TGS 06: Kutaragi talks PS3 at keynote

Sony Computer Entertainment president kicks off Japanese gaming expo with PS3-centric address but divulges few new details about the next-gen console.


TOKYO--After a relatively uneventful Microsoft press conference two days ago in Shibuya, Sony has an easy act to follow. But expectations are nevertheless high for the keynote address opening the 2006 Tokyo Game Show, being led by Ken Kutaragi and beginning in just a few minutes. Given the tumult that's marked the PlayStation 3's launch cycle since the Electronic Entertainment Expo in May, the assembled industry members from here in Japan and around the world are understandably ready to hang on Kutaragi's every word. The cramped conference hall is quickly filling to the brim, with every seat occupied and aisles on both sides of the room packed shoulder to shoulder with eager press. The lights dim, and...

10:10 am: The keynote address begins with thanks that we've taken time out of our busy schedules to attend. Right, like we'd miss this? Ken Kutaragi is immediately introduced, presenting the topic "PS3: Creating the Next Generation of Computer Entertainment." No video allowed, so you'll just have to read everything we've got to say.

10:14: Kutaragi references the impending launches of both the PS3 and Wii as marking the start of the next generation of gaming and welcomes us to try the large lineup of games that are playable on the TGS show floor as of right now.

Next up is the demo reel running at Sony's booth, featuring impressive footage of Ridge Racer 7, Virtua Fighter 5, Mobile Suit Gundam: Target in Sight, and Final Fantasy XIII (the same trailer shown at E3). With visuals like these, it's easy to believe the next generation is indeed upon us.

10:20: Following the video, Kutaragi espouses the virtues of the PS3's processing power and controller, the latter of which is said to continually be making progress in terms of precision. More general commentary on the evolving state of the industry, including the statement that "computers" and "entertainment" are no longer separate concepts but now a single unified entity.

10:27: Yet more comments on the rapid acceleration of network speeds and the ability to deliver and store content between large servers and smaller end-user terminals. OK Ken, we know technology's kinda cool, but what's going on with that PlayStation 3 lately?

TGS, from the outside.
TGS, from the outside.

10:34: More talk of global positioning systems allowing flyovers of actual terrain, or superagent-powered future search engines providing personalized data. Ken says it's not a reality just yet, but you can bet he wants you to believe the PS3 will make it happen.

Is this thing still supposed to play games?

10:36: Hey, he just said the words "Gran Turismo." Guess there will be some games after all. But he's still only talking about the realistic modeling of terrain and the cars' suspensions and so on made possible by the PS3's hardware. C'mon, we figured it was going to be a decent system already.

10:42: Shopping, banking, online security--the PS3 will apparently do it all, maybe, sometime in the future. Kutaragi also says the barrier between broadcasting and communication has been lowered with the advent of user-uploaded photo and video content. There's much more potential in this space, he says, which will of course be realized by the PS3.

10:46: Now, a little history lesson on the inception and wildly successful launch of the original PlayStation. Kutaragi cites ease of manufacturing and the use of the cheapest storage medium at the time as reasons for that success. Now moving on to the PlayStation 2's similar formula for success, he says it has led both systems to become valuable "long-tail" businesses, referring to their extreme longevity in the market.

The throng gathers to hear Kutaragi speak.
The throng gathers to hear Kutaragi speak.

10:50: Current networking technology--even gigabit Ethernet--hasn't yet reached the internal bus speed of the original PlayStation, says Kutaragi, so it naturally will take time for Sony to fully realize its online plans in its entirety. Consequently, he says the PS3's internal hardware may be thought of as "overkill," since online content and packaged media must coexist "for the time being" to deliver the optimal entertainment experience.

10:55: Downloadable 16-bit games? MegaDrive (Genesis) and PC Engine (TurboGrafx)? Where have we heard that before? Kutaragi also talks about the possibility of paying 100 yen (about $1) for a small or time-limited game demo.

11:00: Sony is collaborating on an experiment with the Los Alamos laboratory in the US involving the Folding@Home project, which uses spare processing power for medical research. How long before we see water-cooled, overclocked PS3s showing up in forum sigs everywhere?

11:04: So far this may be the least eventful keynote in TGS history. Last year we got our first look at the Wii-mote. Granted, most of the cats are out of the PS3 bag, but this is Sony's last big chance to give the entire world the final relevant info about the launch and subsequent plans for the system. There's one more video coming up, and the keynote is over.

11:06: It's Afrika! Maybe now we can figure out what the hell it is!

11:07: Scenes of elephants, wildebeests, giraffes, hyenas, zebras, hippos--you know, the resident fauna of Africa--all going about their business. A rhino charges the camera, a cheetah speeds with strikingly realistic animation toward its prey--and the demo is over. Oh wait, there's a pretty extreme-looking dude in a cap sitting in a jeep. Guess they still aren't going to tell us what the game is about.

