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Sony looking at new projects to ‘wow’ its customers & avoid bureaucracy, says Kaz Hirai

Wednesday, 9 January 2013 10:14 GMT By Dave Cook

Sony’s CEO Kaz Hirai has laid out the company’s approach to the future, following its CES presentation. Hirai has painted a roadmap consisting of new projects, a stronger focus and by giving its customers a ‘wow’ factor.

Speaking with The Verge after his CES presentation, Hirai agreed that Sony needs to re-align its focus and get consumers back on-side.

Said Hirai, “We need to really take a look at where we excel and make investments to make sure that we continue to excel in those areas that will manifest itself in exciting projects that will really wow our customers.

“I’ve spent a lot of time visiting a variety of different sites we have all around the world, and that creative DNA of wanting to really push the envelope and come up with some products that really wow customers: that DNA is still there, and that is the heart and soul of this company.

Hirai added, “It’s my job to make sure that those great ideas really rise to the top and don’t get mired down in bureaucracy”, in response to an earlier claim that many of Sony’s, “great ideas unfortunately just never rose to the top” and were smothered “somewhere in bureaucracy”.

“That’s why I make it a personal mission of my own to really spend time with the R&D guys,” he added, “the product development guys, and have them really come to me with some ideas that they have so that I can personally get involved, which I am doing with several projects.”

It’s a hands-on sentiment, but will it be enough to clear up the bureaucratic quagmire Hirai speaks of? Is Sony in need of a shot in the arm, or is this all just a lull before PS4 drops? Let us know below.

Thanks Eurogamer.

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38 Comments

  1. ShowUsYourLunch

    Stuff new projects! give us the one’s you’ve already started :)

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Dragon246

    Lets see how this goes.Console and media and digital biz are fine. TVs, not so fine.
    Xperia z looks awesome. I wonder whats cooking up with gaikai though. Radio silence on that part.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. dizzygear

    How about solving that other bureaucratic problem and “WOW” us PAL zone costumers by giving us the same content and attention as the NA zone?

    Until then, i’ll stick with the competition instead of Sony.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. Gadzooks!

    After the crushing dissapointment that was the PS3 and it’s ‘games’ I don’t think there’s much Sony can do to win me back.

    Kaz’s sentiment reinforces my opinion, that Sony are 100% focussed on style over substance. They have been since the PS3 was announced.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. theevilaires

    ^ Yea because games like Uncharted are a total disappointment huh ;) Lay off the Prozac kid.

    @ Dizzygear I’m not sure about this but can’t you make an account to access the NA store and get everything we have? I think that would be a faster work around than SONY making a world wide unified store because of the legal bullshit involved.

    I have to say I’m really looking forward to the PS4 and 4K HDTVs. I’m interested in seeing what content they’ll bring to push these TV sets too. The PS4 will need to be a power house to push this 4K stuff and if games aren’t able to run in 4K or close to it then its not going to be as easy as DVD and Blu-ray to become successful in my opinion.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. OlderGamer

    I read that the 4K 84 inch TV costs like 25,000usd. And while I understand that 84inch is TVs are not the norm, what does a 55inch 4K TV cost?

    Cause I gotta say, while it sounds nice, who do they expect to actualy buy the things?

    I watched their CES show and just shook my head the entire way thro. It isn’t so much an attack, but I can’t help but feel like Sony have lost their way. I have felt that way for a while now.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. Eddie Rodrigues

    VITA GAMES! VITA GAMES! VITA GAMES! … I am pleased and hopeful with this announcement

    @5 Uncharted is indeed well written and always makes me say ‘WAAAAAAAAAAAAA-’, Gadzooks must be backing up MS, so he believes that one must give harsh critics on games of the rival platform, as usual this depends on the customer, for me I can’t seem to love Microsoft’s decisions and I chose only to stick to their PC market (although Games for Windows Live is quite troublesome)

    #7 2 years ago
  8. manamana

    Kaz already failed. Instead of coming up with something innovative and unexpected, he just tease to do so. That is definitely not the way to demonstrate innovation, it’s just to keep the shareholders warm. Sony is struggeling.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. Eddie Rodrigues

    @8 What is wrong with teasing?

