Kaz Hirai (SCEA) Interview - 1up/EGM

Discussion in 'Console Technology' started by two, Jul 2, 2005.

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  1. Tap In

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    well if they weren't, they are now. :D
     
  2. Acert93

    Acert93 Artist formerly known as Acert93
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    1. Xbox Live shipped ~1yr after the Xbox shipped. And IMO It also had to wait 2 full years for a *mainstream* killer app (Halo 2) to demonstrate its relevance to the mainstream.

    Xbox Live also costs money.

    It has taken time to evangelize the benefit of a feature not available at the launch of the platform.

    MS also was on the "early increase" of broadband market penetration. Broadband just hit critical mass in the US, so MS has been pushing to establish itself in a smaller market that now exists with the explosion of broadband (see below).

    2. Xbox Live for the 360 launches when the 360 launches. A lot of features are free, including weekend play. The headset is included, as are features like messaging and the blinking light, etc. Basically it is a service closely tied to the product without displacing the product. And presumably with support for Xbox 1 games (based on hints from MS) there should be a decent back library of games available.

    MS's goal of 50% of users to access Live with the 360 seems approachable. Many features are free, it comes with the unit, and it is now a known quanity.

    3. Broadband access was at 34M in the US and 165M world wide at the end of 2004 and projected for ~40M in the US and ~255M world wide by the end of 2005.

    It has hit critical mass.

    4. HD TV is a mess in Europe. The US has ~10M HD TV units installed in the US at the end of 2004, with a projected 15M by the end of 2005. Of the units currently installed an insignificant fraction have 1080p.

    HD TV (720p / 1080i) is for the early adopter at this point. While adoption is increasing, it is still early in the products mass appeal. And this is not even broaching the issue of 1080p which will only see its first real mass market sales this fall.

    The odds are, over the next couple years, a significantly larger number of next gen console owners will have broadband access compared to HD TVs.

    While HD TV is nice (I plan to play my next console on a monitor in 720p!!) the fact remains that from a market perspective online gaming is the present. It is a larger install base and will appeal to more consumers.

    HD TV is in a very similar position to online gaming was when the Xbox launched in 2001. It had a foothold, and it was a growing market, but only a fraction of the total market with have HD TVs by 2009-2010 when the next consoles begin to appear. And while HD TVs in homes will have a higher "hook up" *rate* than online due to the fact not everyone is an online gamer, costs, inconviencence, to a lesser degree this will also be true of HD TVs (e.g. many parents do not let kids use the main household TV for games).

    There is also the issue of a major market player totally shunning HD this generation as well.

    While HD is a fabulous technology, and I am on board, it seems pretty clear to me that ONLINE is mainstream now and HD will be mainstream next gen.

    While more people will be using HD by the end of this generation than are using online this generation (~4-5M for PS2 and Xbox), the install base of HD televisions right now appears very similar to the market situation in 2001 and online console gaming.
     
  3. Qroach

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    One thing to add regarding MS and xbox live coming a year later. Ms had a solid idea of what they wanted to do with xbox live before the system launched. This allowed for them t plan the usage of certain hardware features ahead of time.

    Right now Sony still seems to not have a clear plan before they launch and thus imo will not launch with the right software in place to have a compelling alternative to xbox live.
     
  4. Titanio

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    If you mean "broadband" when you say "online", I'd agree, but online gaming right now is very very niche. There's the potential for it to become mainstream next-gen, of course, but right now it's far from it.

    The point is, Sony is including the hardware necessary to get online in the box too, as well as the HD stuff (we can argue about HDDs, but strictly speaking it's not a necessity for online). The other part of the puzzle, the online service, is a seperate issue and comes from their end, not the hardware end, and has nothing to do with future-proofing the hardware. As a seperate issue, we'll have to wait and see what Sony is planning on the service end. Until they unveil that it's hard to discuss.
     
  5. WillFa

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    The group that created the HDTV standard was founded in 1977 and made it's first showing of a HD display in 1980. Through the years there have been many proposed formats for the carrier; in 1990 the remaining 4 digital proposals were combined into a "best of breed" solution that became the DTV broadcast standard. The FCC has mandated that analog broadcasts will end December 31st of next year, so that only DTV broadcasts will remain.

    After 30 years and millions and millions of dollars by both manufacturers and networks, referring to HDTV as for "early adopters" seems a little off.

    The DTV stadard was accepted in September of 1995 and broadcasters have taken the last 10 years to get up to spec for 1080i/720p broadcasts. Treating HDTV like a newly emerging technology like DVD/DivX or Blu-Ray/HD-DVD(AOD) discounts HDTVs long history.

    Granted that in regards to deciding upon and implementing a format; it took 30 years to do by comittee (HDTV) what it took the commercial marketplace 3 years (Adopt DVD or VHS and Kill off DivX or Betamax).

    As an aside, to think that 1080p is going to suddenly emerge and cause broadcasters to redo the last 10 years of work, bypass all the committees, and become a viable market resolution because the Playstation 3 and a Sony Qualia can do it is... overly optimistic.

    Reference 1
    Reference 2
     
  6. pakotlar

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    HDTV is past the early adopter stage. Right now it is beginning to enter mainstream, although I would equate it with the equivalent of a flat screen crt 10 years ago in terms of market appeal. Taking account into its appeal is available content. What makes me want to buy an HDTV when 90% of content is broadcasted in 480i? HDvD has not broken into the mass market.
    I can't go to blockbuster and rent that new release encoded in 720p/1080i. Until the content comes through, I have no interest in HDTV.

