Sony's Kaz Hirai: Dealing with Gaming Issues

Details of Kaz Hirai's PlayStation Day 2008 address right here

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Sony's Kaz Hirai: Dealing with Gaming Issues
Speaking at PlayStation day 2008, Sony Computer Entertainment's president and CEO, Kaz Hirai, acknowledged that the first year of the PlayStation 3's lifespan was underwhelming for Sony fans.

"I think its fair to say that the first year of PS3 was a difficult one", Hirai told the assembled press and industry. "There were some teething problems; success from our competitors; and our customers were a little underwhelmed by the range of titles that were available. This was something that we were very much aware of and something that we were always confident that we could overcome."

Hirai indicated that Sony is overcoming that right now, saying, ?Things have improved greatly for PS3 since the Christmas season and 2008 has gotten off to a fantastic start."

Hirai also offered an apology for the delay of Home, saying, ?Now I realise that this announcement was disappointing for many people. So please accept my apologies for the delay. But as I said at the Tokyo Games Show, I would not open up Home until I was completely happy with it, and I stand by that statement. As great as it currently is, I feel it needs a little bit more time before its ready for the wider public ? something that we firmly believe that we can provide in the Autumn."

You'll notice the word 'I' cropping up a fair amount there. It seems Hirai is taking it on the chin for the delay. Hirai's time on stage was a brief ten minutes - and punctuated by the occasional "Erm" and "Um". It was, however, a refreshing performance showcasing a man who knows not only to be aware of the issues that have bedevilled the PS3 (lack of games and delays to potential sellers) but also aware that these need to be engaged with urgently.

Discussing the relationship Sony has with third party developers, Hirai said, ?Through an increase in dialogue, there has been a greater sharing of knowledge, of development assets which has resulted in a rise in the number of developers choosing PS3 as the lead platform.?

Of course, if you listen to Electronic Arts' CEO, John Riccitiello, leading on the PS3 makes it easier to develop for. It could just be that developers are leading on Sony's console because developing for it is more problematic if you are working on it as a second platform...

Hirai also highlighted the number of users the PlayStation Network now has, saying, ?We have a thriving PlayStation global community with over eight million people now registered on the PlayStation Network and over three million of these are in the SCEE countries.?

Winning BACK PlayStation Gamers

Discussing the future of the PlayStation brand, Hirai acknowledged that there are gamers who need to be won back, saying (with our emphasis):

"Moving forward the future of PlayStation firmly sits in the domain of interactive entertainment: a harmonious marriage between games and community. And it's through this unique, exciting and and accessible games (sic) that we will make our platforms the staple diet for ALL gamers - including those who like to take part in casual and social gaming.

"It's this dedication that we firmly believe will bring the PlayStation gamers BACK to the PlayStation family and become part of our global network community."


This admission that formerly dedicated PlayStation gamers require winning back indicates that some serious management chat has occurred - it's unlikely that teacups were thrown; it is more than likely that certain realities were voiced... loudly.

So, in short, Hirai dealt with: lack of developer input (where are the exclusives?); delays on key titles; the fact that gamers have drifted away from the brand - and all in ten minutes. Now, let's see words put into action.
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Comments

SuperSaiyan4 7 May 2008 11:02
1/4
Last gen PS2 was the leading platform and graphical updates were given to the Xbox 1 version of games.

If the PS3 is the leading platform given the tools for this gen games should look identical or whichever way developers want to do things.

The thing is I was very hyped by the ATi XENOS in the Xbox 360 but I all I have seen are frame rate issues, screen tearing in early games, lots of jaggies, the boasting for the XENOS was leaded by its abilities on paper yet am not seeing this ability in games as comparing the PS3's games like say GTA 4 is about on par with the 360 version there is no great huge difference at all.

So we could put fanboism aside for once and just say its all equal in respective of what developers can do with this gens hardware.

It doesnt matter which console is the leading console because if games are still taking a bit longer to come out on the PS3 there will be a delay either way and I am not saying that in a bad way.

However saying this Valve are not so keen on developing for the PS3 at all from what I read the other day on N4G...Personally I think its stupid for any developer to turn around and not make for a particular platform considering both machines are more than capable.
realvictory 7 May 2008 12:08
2/4
It's not about what developers can do, it's what they think is worth it. They're going to look the same because it's easier, or because developers are used to developing for one system, so the same technology/concepts will be used on other systems.

If the weaker system is more popular, it will hold the rest back.
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SuperSaiyan4 7 May 2008 12:47
3/4
I dont think weaker system applies in this case though, both machines are more than capable as we have seen well graphically thus far.
tyrion 7 May 2008 14:21
4/4
SuperSaiyan4 wrote:
If the PS3 is the leading platform given the tools for this gen games should look identical or whichever way developers want to do things.

Doesn't always work that way, if the 360 isn't capable of some of the things the devs have put into the PS3 version of the game, the 360 version will look "worse" or at best "different" if other effects are put in to compensate. Same goes for the other way around of course.

The "easier to dev for PS3 first" approach is one I've mostly seen with regard to the engine programming, not just the graphics. It's more to do with the CPU and memory usage from what I understand.

SuperSaiyan4 wrote:
So we could put fanboism aside for once and just say its all equal in respective of what developers can do with this gens hardware.

Who are you and what have you done with SS4? :-)

SuperSaiyan4 wrote:
However saying this Valve are not so keen on developing for the PS3 at all from what I read the other day on N4G.

Valve are, at heart, a PC house. They will be much more familiar and happy with the dev environment for the 360 since it's almost exactly the same as for the PC. From comments I've seen online and in, for example, develop magazine, developers are split pretty even over which console they prefer to code on.

SuperSaiyan4 wrote:
Personally I think its stupid for any developer to turn around and not make for a particular platform considering both machines are more than capable.

Agreed. There is no reason to make anything exclusive other than financial incentives, laziness or being owned by either Microsoft or Sony.
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