Kaz Hirai

Hirai: Sony Still has the Right “Creative DNA”

Sony CEO Kaz Hirai has told  The Verge the Japanese consumer electronics giant needs to be a “more focused company” but that it has the right “creative DNA” to “really push the envelope and really wow customers.”

“We need to really take a look at where we excel and make investments to make sure that we continue to excel in those areas that will manifest itself in exciting projects that will really wow our customers,” Hirai said.

“I’ve spent a lot of time visiting a variety of different sites we have all around the world,” he added, “and that creative DNA of wanting to really push the envelope and come up with some products that really wow customers: that DNA is still there, and that is the heart and soul of this company.

“It’s my job to make sure that those great ideas really rise to the top and don’t get mired down in bureaucracy.”

Hirai also commented, “a lot of the great ideas unfortunately just never rose to the top”. Yet where lost “somewhere in bureaucracy”.

“That’s why I make it a personal mission of my own to really spend time with the R&D guys, the product development guys, and have them really come to me with some ideas that they have so that I can personally get involved, which I am doing with several projects.”

Separately at CES Hirai told reporters he wasn’t overly surprised by Nvidia’s Shield portable gaming device saying:

“I wasn’t as surprised as you might think,” Kazuo Hirai told reporters on the sidelines of CES in Las Vegas on Monday. “If you look back through the pages of history, there have been other attempts.”

“It’s difficult to break into,” Sony’s Hirai said. “I’ve managed this industry, so I know. Customers are used to playing video games on not just consoles anymore, but a variety of devices,” he added.

Regarding the PlayStation Vita, which has struggled to gain traction since release, Hirai commented that the device might still be a success arguing that “long term is what is important.” Indeed, it took some years for the PlayStation 3 to pick up steam and is now nearly neck and neck with the Xbox 360 in global sales.

Even so Hirai told The Wall Street Journal that Vita sales are on “on the low end of what we expected.”