11:09: Kutaragi retakes the stage for a photo op as the underwhelmed attendees begin to filter out of the conference room. Predictably, the hottest news from this TGS will come from our editors already on the floor, getting their hands on games like Devil May Cry 4, Ridge Racer 7, and more. Watch our 2006 Tokyo Game Show page like a hawk for all the updates of the next 72 hours.

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Avatar image for mslocum

It's funny to read these comments now that we know the imminent fate of the PS3 and the success of the Xbox360 and the Wii. Obviously, price point is a significant marketing point but content, delivery, and public communication play a big part in the success of new launched technology. Honestly, I hope Sony can hang in there. Microsoft needs honest competition or we'll get the Windows ME version of the Xabox next.

Avatar image for JonahFalcon

killjoi called it! << LINK REMOVED >> killjoi This man will lose his job in 6 months. Taking wagers now. Posted Sep 21, 2006 6:11 pm PT

Avatar image for nev70

I cannot believe how bad that was Sony have lost all grasp of PR the thing that makes me laugh most is how they call the ps3 a computer, they realize its high price point and try to justify it any way they can .................BS, I WANT A GAMES MACHINE .........................THE MORE I HEAR ABOUT THE PS3 THE MORE IT REMINDS ME OF THE PSX..................

Avatar image for acesion

Worst speech ever!

Avatar image for mithund

i thought i'd make the 1820th post ! :-D

Avatar image for inYuashiaZero

i weeeeeeeee a computer. its just a computer basically. just cheaper. it is now making the line between GCs and PC vauge. i dont know wether to say way to go or good job ken kutaragi u do it again (moron) well its a cheaper computer.

Avatar image for LikwidX3

lol, i love console wars, what ever happent to the boomerang thing that was suppose to be the ps3 remote? did they remake it into the original remote without wires (x360) and added motion (wii) in it because of the competition this year? haha who cares, hope the ps3 is good, i know alot of u will enjoy it, and thats good, but im on the wii side of this thing. next time nintendo just needs to keep their mouths shut until sony comes out with their stuff. then maybe we wont be playin these mimic games we play today. i hope the ps3 doesnt stop working like the ps2 did all the damn time, to where u have to go inside the console and twist stuff around, because $600 is too much to risk.

Avatar image for j_vega07

Well i am not rich but ill find a way on getting my hands on all systems. c'mon people each fanboy is jealous of the other for what their systems dont have..............not a problem for me ill get all three.... jejejeje Uh wait that was a cool rhyme LOL""""not a problem for me ill get all three"""jajaja

Avatar image for rl_41

Guys, what do you expect from the price of PS3. Blu-Ray players retail for around $1000, and the GPU would have a retail price around $500. You're getting the highest quality console, so it's normal to have a high price. Stop complaining about "stealing" motion sensing stuff, I forgot the PS3 even had that. Who cares. Go play your Wii and stop complaining nestea_king And to everybody who says PS3 is gonna fail, remember that I said that I will LAUGH AT YOU when it doesn't, and all 3 systems generally sell well. 360 might fall off eventually if anything bad happens to any one console.

Avatar image for xraystar

"sony will be win if they lower the price to $300 and games to $50." haha, dream on buddy. it's "the future" now, want better technology? then better cough up some dough - and your lungs while you're at it.

Avatar image for nestea_king

First the cheap rip-off the wii-mote, now downloadable games from the past. I know that they didnt copy it exactly, and that Nintendo didnt invent motion technology, but they were the first ones of the big 3 to use it in their console. Then after they FINALLY revealed that the Wiis controller will have motion sensing technology, all of a sudden they said they had been keeping a "secret" from us about the controller. Then what do you know, they have motion sensing technology too!The point that I'm trying to make is that Sony is ripping off Nintendo, even a Sony fanboy should be able to see it. Also I'm not a Nintendo fanboy, or Sony hater or whatever else you want to call me. I have all the systems and handhelds, check my collection, though I havent updated it in like...a year. But I think it has PS2, GC, Xbox, and MAYBE DS, PSP, and the 360. I don't know if I added any of my games from the last 3 to my collection. So this is not fanboyism, but my honest opinion. I will still get the PS3, I just don't like how they're copying someone elses brilliant ideas and using it as their own. Thanks for reading my rant :D

Avatar image for thepyrethatburn

"An unintened side-effect of the PS3 boondogle is that I predict the PC will soon once again be the king of the gaming hill. " One could hope. However, I wouldn't hold my breath. I'd be happy if they would just make FPS games for the PC such as UT2007 without trying to "even the field" for their console market.