    #9 2 years ago
  10. manamana

    @7 I haven’t finished Uncharted2 as of now. Yes, it has absolute great production values and okay gameplay. But it tries so hard to do everything right, that I was actually bored because of it’s gamedesign.

    But then, some people don’t get DarkSouls, which is one of my absolute beloved games, sooo …

    @9 teasing misses the momentum of an impact. Has Apple teased the iPhone? Or the iPad? No. They presented it ina professional manner and *bang* got momentum. Sony got nothing.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. Eddie Rodrigues

    @10 Of course the impact is only when something is fully confirmed, still there is no harm.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. theevilaires

    I totally agree with your post Older Gamer they have lost their way. Apple had its fair share of down time way back when and they bounced back. I believe Microsoft at the moment is going the same way with their new OS and windows Mobile. Everybody is going to have their lows at one point when they hit that ceiling and can’t go any higher anymore.

    As far as the 4K HDTVs go the same thing could be said about a 720p/1080i HDTV back in 1999. Eventually it’ll go down it has to. SONY aren’t that stupid to keep prices in the double digit thousands. They’re just going after those egotistical movie and music stars. They’ll start going after games around the $5000 mark like they did with their XBR series. 10 years from now 4K will be affordable and hopefully more content will be out for it.
    The XBOX 360 is going on 8 years old and I can get a 1080P 40″ at Wal-Mart for $250 ;)

    #12 2 years ago
  13. Dragon246

    @8,
    What was teased? They showed xperia z and it was awesome.
    Also these shows all about bragging and gloating. Watch all other shows and its the same. Sony isn’t alone in this ride. If you didn’t know, marketing is pure gloating.
    If sony needs to win, it needs to gloat louder than the biggest loudmouths ie. apple and samsung.

    #13 2 years ago
  14. manamana

    @Eddie what do you mean with: there is no harm? Sony has massive financial problems. And it’s handheld from 2005 is outselling it’s latest model at least 2:1 in japan. Look, I don’t want to come over as a Sony hater, because I am not. I love my Playstations, all of them. And I love me some exclusives. And I definitely hate the direction M$ is taking for the last two years. And I want Sony to get back on their feet.

    But talking isn’t going to change that. They need to deliver. Sooner than later. That’s what I was trying to say.

    #14 2 years ago
  15. manamana

    @Dragon I’m not talking about the shown hardware. I am talking about what wasn’t shown. And about what he is talking. I know what marketing is, it’s something that where absent here.

    #15 2 years ago
  16. manamana

    @TEA you are right with companies having a downtime until they bounce back. It’s often like this. Sometimes it’s not: SEGA, Atari etc. come to mind …

    #16 2 years ago
  17. OlderGamer

    Fair enough Tea. For what it is worth, I hope they pick things up and move forward. I also agree with your opinion of MS at the moment too.

    I think in both cases it could come down to economics. Both companies are tech companies and as such they rely on moving tech forward. But when you are trying to sell a Lambergini in a Ford Fiesta market, it is a hard sell. Basicly I feel that both companies are trying to sell people things that people don’t want/need. I don’t want or need 4K TVs anymore then I want or need a new Windows.

    At least the 4KTVs would be an improvement over what I already have(unlike the newest windows lol). But in both cases it means spending money I don’t want to spend.

    #17 2 years ago
  18. killersense

    @oldergamer
    it is just sad to see such a pessimistic attitude towards sony. almost every time you post it is putting down sony and then trying to soften the blow by saying oh i am not attacking them, i want them to do well etc… do you think any 4k tv from any company is affordable at the moment? it is something for the future and it will take awhile before it is affordable for the broader market. the stuff they showed is for the enthusiast crowd. there is some good buzz going around the products they unveiled especially th 4k oled tv and the experia z phone.

    Speaking of losing their way look at nintendo there is almost zero buzz around at the moment regarding the wii u. third parties dropping support or not supporting the platform, people still not knowing if it is a new system or an add on etc…. it doesn’t even feel like a new console launched. you may like it and the tech and the features may be cool but unless they announce and do something really quick they are going to struggle this entire year. i understand it is eventually going to sell on the strength of some of its ips but i highly doubt they will be anywhere near the success of the wii or even the ps3 or xbox 360 this gen but that is just my opinion we will see. call me crazy but i actually think the ps3 is going to surpass wii numbers worldwide before it stops production.

