Console business here to stay, says Sony CEO

Kaz Hirai says market for home-based systems and dedicated portable gaming devices not going away anytime soon.

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The home console and game-specific portable markets are here to stay. That's according to Sony CEO Kaz Hirai, who told The Verge in a new interview from the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show that Sony is keen to continue investing in both markets, despite what the naysayers may be predicting.

"I think that based on the consumer feedback that we've been getting, there is certainly a very large segment of the video game market that is interested in playing immersive games on a game-specific device, as opposed to playing casual games on smartphones," Hirai said of the PlayStation Vita. "There is certainly a market for that as well, but again, there's that market where the physical buttons and the controls are very important for that intuitive and intricate gameplay control."

Of the home console business, Hirai was similarly enthusiastic. "Between that and also the home-based consoles as well, those aren't going to go away anytime soon," he said.

The PS Vita has sold more than 2.2 million units since launch 11 months ago, while the PlayStation 3 has shifted over 70 million systems since 2006. Looking ahead, the rumor mill has been busy with speculation about the PlayStation 4, with analysts expecting it to arrive--alongside the next Xbox--during the second half of this year.

Discussion

308 comments
hellangel_boy
hellangel_boy

Smartphones and tablet gaming got popular because they are available almost to everyone. Anyone , even people who don't play games that much, can buy them , and they have available digital stores with games. People buy them mainly for another purposes.

I don't say here ,necessarily, that you can't be interested in gaming on them if you mainly game on a console or a PC, but I think that type of gaming won't grow that much, because most of people who game on smartphones or tablets have that "interest" for these games and they don't really like them. 

Besides , even with later installment of smartphones like Samsung Galaxy S3 , gaming on it with just touch screen feels so awkward and unresponsive, so even if want to play some real portable games, I would go with something like the PSVita over any smartphone or tablet.

SangoHime
SangoHime

It's funny how "hardcore" PC gamers don't realize they're a minority and don't have much sway in the gaming business. Most people aren't willing to spend thousands of dollars on a gaming PC and they're already used to buying a different device for every use, what with the iphones, ipads, slightly bigger ipads, laptops, game consoles, etc. Game consoles are definitely here to stay, at least until smart tvs and cloud gaming become common.

jark888
jark888

Seeing how cheaply made the latest revised version of PS3 is, only make me think that PS3 lifespan is coming to its end. If PS3 is like a human who has 100 years to live, I think it is about 80 years old now. I would predict that the next Playstation will arrive within the next 5 years. The next Xbox could be the main factor to determine how soon it will be launched. There is nothing to worry about WiiU, since all it always does is keeping up with the other big two.

Death_Masta187
Death_Masta187

The hardcore of us play on PC and the casual play on their phones and tablets. I don't see consoles going away but I just don't see them being important.

thequickshooter
thequickshooter

look, even if you don't like sony one bit, it's still good to have Competition. 

so the competitors will lower their price and improve their games 

without Nintendo they're won't be Sega, without sony they're won't be Xbox 

same could be said in everything nowadays 

so Competition is always good for the customer 

jflkdjs
jflkdjs

WOW! so many SONY haters in here...

mr_squibble
mr_squibble

Translation: "Please keep investing in Sony. We need your money to not go bankrupt and hope Playstation remains a viable brand."

Ryus_fist
Ryus_fist

They should try making some games. That'd be grrrreat. 

ice-milk
ice-milk

Sony is such a brainwasher. No, you ain't gonna lose your precious PS brand anytime soon. Jees.

franzito
franzito

The console market is still strong but devs and publishers gotta keep coming with games, good games, for them! Because, at least for me, it feels like a total waste of money spending 500, 600$ on a system and then buying like 4, 5 games for it, letting collect dust after finishing them...

My Wii is kinda is this process right now, although I've been playing Super Mario Galaxy after more than 1 YEAR without touching it.

Tauu
Tauu

Whether or not consoles survive depend on how well console makers develop new and innovative gaming experiences. I think it's going to take more than robust online features and endless shooters next time around for Sony and Microsoft to be successful.

Mar_Sama
Mar_Sama

I think the Consoles are no longer just consoles. Sony made a great deal having a multimedia device in the PS3. Its a very high notch Blu-Ray player, has very good internet support, tv capability and the Gaming ability. Were it not for the overheating you could look tv thanks to the ps3 all day long and on commercials, play a little or hear some music. Of course XBOX has it too but you pay double for it.

dogpigfish
dogpigfish

Does Hitai keep getting a do over on these articles until the blogs are positive?

4iDragon
4iDragon

Can we have a Modding community for the next gen consols and a new home screem the XMB sucks

leandrro
leandrro

for the first time people can connect their pcs direct to their tvs, this is a game changer

Elaisse
Elaisse

Hes exactly right this coming gen is going to be a war of hte first part

CaptainBerserk
CaptainBerserk

Of course it's here to stay, PC gamers BE MAD! :P

Darnasian
Darnasian

I still hope the add cross-game chat!