Other than that, .....well, it was a speech. They didn't embarrass themselves which is a good thing. However, it was all pretty much promises and talk with nothing really to back it up.
Avatar image for power_rangerer

sony will be win if they lower the price to $300 and games to $50.

Avatar image for XGustaX

"Honestly, Sony. Thank you for taking some ideas from the Wii. And I'm not ironic. Nintendo have great ideas that I believe should exist in the PS3 too, and now they're going to! I really dont understand why ppl are bashing on the facts, because the PS3 is going to be better. So who cares if they made a nunchuk-controller? It comes down to the fact that if you don't have the rights to the whole thing, anyone can incorporate the ideas into their own. Evolution for the win, guys. Stop with the whining. Also, a keynote is not for gamers, but for corporate execs, just as 'Aeon' said, so I'm not dissapointed. Sure, Sony's done a lot of faults (for example delaying the PS3 for us Europeans, but I don't care. There's a thing called "The bright side" :p" Sony DID NOT copy the nunchuck controller wow... if you call that cheap ass imentation a Wii Mote then sure haha... can we say fanboy from across the pond...haha

Avatar image for Macke88

I belive you are right, Bashmentkid. Love the theory you have :)

Avatar image for bashmentkid

Macke88 Theres also a thing called seeing the light, and fanboys simply cannot. my theory is that they have been blinded by the magical light that shoots forth from sony's arse, that only special people can see, and it prevents them from seeing anything in reality again. just a theory.

Avatar image for Macke88

Honestly, Sony. Thank you for taking some ideas from the Wii. And I'm not ironic. Nintendo have great ideas that I believe should exist in the PS3 too, and now they're going to! I really dont understand why ppl are bashing on the facts, because the PS3 is going to be better. So who cares if they made a nunchuk-controller? It comes down to the fact that if you don't have the rights to the whole thing, anyone can incorporate the ideas into their own. Evolution for the win, guys. Stop with the whining. Also, a keynote is not for gamers, but for corporate execs, just as 'Aeon' said, so I'm not dissapointed. Sure, Sony's done a lot of faults (for example delaying the PS3 for us Europeans, but I don't care. There's a thing called "The bright side" :p

Avatar image for Jah_Glow

Eh, the keynote was okay, but they really screwed it up. Their big chance to draw everyone's eyes away from the Wii, which has managed to garner a lot of attention, and they screw it up by not even telling what the highlight video (Afrika) was about. If ya wanna have your crowd watch animals running around the Pride, plug in Hatari! for them and tell them you have nothing more to add and you still haven't made up your mind about the make-or-break qualities of the PS3.

Avatar image for strategyking92

jon1233...... you sound like a goth using words like conformist and fanboyism.... haha.... and 1 question for you... what will you buy with a ps3 if they have no games worth owning? hahahahahahaha! post this "remember 3do....... think ps3.....

Avatar image for Jared_Vegeta

Man, even Gamespot is breaking their non-bias rule to comment on Sony's terrible advertising. "Sony continues to shoot themselves in the foot" would be an acceptable summary of the TGS keynote speech.

Avatar image for amaranth_aeon

Quick suggestion: go look up the meaning of "keynote" in a dictionary. This wasn't a press conference, it was a speech meant to outline the overall policy for the PS3. Smart-ass comments like "Is this thing still supposed to play games?" just make no frickin' sense, since games were never the purpose of the speech to begin with! A keynote is a corporate speech meant for corporate execs, not a press conference about games meant for gamers. Resume Sony bashing after the October event. (All of the above doesn't mean Sony didn't screw up big time... :D)

Avatar image for Brainy142

you GOT TO be kidding me a WHOLE dollar for a freaking demo. wtf

Avatar image for ace4mma
ace4mma sure they have something up their sleeves;-)

Avatar image for Fnustle

An unintened side-effect of the PS3 boondogle is that I predict the PC will soon once again be the king of the gaming hill. PS3 goes multicore because they think they can eek a little bit more performance out of it while cloberring developers with a huge amount of overhead (I can hear the future restrain: "Single core is the wave of the future! Encapsulate all the ugly multithreading crap from the deveoper!"), a very questionable design decision. Then, Microsoft since it has never had the balls to do anything truly innovative itself and because it's playing catchup feels the need to use multicore as well. As a result, PC videocards are ALREADY rivaling the best Sony and Microsoft have to offer, and the next gen has barely begun. By the time the next gen is in full swing the PC will be so far beyond any of the consoles (with phsycis processors etc) that all the truly innovative games will only be able to be made on the PC. That combined with Vista's support for much-needed gaming-plug-n-play makes me predict that this console generation is a dead end, and will probably be much shorter than the typical 7 years.