    #18 2 years ago
  19. Dragon246

    I think these companies will earn more money selling chips (potato, not silicon ones) than 4k tvs.
    Sony is at least downsizing its hemorrhaging TV biz.

    @18
    ” i actually think the ps3 is going to surpass wii numbers worldwide before it stops production.”
    Its not that far fetched as some think. Sony sold around 30 million ps2s in developing countries, where ms and ninty consoles just don’t sell. I am sure same thing will happen this gen too.

    #19 2 years ago
  20. Kabby

    Zero buzz in the west surrounding WiiU. Mostly because the launch games are poor and the hardware is old, slow and terrible.

    It’s been fairly well received in Japan. But everything Nintendo makes is loved in Japan. Even when it’s garbage.

    #20 2 years ago
  21. killersense

    ^ to their credit they launched with monster hunter dragon quest and mario so they were bound to sell pretty good initially. i highly doubt it will sustain for the next few months tho. on the other hand 3ds is just in beast mode over their at the moment. it is crazy the way that is selling and especially animal crossing and it is going to get really good this year for them with monster hunter 4 and pokemon. same cannot be said of wii u though.

    #21 2 years ago
  22. Dragon246

    @21
    WiiU already is on ps3 levels. I am waiting to see where it will bottom out. We will know this month.

    #22 2 years ago
  23. OlderGamer

    Why do you Sony loyalist have to drag everything back to Nintendo? It is like you have some deep rooted hate or personial vandetta. I have no idea how over all sales numbers for WiiU is. And I don’t own Nintendo stock. I just happen to enjoy their games, and their new system is one that I enjoy.

    http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2013-01-09-nintendo-the-big-winner-on-japanese-charts

    http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2013-01-07-iwata-wii-u-sales-not-bad-despite-lack-of-premium-units

    Some of you guys are like a broken record.

    Here is a news flash. Sony(as a company) is NOT doing well. Sony makes games. This is a games site. Posters are going to talk about Sony not doing well. It isn’t, at least my case, done as a personal attack on anyone. I am not hunting other posters or anything. I am just talking about the article.

    I watched their CES show. What am I ‘possed to do stick my head in the sand and pretend the past few years didn’t happen?

    Do I tend to be jaded? Yes. Hi, I am Oldergamer, nice to meet you. Trust me I spread the love. You should watch TV with me, I comment on everything. Most of it some crack about one thing or another. But I don’t think that is what bothers you guys.

    I think what pisses ya off is that Sony is in the shape they are in. If Sony magicly vanished and all of their games were gone tomorrow…would you still game? What would you play? I used to love NEC, SNK, and Sega. All ghosts of their former self. Doesn’t stop me from gaming tho. You guys need to stop backing one horse to the point where you get sick if that horse starts to lag behind.

    If I like a game I can enjoy that game be it the best selling game or the worst selling game. And really they are just games. Most past the mud slinging and don’t take things or make things so personal.

    #23 2 years ago
  24. manamana

    ^ word, OG.

    #24 2 years ago
  25. theevilaires

    OG: “when you are trying to sell a Lambergini in a Ford Fiesta market, it is a hard sell”.

    Apple seems to be doing it with those overpriced shit computers they call iMacs, just saying. Why can’t SONY take a stab doing the same things with their TVs. When these new TVs come out SONY isn’t marketing them to you or me yet. You don’t see advertisements on TV during prime time for 4K. You only see them in magazines and on the net. All those publicist and agents who represent the many NFL,NBA,MLB,Hollywood and music industry assholes are reading that garbage looking for the latest trends like 4K HDTVs. They buy all that high expensive shit to brag on MTV Cribs.

