayed release against the 360 and the Wii as a major uphill battle and one that cost them overall market share. Yeah, it ended up doing fine comparatively, but coming off the PS2 and the PS1, it was a big disappointment.

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      January 21, 2013 11:15 PM

      I am heavily leaning towards the PS4 this cycle if they can fix the controller to be better suited for those with larger hands. Plus free multiplayer is nice. Just dont go higher than $399.

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      January 21, 2013 11:39 PM

      I don't care who comes out first, nor do I care much if I have to wait for a year or two more at this point. I just hope at least one of the devices is just a proper console with a proper, normal controller. Just a 360/PS3 with enough horsepower to run modern games smoothly at 1080p, enough storage space to allow me to buy everything online instead of filling by space with discs I don't need, and a wide selection of online content service support, such as Netflix, out the gates. Silence would be a bonus, as would proper, high quality voice coms out of the box. A decent mic can't cost THAT much to manufacture.

      What I do not want is some monster box that sounds like a vacuum cleaner, has 3 displays on the controller and a probe up your ass. Consoles went from gaming devices to entertainment centers this generation, I feel like the next generation should be dedicated to perfecting this concept, not coming up with new gimmicks.

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      January 22, 2013 6:46 AM

      Yeah, let's sit back and wait! And then we will release a 599.99$ behemoth that will crush the competition.

      Or maybe not, and history will repeat itself.

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      January 22, 2013 6:50 AM

      Since the full text of the interview is behind a pay wall, I don't think we can make any judgement as to what Kaz really meant.

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      January 22, 2013 8:08 AM

      PS3 vs 360 was a draw. #dealwithit

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        January 24, 2013 12:37 PM

        Not by a longshot.

        Perhaps you were too busy playing your Wii.

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