Ken Kuturagi- The Aftermath

January 26, 2008

Wow was I suprised to come back and find that Ken Kuturagi no longer had a place at Sony. Well sure enough I wanted to hear from what now people call him “Krazy Ken” (or was that “Krazy Kaz”?). Sure enough I do know Ken, so I was able to set up an interview with him. The interview was in Japanese but has been translated.

SG: Hi Ken, we haven’t spoken in quite some time.
KK: Yes, things have changed.
SG: Yes, I see that you are no longer with Sony explain this to me?
KK: As I have less time for the gaming industry, I chose to step down.
SG: The desicion was yours?
KK: Yes. You see theres a time, when I have other things to do and other innovations on other platforms that are unrelated to gaming. And I would like to take care of my family. But I still overlook the PlayStation family of products.
SG: As I recall you did say something to the extent of PS3 would sell even without games? What do you have to say about that now?
KK: PS3 has had tremendous growth with games, fortunatley there were games upon launch.
SG: However, many people’s excuse for not buying a PS3 was because of the lack of games.
KK: Now we have what will become classics such as Resistance, Motorstorm, Lair, Warhawk and I could continue to go on and on. PS3 has a great lineup.
SG: Compared to other consoles the PS3 sales have been slow- what do you think the cause of this is?
KK: Sales for PS3 have been spectacular. Its important that we add PS2 sales to PS3 sales because they are backwards compatible.
SG: But when just concerning PS3?
KK: That wouldn’t be fair because PS3 sales are boosted thanks to the PlayStation brand which PS2 is part of. Overall PS3 sales are excellent.
SG: What do you think of the Wii?
KK: Like I have said previously, Wii isn’t what the PlayStation 3 is. The PS3 is a entertainment experience while Wii a great system is more of a delux toy. People buy it because they want a toy. It is nothing more than a toy.
SG: At this time it would appear Wii sales are heavily impacting PS3. So is this something that is suprising you?
KK: Wii has no sales in terms of gaming. It does have sales as a toy.
SG: Can you say then that this toy is impacting sales of the PS3 or 360?
KK: No.
SG: A while ago you said something to the extent that the Xbox 360 is chasing the PS2. Is that what the 360 is still after?
KK: The Xbox 360 cannot chase after the PS2, you might as well forget about the 360. With Cell processor PS3 is much more powerful and soon we will see it render graphics with RSX much more than anything we have seen before.
SG: Then what is the 360 going for?
KK: It is important to always remember in the technology area that Microsoft is just a bug while Sony is a lion. So with that we see that 360 is not going for anything nor going any way.
SG: So essentially your saying 360 has failed even though sales are higher than PS3?
KK: PS3 is the only gaming machine out thier in this new generation. Wii is a toy and 360 is a failed idea. Both had good concepts but couldn’t future proof the machine with low graphical abilites, poor processing, old control schemes and no high definition concepts built into the system. We have Blu-Ray, HDMI and much more to get 1080p right from the start.
SG:  Well thank you Mr. Kuturagi is was great pleasure having you here.
KK: Now, I do this because at heart I am a PlayStation engineer and it must be remembered how Sony is where gaming becomes something else, something that is much different. It was great, when we had PS1, then PS2, later PSP and now PS3. Gaming with the PlayStation family of products has been much different- a enhanced experience thanks to Sony.

Interview with Robbie Bach

January 25, 2008

Hows that?! To kick off the site I have an interview with Robbie Bach, President of Entertainment & Devices Division.