Avatar image for anamnawshad

'Meh!' said by GS :P

Avatar image for GTAPro91

@jon1233 Your calling them fanboys and your getting a 600 dollar console for one game? Man sony you had a huge lead and now your just done for. Sony you suck.

Avatar image for Maquis_UK

why hasnt he mentioned the all-new nunchuck controller that they've "invented"?

Avatar image for VulgarGenocide

The PS3 is just a big hoax. Good job Sony. You're beating a beaten dead horse.

Avatar image for GTAPro91

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Avatar image for ciryorel

Riiiiiidge Raaaceerr!

Avatar image for kamicolo

Not too much news

Avatar image for ffgothic


Avatar image for amaranth_aeon

Chernnunos Seems gamespot itself likes to "service" Sony and PS3's. How so? I saw the live broadcast. I don't remember hearing many positive comments from any of the GS guys. All I've heard GS people say is how boring, "underwhelming", unimpressive and disappointing this conference was, and how it failed to address what everyone was concerned about: GAMES. And "Aaaafrikaaaa" could be another "RIIIIIIIIDGE RACER"! ;)

Avatar image for dygel

Why do you people keep insisting they'll have surprises at the launch? Don't you people understand that surprises are BAD? Especially when you're dealing with high-price tech sold at a loss?

Avatar image for soundofspeet

Wow. Weak. I'm beginning to wonder if Sony cares about the gaming anymore. All Ken keeps spouting is "computer this, computer that. PS3 isn't a gaming machine. It's a computer" I find that to be a bit alienating...

Avatar image for StraiN-ShifTeD

Sony will probably have a surprise at the "real" launch.

Avatar image for TruB

myamoto- "<< LINK REMOVED >> hahaha stupid sony people sayin they got new technology " did they say it was new? havent heard that.. all i heard was alot of bashing saying sony ripped it from wii.. is that still a valid comment from you who bash sony? so if both wii and MS have downladable games.. why cant sony have that?. phones had awhile now.. its nothing new.. but its a commone support think like cams in phones.. pretty useless to most.. but its there.. cause it easely put in..

Avatar image for c0mplex

2 things i got from the keynote: 1) Sony is still keeping secrets to be released simutaneously at launch. 2) Sony has nothing to give.

Avatar image for xion2k4

wow the most uneventful press confrence ever you'd think they would actual show some half decent games you know the mgs and DMC stuff alone could have made that show ALOT better.

Avatar image for onlineps2player

Thank you Gamespot ! Thank you!!! :D

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Avatar image for Sir_Crocidile

Hmm I must say the downloadable games is a surprise. Guess microsoft and nintendo must have really hit on a good idea then if sony needs to use it too. Joking aside, I can understand the "does this play games still?" question. I had the same reaction to the psp when sony was gearing it up for launch. Well only time will tell for the PS3 I suppose, but Sony really is making this hard on themselves. On a side note, myamoto, that video is great :D

Avatar image for amaranth_aeon

Online banking... How long before hackers start targetting the PS3?

Avatar image for Dinghy_Dog

i dont really like sony that much because i found the ps2 to be crap the moment i opened one up, but i still think this system is gonna be worth checkin out. when it goes down in price, of course. DMC4... drool.

Avatar image for FallenAngel

Oh god...I've busted Ken Kutaragi's chops so many times already in GS (and warned by the moderators for it) that I'm tired with it all, but sheesh, this gets more and more tiresome. One more chance to deliver a good memorable keynote, and Kutaragi fails again. Online banking?? Shopping?? I totally agree with Brad Shoemaker here, will the PS 3 even play games anymore? I think Sony's losing touch with the fact that when all's said and done, people want to use their video game consoles for one reason: playing games. Also, what's with the trend in copying what Nintendo does? I mean you could dismiss the motion sensing controller as maybe a coincidence, but now the downloadable Turbo GFX-16 and Genesis games too? Jeez Sony come up with something of your own accord FOR ONCE.... PS: Gotta admit though, Afrika looks intriguing....

Avatar image for _Sam_

I still support sony and am getting a ps3

Avatar image for myamoto

<< LINK REMOVED >> hahaha stupid sony people sayin they got new technology

Avatar image for myamoto

hmm.. if ne one has ever had a launch sony system, then you should know that they usualy have some major laser problem. don't ever buy a launch sony system. and i believe that it will suffer from a heating problem like when they were tryin to make the system.

Avatar image for jop360

WHAT HAPPEN TO "GAMING CONSOLE"!!!!HUH SONY... why in the H3** would i want a gps system set up in a console???OR go shopping and banking on a(NO LONGER) GAMING CONSOLE... looks like Kutaragi only cares about investors....if u ask me as a somewat sony fan..this is sum BS.... im glad i have my 360 and soon to have a Wii...hopefully a Ps3 if they make A GAMING CONSOLE AGAIN!!!!!