    When SONY wants guys like me and you to come out our pockets and buy this stuff thats when you’ll see 4K Tvs being advertised between the hours of Maury Povich and the walking dead. We’re just all tech geeks who stay on top of this stuff but its not meant for us yet. Thats what a lot of these cry babies who are posting shit don’t realize. When 4k TVs hit my sweet point $5000 and below and the PS4 or 720 can utilize that resolution for games or movies then I’ll bite. Until then I’ll still day dream about the day when I can cover my entire wall with a TV screen and be over in my neighbors pool playing Killzone 5 from it (cause the resolution is so damn awesome) while he’s at work :D

    #25 2 years ago
  26. OlderGamer

    Sure Sony can Tea, but what I think will happen is that Sony won’t reap the benifits. Someone else will prolly beat them to the lower, mass market price point. Like with the current TVs. Sony TVs tend to be at the higher price ends of the market. And the lions shares of sales go to someone else.

    Personaly I think projecter tech might beat stuff like 4K(and higher rez). I also think that gamewise, headsets(VR) could become a big factor. But those are different threads.

    I also think you are right, CES isn’t always showcasing stuff aimed at the masses. However for a company that is in a pinch like Sony is in, I wouldn’t be investing in very much that I couldn’t peddle, peddle right now. And in a big way.

    As for Apple…I think they defy logic. But their biz isn’t just devices. iservices(and I know sony are more then devices too), namely iTunes and app stores are huge streams of revenue for them. And their devices are, I think, well placed along the price spectrum. I just bought my youngest son(17yr old) a new nano for his Bday, wasn’t too badly priced. Also one of the things Apple just announced was a cheaper iPhone. But yeah their prices on some products are pretty up there. I don’t own any of their phones or tablets. Just ipods for music.

    But it is hard to critize Apple when what they do works.

    #26 2 years ago
  27. killersense

    damn i must have hit a nerve or something jeez. if anything you seem to be the one taking this personally. why get so defensive when something negative is said about nintendo? a broken record? this sound like someone to you and the amount of times this has been said?
    sony has lost their way
    sony should just continue with ps3 and not bring ps4
    who cares about graphics it is all about new revolutionary gamepad!
    have no interest in sony or microsoft next gen systems if they dont include touch pad
    wont buy this game unless they bring it to wii u
    wii u gamepad is awesome try it before knocking it

    you like nintendo systems, i am more into pc gaming but own a ps3 because i like some of their exclusives. i have no problem admitting sony isn’t in great shape, vita is doing terrible. it is just this constant praise for one system even though it has its own share of many weaknesses which will almost never be highlighted by you because you love nintendo so much and then bringing pessimism to almost anything sony related is what made me say what i did. i have no hatred for any system. i hope they all do great. it would be sad if sony went out of business but i wont be crying over it. anyways i am going to stop this because this is going to go nowhere and i am not here to hate on any system just some objective discussion not one sided views

    #27 2 years ago
  28. theevilaires

    OG: “Sure Sony can Tea, but what I think will happen is that Sony won’t reap the benifits. Someone else will prolly beat them to the lower, mass market price point”.

    TEA: Yea hello Samsung :) Sorry SONY :(

    OG: “Personaly I think projecter tech might beat stuff like 4K(and higher rez). I also think that gamewise, headsets(VR) could become a big factor. But those are different threads”.

    TEA: I totally agree with you on there if the tech in common LCD-LED and OLED wasn’t ready or mastered but it is. Using a projector to get that size quality reminds me of that scene in problem child with the baby sitter and the whole neighborhood looking at the projection on the house :D

    OG: “I also think you are right, CES isn’t always showcasing stuff aimed at the masses. However for a company that is in a pinch like Sony is in, I wouldn’t be investing in very much that I couldn’t peddle, peddle right now. And in a big way”.

    TEA: Yup, but SONY has an image to keep and share holders to keep happy. Like you mention above someone else is going to do it and probably for cheaper. So SONY figures why not be the head starter because they have the machine to justify what they’re trying to sell and thats their beloved “proven” to sell new tech PlayStation. I think SONY is about to pull a rabbit out of their hat and really stun the world with the PS4. Kaz is not stupid and he’s more internationally inclined with what the world wants than Kutaragi. I could be wrong but I’m hoping they bounce back like Apple did from the 90′s.

    OG: “As for Apple…I think they defy logic.

