Posted by: Kenji Hall on September 20, 2007
Sony gaming chief Kazuo “Kaz” Hirai’s talk at the Tokyo Game Show doesn’t classify as a crowd-pleaser. There were new trailers for soon-to-be-released games, but no flashy or gorgeous animated sequences. And none of it got the audience buzzing. Hirai was, true to form, all business.
That’s actually a welcome change from his predecessor, Ken Kutaragi, who had people scratching their heads last year with his incomprehensible “vision” for the PlayStation 3. Hirai spent his keynote speech going over the company’s basic strategy on every game platform (PS2, PS3 and PSP). It’s clear he realizes that fun games are the key to his success. Question is, can he get enough developers to deliver for him before the yearend holiday season?
In an interview with Reuters, he expressed confidence that he could; that he could add more game studios (in addition to the acquisition of Britain’s Evolution Studios, announced today) to give Sony a better chance at it; that Sony would throw more marketing money at the problem; and that all those games should help his crew sell 11 million in the fiscal year through March 2008.
One surprise was that Sony didn’t cut the price of the PS3, as some analysts had predicted he would (which I referred to in my story yesterday). Another was that software is behind schedule: The virtual online world, Home, has been delayed from late 2007 until spring 2008, and top-selling series Gran Turismo 5 Prologue will now be released on Dec. 13, instead of October. But Sony is doing something about it. At Sony’s booth, there were more than 40 PS3 new titles for the PlayStation faithful to try, and the company plans to have plenty more by yearend. Let’s hope Sony makes sure the delays don’t hurt its chances in the console wars.