J-007
J-007

For added info ps3 sales hit past the xbox360 mark. Consoles should stay coz I don't want puny handhelds and the PS4 should be better than what rumors have told which will not be good..

vaibhavp
vaibhavp

consoles will go away is like saying windows will go away because of android and ios. they have made their place in market, thats all. that does'nt mean they will take over. if business is in decline, that does not mean its finished. I prefer a ps3 and a full laptop over a tablet. also a smartfone.

rattyocaster
rattyocaster

Personally, I think dedicated mobile devices will probably become more niche, but home consoles will still be big sellers. Even my parents borrow my PS3 to rent films from the PSN store or watch BD movies, this shows how by diversifying the features of a machine you increase your market. I still believe that the PS3 is one of the best Blu Ray players on the market, even down to suggesting it to my clients because of everything else it does besides games and BD support. The fact that the PS3 has some seriously cool games is the main reason I'm interested in the PS4 (Killzone 4 and Uncharted 4 please and of course GT 6).

@dantesergei The current gen consoles failure rate (yes BOTH 360 and PS3) are down to a poor choice of solder at the development stage. They used lead based solder which is very conductive and great with higher current, but poor with heat, over time the console heating up and cooling down would eventually crack the solder causing the console to fail. It's not the heat itself that causes the problem, if you bought a 360 when it first came out, turned it on and never turned it off, chances are it would keep going almost forever, but warming and cooling the components and solder causes it to fail. Newer components use different solder which isn't as good with current but can take much more thermal stress as it is far less brittle, so the next gen consoles, as long as they don't overheat, the RRoD and YLEDoD shouldn't happen again!

dantesergei
dantesergei

Great ! just make sure this time your cosole have good ventilation.

FoxbatAlpha
FoxbatAlpha

The fact that the CEO has to defend Sony is bad news itself.  Doom is still certain.

ChiefFreeman
ChiefFreeman

I agree with Kaz. Times have changed with tabletsand smart phone gaming, but you can't get the deep experiences from casual games like you can from the consoles (or pc). physical controls trump stupid touch ones. Bring on the ps4.

tightwad34
tightwad34

Yeah, and I will eat some food and drink something tomorrow. Redundancy at it's finest. I don't mean anything against Kaz at all. I guess it's the writer who should find something with a point to write about.

YukoAsho
YukoAsho

@SangoHime Well, cloud gaming isn't overtaking anything until the lag issue is addressed.  Gamers aren't going to put up with laggy matches, and non-gamers probably will be intimidated.

Game consoles aren't going anywhere for the forseeable future, and discs will be around as well for a good long time.

Cyberjin
Cyberjin

@Darnasian they will add cross-game chat for sure, just look at PsVita it has Cross-game chat

strongmokus
strongmokus

@dantesergei Or not so powerful (same for Microsoft). Even eskimos could use phat PS3 for heating.

hangman000
hangman000

@FoxbatAlpha You give Halo reach a 10 and Uncharted 2 a 1 and have the balls to spew bullshit.He wasn't defending Sony.

dogpigfish
dogpigfish

@slainta @FoxbatAlpha Sony fans are like Sony CEO's. Delusional.

blueboykc
blueboykc

@slainta  sony dominated? i must have missed that breaking news..

TTDog
TTDog

@slainta: Haven't exactly dominated this gen have they.

slainta
slainta

@dogpigfish Pfeh.. If MS keep making people paying for the crappy XBL service it will be out of business the next generation.

slainta
slainta

@blueboykc I was talking about the past. The PSOne + PS2 has been the greatest success ever before the iPhone. And the PS3 shipped more consoles than the X360 now. In less time (1 year less).

blueboykc
blueboykc

  sounds like more grand delusions to me..

slainta
slainta

@TTDog @slainta 

1. Well, I think you found the link yourself already… :p

2. The RROD had an incidence of more than 30% the first couple of years. That means millions of consoles that must taken out of the computation. But yes, we would need better numbers.

3. It depends on the product. Consoles are very stable products (they basically don't change) which keep selling units every day. I just give to you that we would need to check the number of the next shipment. If it is still above or even much higher the case is closed.

Regarding the PS3 loosing the PS2 lead, what can I say? MS rushed things and came out with an inferior product, with an outdated DL DVD (the PS2 already had it) and no custom HDD  at the same time Sony was fighting to win the HD optical discs war. That, IMVHO, fucked up the market. If MS was to wait another year or maybe two both companies would have come out with much better (and cheaper) products. But yes, that made a MS advantage in terms of sales (not sure about the profits due to the RRODs). Who lost have been the customers on both sides. To me the last generation is the 6th and 3/4 generation.

TTDog
TTDog

@slainta: So many holes...

1) Naturally you have a link to back these numbers up, and VGChartz doesn't carry any weight here, while the PS3 may be winning in Japan this is the smallest of the main regions, it's being crushed in the biggest region of the US and Europe is pretty even as many have avoided Sony in protest at the crappy treatment Europe receives as a whole.

2) Are there still people that think 3 red lights is a common issue? Obviously a few mis-informed souls do but you're just as likely to suffer the yellow light of death these days.

3) Shipped is not sold... a very important point

And evenif the PS3 has passed 360 sales it's taken them over 6 years to do it, which considering the domination of the PS2 (where sales numbers themselves were also boosted by hardware failures early doors... although Sony refused to accept any faults until it came to court as opposed to Microsoft owning (and paying up) when it became obvious) and for it to have taken so long must be considered a failure... certainly not "Domination" in any shape or form.

slainta
slainta

@TTDog @slainta You missed the news indeed. The PS3 has just passed the X360 in terms of shipped consoles. And still it sold 12 ml consoles/year compared to the X360 10.5 ml/year (RRODed included…).