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Hirai: Why go first with next-gen?

Sony president is waiting for Microsoft to make the first move

Kazui Hirai, Sony CEO and president, had suggested that the company won't release its next generation console until Microsoft has revealed its new machine.

"Why go first, when your competitors can look at your specifications and come up with something better?" He made the comment during an interview with The Times.

Fans and press had been hopeful that both machines would be announced this year, possibly at E3 in June, but Hirai's words make that seem unlikely.

In the interview Hirai also spoke about the hard line he had taken when dealing with the tensions within the Japanese corporation.

"When I took the job back in April, with the exception of two senior management folks . . . everybody was either moved out, with new people moved in, or reassigned."

"Where I come from, either you play under my rules or you're not playing. That's why reassignments happen. Everybody plays nicely together now because they all understand what the rules are."

This week a website reported it had the full specs for Microsoft's next console, and you can find Digital Foundry's analysis of the information here.

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Latest comments (11)

This all seems very arrogant in my opinion. If Sony really want to go last (it's actually Nintendo that went first!) good luck to them. History is against them.
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Matthew Hardy Studying Multimedia/Game Design, ITT Technical Institute3 years ago
The PS1 defeated both the N64 & Saturn. The PS2 not only bested the GCN & Xbox but also knocked Sega out of the console business. The PS3 wasnt a winner but as Meat Loaf would say "two out of three ain't bad"
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Bruce Everiss Marketing Consultant 3 years ago
Looking in the crystal ball the finishing order in the next generation will be:
1) Apple. With their app store model and user friendliness this will be bigger than the iPhone.
2) Microsoft. Their do everything box for the living room, backed with a huge warchest and cross platform Win 8 integration. Pay as you go business model will reach new markets.
3) Nintendo. There are millions of people who must have those games. Nintendo are masters at milking their franchise.
4) Sony. Cannot compete with 1) to 3) above.

That is for the living room. But the real next gen gaming device is a tablet.
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Show all comments (11)
Daniel Hughes Studying PhD Literary Modernism, Bangor University3 years ago
I doubt it's arrogance. It's probable Sony have concluded they don't have the resources to beat Microsoft to the market. Why admit that, when you can spin it into a PR soundbite that sounds like a confident challenge?

Sony need to decide whether they want to cut their losses with Vita, or pour time and money into the system to turn it around. It's probable that decision has already been made, but I think Vita's poor start may have had knock-on effect on Sony's timetable for their next home console, in all likelihood, delaying whatever release window Sony had in mind.
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Dan Howdle Head of Content, Existent3 years ago
I doubt it's arrogance. It's probable Sony have concluded they don't have the resources to beat Microsoft to the market. Why admit that, when you can spin it into a PR soundbite that sounds like a confident challenge?
For once, I agree with Daniel completely.
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@Matthew: Both the PS1 & PS2 were market leaders, i.e. launched first. Make a unique, powerful, and "bare-metal" device and the rest takes care of itself. The PS3 cost Sony billions of $$$, and launched last.

...

"Why go first, when your competitors can look at your specifications and come up with something better?"
So, its not arrogance - just a plain lie? Ok, I'll pay that :P
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Peter Dwyer Games Designer/Developer 3 years ago
Is this serious?

Are not both companies announcing at E3? Or did I miss something?
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Of course it could be a double feint.

Sony could still announce Orbis for E3, but keep mum about the pricing/ace in hand and final release date
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Dave Mitchell Founder, Two Tails3 years ago
Sony are just playing the game
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K. Al-Hurby Producer/Designer 3 years ago
@bruce
That is for the living room. But the real next gen gaming device is a tablet.
You with the tablet talk again. I know it's the main provider for your company, but that statement is absurd. Yes the tablet market is a market to be taken seriously, but It's not next gen....

lol. That is all.

@Daniel
I doubt it's arrogance. It's probable Sony have concluded they don't have the resources to beat Microsoft to the market. Why admit that, when you can spin it into a PR soundbite that sounds like a confident challenge?
This! completely agree, never thought about out that way.

Edited 3 times. Last edit by K. Al-Hurby on 23rd January 2013 12:15pm

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Adam Campbell Producer, Hopster3 years ago
I have a contrary view. I think Sony have all the resources to launch first, especially given the type of architectures they've opted to go for. Readily available, high performance and lower chance of bad production yields - which Cell BE and their early blu-ray drives both suffered. These systems have also been in the making for a very long time. As I said once before, a lot of the technical details will be known by engineers internally and dev kits are out there - but they are not 100% final.

I genuinely think there is a fear that once these consoles are announced and specs finalised, they don't want to be '1 upped' especially with all the additional competition they will face outside Microsoft and Nintendo. The biggest worry for me (for them) is competing against Microsoft's all new ecosystem on Windows powered devices.
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