    TEA: Not for me. When you’re selling your computers at a higher premium than the competition and you don’t really do anything that much different than I think thats stupid not logical. The only thing I like about Apple products are their retina displays (on PC’s, not phones. HTC EVO LTE and Galaxy S3 match that shit iphone). Other than that I can do the same stuff I can do on a PC that anyone can do on a MAC but at a much reasonable price.

    A computer is not like a car. Premium car market makes sense. Premium way to jerk off to free porn and waste your life posting stupid shit to facebook and twitter doesn’t.

    OG: “Apple just announced was a cheaper iPhone. But yeah their prices on some products are pretty up there. I don’t own any of their phones or tablets. Just ipods for music”.

    TEA: Yea because Samsung is kicking their ass with the Galaxy S3 and Samsung has a cheaper S3 coming out called the mini S3. And wow you still use ipods man come on lol. How in the hell can you use that GOD awful itunes with that plug and sync crap. I rather have my teeth pulled out then use that crap. I love my drag and drop on my phone and simple PS3 plug up and copy feature. Never owned an ipod and never will and if Apple keeps it that way where I can’t drag and drop then I’ll never own any of their products (tablets or phones).

    #28 2 years ago
  29. OlderGamer

    “you like nintendo systems, i am more into pc gaming but own a ps3 because i like some of their exclusives.”

    Change the words around a bit and you just nailed it for me Killer.

    I spend 75%+ of my time on a PC. I enjoy all of the systems to varying degrees. I used to be mainly a console guy, but I have turned more and more towards PC. But I have a soft spot for Nintendo games. And I LOVE the WiiU GamePad. But that doesn’t mean I am spending all of my gaming hours on the WiiU. I am about to round 500hours of Civ V(and that is just this fresh install on my newer PC).

    Owning one system doesn’t preclude anyone from enjoying another.

    #29 2 years ago
  30. TD_Monstrous69

    OK, from the sounds of things, I’m in the minority on this one, but I actually liked their press conference. They were going for the “Wow” factor, and that’s where I was at the end of it. I thought the 4K TV’s were rather impressive, and Xperia Z looks awesome. I also hope that the 4K stuff makes it way over to the next PS4 (and if it does 4K, day one, right out of the box, I wouldn’t be shocked) Sure, I’m disappointed they glanced over games, but games have almost never been featured in a prominent manner at CES anyway, and plus, no offense to anyone who likes CES, but it’s been dead for years. It’s nothing more than a show to show off new TV’s, phones, tablets, laptops, and PC’s. Games have always had DICE, GDC, or E3. Though as much as I liked it, I’m again sad they glanced over games, big missed opportunity.

    #30 2 years ago
  31. polygem

    @23: very well said, you should copy paste it. you might need it again and again and again and again. that ol’ blues record is indeed broken. the difference in saying “sony is in a bad shape atm, i want them to get back on their feet” and “the wiiu pad is a gimmick, there’s no third party support, when ps4 nextbox will drop, it will be doomed, sales are bad” at this point in time, is obvious. should be obvious. one is just about commenting reality, while still being positive about it, the other is about speculation or lack of experiencing things first hand.

    #31 2 years ago
  32. dizzygear

    @5 yes its possible but i have to buy US PSN cards, NA DLC does not work with PAL games and avatars are account bound. I also have to pray Sony wont decide to IP ban Europe form the NA store one day given its track record with the PS3.

    Also imagine that the NA PSN store has different content in every state in the USA. Because thats exactly what is happening in the SCEE zone right now. Allot of PS2 classics are exclusive to the UK and some country’s do not get DLC for some games even though the game is available for sale in their country for example. Its ridiculous.

    While a global store might be impossible. VALVe and Microsoft do one hell of a better job of at least TRYING to keep things as even as possible.