    Btw, Xbox360 and ps3 change the HDTV landscape. With their introduction there is suddenly a reason for ~100 million gamers to buy an HDTV.
     
  7. Acert93

    Acert93 Artist formerly known as Acert93
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    This really depends on how you define "early adopter".

    10M units at the end of 2004 in the US is not very impressive. There are still issues with getting good media coverage from broadcasters, and as pointed out HD optical media has yet to even enter the discussion.

    And that is just the US. Consoles are a global market. Europe is very far behind the HD curve.

    When you look at the 10M number, and look at the estimated 140-160M next gen consoles they expect to sell in the next 5 years, the mountain HD has to climb is immense.

    The HD user base is relatively small compared to the projected next gen sales and it will be years before a majority of homes that have consoles will have HD TVs (especially when the European market is considered).

    I would be surprised that in 2010 if 80M of the 160M consoles sold is hooked up to a HD display.
     
  8. pakotlar

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    That's probably a good estimate. I would actually be surprised if there were 80m HDTV customers (not 80m HDTV's sold). However, when you compare it to broadband numbers (~40 m) HDTV is not doing badly.
     
  9. Pozer

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    In North America atleast I think price still plays the biggest factor. Not so much HDTV being expensive but more standard TV's being so cheap. People keep buying them. Avergae Joe consumer walking into Best Buy and sees a 32" STV for $200 and next to it a 30" HDTV for $1000. Both in a modern sleek cabinet. Well, you see the problem. HDTV won't take off till prices drop by atleast half. Somewhere in 2006 for NA.
     
  10. cthellis42

    cthellis42 Hoopy Frood
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    People should remember to keep in mind, though, that in this case we're not talking about just "HDTV" as the 360 has made 720p its minimum resolution, but rather the "minority within a minority" I mentioned--1080p. Monitor players are not going to be in any huge number, and 1080p sets are really not in any of the HDTV owners out now, and will be on the "much more high end" (read "expensive") sets for the forseeable future. Even when HDTV's hit $500 more commonly (and some have, I believe, just not so much trusted name brands) and become very common, they'll still be limited to 720p/1080i, really, so what Hirai was really pushing was... well...
     
  11. jvd

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    Just reading it I get this

    1) He has no clue what sony is doing , perhaps sony doesn't either ?

    2) He has no clue what ms is doing , perhaps sony doesn't either ?

    Doesn't leave me to excited . Kinda worried actually
     
  12. therealskywolf

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    My god, when they talked about Killzone, its like the guy was pretending to not have listen the question.

    Oh and KH sucks at interviews, he is like totally not interested in it like - "Yeah great...see we are trying to, oh it does that? Cool..." Wtf, wheres the excitement?
     
  13. mckmas8808

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    The excitement will be at TGS. You have to wait young grasshopper. :)
     
  14. EpicZero

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    Could it be that this is an interview that was taken at E3 or just after E3, because that would be a little more understandable. The man is the President and COO of SCEA, he can't be this out of the loop on the PS3.
     
  15. Thegameman

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    Some were.

    From the 20+ million Xbox users how much of them play online?

    1.5 million 2 million?

    Even without a service like Live Sony still hold alot more online user than Live,HD in games next gen is alot more inportant to take full advantage of the graphic power of both consoles,now don't get me wrong Online is inportant but as he say is not the be all end all when only a small portion of the user base for both consoles play online.


    Also he saying that most be cuz Sony doesn't want to force developer to do things like that,developers don't like presure MS forcing devs can be a double edge sword.
     
  16. Tap In

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    I wouldn't doubt that the number has increased since it was quoted (2 million was what I last heard and that was quite a while ago)

    I will try to find some data.

    Also with LIVE (Silver membership) and a headset shipping with each launch unit, the increase in high speed internet and the fact that a credit card will no longer be required will IMO radically improve the percentage of X360 owners that participate in LIVE in the Next Gen. (compared to this gen)

    It really is what MS is basing their entire strategy on IMO and I think they are right.
     
  17. Edge

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    A game could support 1080p from day one, regardless if you have the TV to display it on. The day you get a TV that supports 1080p, you can play that game at 1080p.

    I think fans of Xbox Live! should not argue the point against Sony, but you should try to convert the 90 PERCENT of Xbox fans who are not on Live. Would it not make more sense to convert you own, then to criticize the competition? I will never understand that.

    CONTENT is KING!
     
  18. Qroach

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    The point is, just becuase it "could" support 1080p doesn't mean developers will. Like I said before sony seems to be doing the same thing MS did with the current xbox regarding high def. the resoloutions are supported, but since hardly anyone had the tv's nobody really bother to support 1080i.

    Sure you can get better image quality with 1080p but I doubt you'll see many games taking advantage of that, as well as many titles supporting it.


    Convincing somone to join xbox live is not the same as convincing someone to buy a HDTV that supports 1080p. I have no idea why you keep repeaing content is king over and over again.
     
  19. Tap In

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    I agree ....that's not MY job though :wink:

    that's MS's job and I think they are working on doing just that.


    as I noted here

     
  20. Johnny Awesome

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    Edge, stop trolling with your nonsense about content is king.

    Broadband is huge. HDTV isn't. That's why Live is more important (by FAR) than 1080p support. The only reason MS pushes HD is because a lot of early adopters care more about HDTV than the average consumer. It will help with the X360 launch to the hardcore.
     
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