Kazuo Hirai, President and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment, recently sat down with Japanese publication Famitsu to discuss a number of issues concerning the new 40GB PlayStation 3, PlayStation Home and the loss of exclusivity in Capcom’s Monster Hunter 3.
Hirai first addressed the question of why the firm decided not to announce the 40GB machine at September’s Tokyo Games Show, stating, “What was most important at TGS was to appeal to everyone our software lineup.”
“A library of games is what consumers look for on a game console, and it is our mission as a console maker to fulfill that. Therefore, we put the focus on software that our third parties have been working on, as opposed to the new PS3 models.”
Indeed, Hirai stuck by the firm’s philosophy on maintaining PS3-specific features in the new model, such as Blu-ray and network features, as opposed to including PS2 backwards compatibility; something which he views as only one of a number of possible features available.
“We have gone through many discussions but we concluded that it is only one of many features of the PS3. What is more important is for the users to play PS3 games on the PS3, so our top priority is for them to be playing Bluray games and downloadable contents”, he said.
“There are users who probably want to play PS3 games but feel it is too expensive. By removing backwards compatibility and be able to sell at a lower price point is just another strategy of ours.”
When asked on what he thought of the recent announcement that Monster Hunter 3 would now be exclusive to Nintendo’s Wii, he commented: “It is my understanding that it is up to the game companies to make business decisions on which platform to release their titles.”
“The series has helped in the success of PS2 and PSP. Capcom has plans to release Monster Hunter Portable 2G for the PSP in March '08 [in Japan] so we hope to continue our partnership with the company.”
Hirai also addressed the delay of PlayStation Home, expressing his dissatisfaction with the current status of the ambitious online service, insisting a delay was for the better.
“If anything, we believe the delay would have a positive effect”, Hirai explained.
“I personally am not satisfied with the current version of Home. This is a very big project for the PS3 and we want to make sure that we deliver to our hearts content. We hope everyone will look forward to its spring release next year.”