Hirai emphasises importance of cloud

Sony CEO discusses Gaikai and job cuts in latest interview

Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai has predicted a growing reliance on the cloud in the next five years, and discussed how Sony is cutting 10,000 jobs, in a recent interview.

"People are moving more and more to the mobile space, so the two keywords, and you'll probably hear this from everybody: smartphones and tablets," he told BusinessWeek.

"Related to that is moving a lot of things to the cloud. That's why, for example, we felt that it was very important that we acquire the 50 per cent of our joint venture in Sony Ericsson and make the cell phone business or the smartphone business a 100 per cent-owned subsidiary of Sony."

"We needed to make decisions a lot faster. In regards to the cloud, one of the things that you probably saw is our acquisition of a company called Gaikai. That is a company that's going to propel the movement of the video game business into the cloud space very quickly."

Hirai started his Sony career at Sony Computer Entertainment America, before being appointed as Sony CEO and president this April. He said that games were still a priority to the business.

"We need to make sure that we continue our success in the entertainment space-in the music space, in the video game space, and in motion pictures. That's an area where we are profitable, and it needs to continue to grow."

Hirai also addressed the commitment Sony made to cutting 10,000 jobs by March 2013, and explained the number wasn't as drastic as it sounded.

"When you say 10,000, obviously it's not 10,000 people are going to lose jobs," he insisted.

"For example, we've sold off our chemical business. We have sold off our small LCD business, and so those employees are in that count. They just moved to a different work environment or under a different parent company relationship. They still have jobs; they're just not on Sony's payroll."

Still, that number represents 6 per cent of the Sony workforce.

"After we complete this, I don't know that anybody can say we're never going to do reductions again. We just need to look at how we maximise our business. But I've basically also said that it's not an easy decision to make, but if the decision needs to be made for the right reasons, to make sure that we're putting Sony back into a growth mode, those decisions have to be made."

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Latest comments (6)

Dan Howdle Head of Content, Existent6 years ago
We need to make sure that we continue our success in the entertainment space, in the music space, in the video game space, and in motion pictures.
Why not add the word 'space' to all the fun you're selling?

I hear clowns are doing well in the child party space right now, and bungie jumping is meeting the demands of the vertical space.

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Bruce Everiss Marketing Consultant 6 years ago
" the two keywords, and you'll probably hear this from everybody: smartphones and tablets"

From the platform holder of the Playstation brand. Wow.
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David Radd Senior Editor, IndustryGamers6 years ago
You didn't hear Dan? Hirai actually voiced the Space Core from Portal 2.
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Show all comments (6)
Dan Howdle Head of Content, Existent6 years ago

Really? Okay, I'll let him off this time.

But I'm watching you, Hirai.

Oh, and also, what Bruce said.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Dan Howdle on 15th August 2012 3:47pm

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Joshua Rose Executive Producer / Lead Designer, Storm Eagle Studios6 years ago
Spaaaaaaace.... (sorry, had to do it)

I honestly don't think smart phones and tablets are the 'future' of gaming, more of a previously under utilized market 'space' (hehe).

It's not going to over take console games or PC games, it's going to coexist with these markets and will begin to thrive like the others did so many years ago (present day economy woes excluded).

You're always going to have hardcore console gamers, that want that controller to play action packed games and all that sort of stuff. You're always going to have hardcore PC gamers (myself included), that just have to have that mouse and keyboard, Not to mention the latest and greatest melt-your-face-off fast hardware to run games at max settings.

Tablets and smartphones are just another game market that has yet to be really heavily saturated. What tablets and smartphones will be ideal for are the people like my mom and sister, who never really play video games at all (except for my sister playing MW2 with her boyfriends fraternity brothers). Nowdays, they're playing this game on the iPad called HayDay. Ten years ago I would have never labeled people like my mom or sister a gamer in any way at all. Thanks to Facebook, tablets, and smartphones... This is no longer the case.

That being said, sometimes I wonder if Sony spouts all this 'pro-cloud' gaming rhetoric to make themselves feel more secure about their decision to buy Gaikai for $380 million.

With the current internet infrastructure all over the world and ISP's banning certain sites, charging extra for things like youtube or netflix or anything like that, I still don't understand how Sony expects to make 'cloud gaming' the future of gaming within the next five years.

ISP don't even like it when you stream movies and tv shows via netflix.... How do you think they're going like it when hundreds of millions of people all over the world are streaming high definition videogame content to their TV's, computers, tablets, consoles, phones, or maybe even a virtual reality implant in the skull that can influence your brain waves to mimic things like stress, noise, visuals, and pain? (don't think it's not coming....)

Meanwhile in Sony world HQ, Hirai is sitting there in the corner rocking back and forth repeating "Gaikai was a good idea, Gaikai was a good idea... Cloud gaming is the future, Cloud gaming is the future... Gaikai was a good idea, Gaikai was a good....". Who's he trying to convince? Us, or himself?
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Tony Johns6 years ago
If this is going to be a sign that the PS4 is going to be a Cloud only gaming console, then you could kiss my commitment goodbye to gaming forever in regards to the PlayStation brand.
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