 SG: Welcome to SG.
RB: Your welcome, I am pleased to be here, and I congratulate you on recovering over your illness.
SG: Thank you, it was difficult but I needed to see how the next generation of gaming would play out [laughs]. So, this 2007 holiday was very important for Microsoft correct?
RB: Yes, it was. Every holiday was important but this holiday would show where we stand in the game industry. Right now we are number one in total console sales when comparing the Xbox 360 to the Nintendo Wii or Sony’s PlayStation 3.
SG: You mention that your number one, which is a fantastic achievement however with the Wii’s sales beating yours this holiday season- does that show your simply in second place.
RB: At Microsoft we think of the Wii in a different bracket of gaming so its hard to compare the two consoles. The Wii has a very small life cycle and doesn’t compare to the Xbox 360 feature wise. And while it is taking plausible 360 sales its important to notice that Nintendo has created a revolutionary device and Microsoft expected it to sell decent, and the system can afford to sell decent because its very similar to a childs toy. It would be like comparing the 360 to the PSP which wouldn’t be a good comparison. Regardless to all this, overall sales is what counts.
SG: What do you think drove 360 sales?
RB: From my view- its all about the games. Especially with big selling exclusive blockbusters like Halo 3, Mass Effect and Bioshock. Also, if you look towards the 360 future there is a lot of great stuff going on there.
SG: What is in store for he 360’s future.
RB: We have a fantastic line up of games but more importantly its the service were to offer. While I can’t say much yet with GDC right around the corner I can say that were opening up the console much more. Were enhancing Xbox Live even further. As you know Live has been around for 5 years but what has really been important is not how long the service has alive is how every year were putting loads of features in it. This year we have Xbox Originals which is great, more shows and movies off of the Video Marketplace, more titles off of the Live Arcade and as everyone knows IPTV will be furthering this experience and thats really key for us at Microsoft.
SG: Do you have a estimated release date for the IPTV service?
RB: Our goal is a 2008 release.
SG: One thing you talked about are the games- so far I think the 2008 year seems to be lacking. Especially when  put up against the PS3 or Wii.
RB: Well were saving a lot of stuff for GDC, which is where we plan on showing off some big titles such as Halo Wars and Alan Wake.
SG: Any titles we haven’t heard about?
RB: Obviously there are going to be a couple spectacular things going on at GDC. With the Xbox now pushing a profit thats huge for us. That is really going to show developers which system to develop for. Also with Vista and the Zune becoming more and more used expect some spectacular cross-platform Live experiences.
SG: Could you explain how Zune can be used with Live?
RB: Live is all about accessibilty, with Live were all about what the consumers want. So its important to us that the consumers want accessibilty with Live so with Zunes built in wifi access its a definetley an avenue were looking in. Live Anywhere is huge for us. Games For Windows Live is a great success on PC. Now its important to access that stuff on the go. It would be nice if I could see what game my friend was playing on his Xbox 360 thanks to the Zunes wifi and I could check that out and lets say I enter my room with my laptop sitting there and with wireless sync on the zune, before I have even fully open the door I click “join game” on my zune and on my PC it starts the game up automatically. Thats a key experience.
SG: Can we expect Zune achievements? Like listen to x song and get x achievements or simple games on Zune that give you achievements.
RB: Both features you described are something were looking into, its all about the consumers. We never want to force anything down the consumers to get them playing online.
SG: Do consumers find all this Live Anywhere stuff neccessary?
RB: Obviously since Live is for consumers its obviously something they want. We have made a fantastic service. Vista, Zune and 360 have amazing sales. Its important to bring the Live experience anywhere we can. Everyone I know says they love Xbox Live. And its important for us to keep that experience up anywhere. Microsoft is extremely happy with everything thats been going on currently.
SG: One last question- “you said you never force anything down consumers to get them online” does that mean we will see Xbox Live for free?
RB: Well thats something thats already happening with Xbox Silver, your able to access the world of online gaming for free.
SG: Unfortunatley thats all the time we have, but thanks for coming.
RB: It was my pleasure.

A little over 2 years ago Sith Gamer a popular website following gaming was closed down- yet here I am back again. Ready to cover gaming and do what I do best- uncover those rumors. That is what Sith Gamer is known for right? The rumors… The rumors that came true. Over 2 years ago I left the gaming industry because of a violent illness and now I am back, healthy and here to bring you the news. 

  • You no longer have to be a member. Before you had to subscribe to Sith Gamer 29.99 a month, that fee is canceled.
  • I will cover all systems and platforms.
  • You can now post comments! Yes, its a very exciting feature.

Oh 2 years and Microsoft’s Xbox 360 has already launched and is leading the way. And the Revolution Wii has a astounding new controller and unique name! And I honestly would of never guessed the PlayStation 3 to be in dead last, but it seems to me that the console is appearing to comeback a bit. The DS Lite is fantastic and the PSP has unrivaled medie features… Its truly extraordinary to see all these gaming systems in action.

 Anyways, what has been the past 2 years GOTYs?