    #32 2 years ago
  33. killersense

    @polygem

    wii u not having third party support is speculation? i must have missed the memo where the majority of big games coming in first half have a wii u port? mgsr? castlevania? bioshock? dmc? tomb raider? dead space? crysis? they have alien colonial marines which has no date yet but is confirmed for the other platforms for feb 12th and prolly rayman legends which i doubt is gonna stay exclusive that can be counted as big third party games coming for it.
    the mass market thinking it is an add on is speculation? i have tried the pad at a best buy near me and guess what it was cool but not 300$ worthy cool. it is a gimmick as far as i am concerned. like i said i have no problem in realizing that sony is not in great shape but i can’t say the same about you nintendo loyalists that keep thinking everything is just rosy for nintendo. they are doing great in japan mostly with 3ds but worldwide they are not lighting any fires and i just wanted to see you guys admit that and not downplaying sony at every turn.

    #33 2 years ago
  34. OlderGamer

    Killer I am pretty sure(not 100% tho) that at this point WiiU is ahead of Wii at the same point. The only numbers I saw where 675,000 sold in month of dec in NA. NA, btw isn’t JPN. If you count up total sales units they are well over 1 million. It just came out.

    So far no comprehensive numbers are out. They will be. I think the system is selling just fine. But even if it isn’t…so what? It doesn’t lessen the enjoyment that people that do own it are having. And if it selling like hot cakes, so what? it doesn’t impact you personaly one way or another. Why does it seem like WiiU owners are constantly defending it?

    Because people like you are constantly attacking not only the system but the people that own it. Ofc your welcome to think you once again struck a nerve, but really your just being ignorant.

    What I can’t figure out is why you are so vested in what nintendos wiiu is doing…esp if you don’t like it. Power hint: I have been gaming on playstations from day one. I own, and use PS3. I own a PSP. I do not own either a 3DS or a Vita.

    #34 2 years ago
  35. Dragon246

    WiiU ahead of wii?
    Yeah sure, do you know sky is falling too?
    I like how things are stated here without any facts. Maybe because they are wrong.

    And Og, I also can’t understand why you are so vested in sony when you don’t like them?

    #35 2 years ago
  36. killersense

    @og
    the wii u is not doing better than wii. the only numbers we have is that it sold 425000 units in november. the number you posted is japan not NA. read the article that you posted above and here is another

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/01/07/us-nintendo-console-sales-idUSBRE90605420130107

    you got the nintendo president saying sales are “not bad”. at what point do i even question or imply that people that own a wii u should not enjoy their systems? i am glad people that own them enjoy it but why should that stop me from making an observation and posting about it not doing that good? this is what you posted earlier

    “Here is a news flash. Sony(as a company) is NOT doing well. Sony makes games. This is a games site. Posters are going to talk about Sony not doing well.”

    guess what replace sony with nintendo. my observation is that there is barely any third party support for nintendo and it doesn’t look atleast for now that it is going to recapture the wii crowd so they are in my opinion gonna be in trouble but i know better to count nintendo out. they have proven people wrong many times and i hope they do because nintendo needs to be around.

    maybe you should stop being a hypocrite and question me on why i am vested in talking about wii u when you are doing the same with regards to sony and saying stuff like they lost their way and they are going to be in trouble and you are not probably going to buy their systems.

    #36 2 years ago
  37. polygem

    wiiu had a great list of third party games at launch. it misses out some games that have been in dev for ps360 for a while. Wiiu is a brandnew console. it just launched. i think we’ll see some ports to happen later. future third party support is only written in the stars. at least for us – for now. it is speculation. it even has third party exclusives like rayman, zombiu…i for one played cod, darksiders, batman, sonic racing, tekken on it. don’t know why future releases shouldn’t come to the wiiu. the graphical improvement of the next gen cnsoles making ports for wiiu impossible? i don’t think so but again, atm= speculation.
    the wiiu sales aren’t bad worldwide. they’re actually pretty good. you can easily check that for yourselves.
    playing a console in a store or in your home, with friend, family, with no need to rush things is a huge difference too. no problem with anyone critcising wiiu or being sceptical about it’s potential, huge problem with people dooming it already…

    #37 2 years ago
  38. Da Man

    Typical Phony bs with their typical mediocre hardware at inflated prices, and typical clunky software for deprived people who have nothing better to devote themselves to..

    Kaz Hirai is the most dumb CEO ever existed (notwithstanding Ken Kutaragi attempt).

    #38 2 years ago

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