Kazuo Hirai can certainly talk the talk. The CEO of Sony was one of the keynote presenters at CES this year and he talked about how Sony has been involved with innovation in consumer electronics all for over 40 years. Products such as the Walkman, CDs and PlayStation have time and again proved that Sony understands technology like no other company. He also acknowledged products from Sony that failed to make a mark or ones like Betamax that while commercially unsuccessful, set standards. He pointed out an ad for betamax that was released over 40 years ago stating “Watch Whatever, whenever” which he thinks continues to apply today with streaming services.
Under his leadership, Mr. Hirai is trying to establish a WOW culture at Sony- where every product designed by Sony comes with a wow factor. Sony has to make an emotional connection with its consumers through its products. The word he used to describe this in Japanese is Kando. He believes that watching 4k content on a 4k TV is one example of that. Another product that he believes will have the wow factor is a shot range projector that Sony will release later this year that can be placed below walls turning them into large screen windows that could display anything from live videos across your city to wether conditions or a work of art.
These futuristic products and technologies that Mr. Kazuo Hirai said Sony was working on was a responsibility towards the next generation of consumers that he labelled as Generation Remix. He said that this generation, that will grow up with technology will control and use tech as a tool to help them do what they want to do, instead of letting technology shape our lives in this experimental period that we’re living in.
Mr. Kazuo Hirai invited a few guests including ccc, the creator of Breaking Bad who said to watch out for Saul in a year’s time. Mr. Kazuo Hirai also brought Andrew House, the exec in charge of Sony Network Entertainment. Mr. House announced PlayStation Now which is the official name for Gaeikai’s cloud-based technology used in PlayStation. PlayStation Now will allow you to play PS3 games such as The Last of Us and Beyond through streaming on supporting devices such as the new line-up of Bravia TVs as well as the PlayStation Vita. He also showcased Media Molecule on a video- the team responsible for bringing The Little Big Planet to PayStation.
He wrapped up with mentioning Kando one more time and said that Sony will continue pushing forward by integrating software, hardware and content to deliver magical experiences and create products not just functional value but emotional value.”