Hirai: ‘If it’s right for Japan it’s probably not right for the rest of the world’

Ben Parfitt
Hirai: ‘If it’s right for Japan it’s probably not right for the rest of the world’

Though a big part in the resurgence of PS3 has been the launch of the Slim and the drop in price, SCE president and CEO Kaz Hirai has told MCV that it’s also down to the company’s new international, and less Japan-centric, view on the global games market.

Japanese-born Hirai took the role as PlayStation’s top dog just after the birth of PS3 in 2006, following over a decade’s hard work building the SCE business in America. He replaced the soon-to-retire Ken Kutaragi – but no one was fooled into thinking this was just replacing one Japanese innovator with another. Hirai brought with him a new global outlook for the PlayStation business, a fitting shift for the division of a previously staunchly Japanese company now run by a Welshman, Sony CEO Howard Stringer.

“I ran SCEA for 12 years, so I bring that region perspective,” he said. “Before, that perspective was focused on: ‘If it’s right for Japan it’s right for the rest of the world.’ But in fact, if it’s right for Japan it’s probably not right for the rest of the world, because the rest of the world has a different retail environment.

“So I made sure that with everything we do, we try and bring an international perspective on things. That’s not to say that was wrong in the past. Because back then the Japanese market was such a dominant part of our business.

“But now the Japanese market is probably about 20 to 25 per cent of our business. This is a very much overseas market driven organisation. So our new perspective is very important.”

To read the full interview, click here.

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Tags: Sony , Japan , kaz hirai , markets , differences , International , perspective

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