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Catching up with Kaz and the PS3 [update 1]

Joystiq Staff

GameSpot recently had a chat with Sony Computer Entertainment American President Kaz Hirai and the status of the PlayStation 3 as it nears launch three months from now. While Kaz didn't necessarily come out and say anything that wasn't already known, there were a few interesting notes to be taken away from the piece. Here are the golden nuggets, so to speak, of the long-winded interview:

  • My plan basically is to make sure that we keep at least as much market share as we have had with the PS1 and the PS2.
  • ... I'd like to think that our market share will be as good -- if not better -- than what we've accomplished with the PS2 in the same kind of time frame since launch.
  • ... we're internally really getting geared up to go to market with this beautiful console in three months' time, and at this point in time all signs are good to go.
  • ... we've always talked about shipping 2 million units worldwide within the calendar year. Since we're going with three territories, we haven't really come up with an allocation just yet.
  • ... I think it's going to be very much of a challenge to be able to meet every single unit demand that's out there in the market.
  • We haven't started manufacturing yet.
  • I think it's too early to say at this point in time which games definitively are going to be launch titles, and I certainly can't speak for the third parties.
  • We definitely plan, and will leverage a lot -- if not most -- of the entertainment content that Sony brings. Having said that though, we want to make sure that we're not just suddenly becoming a vehicle for delivering Sony entertainment content only.
  • Between PlayStation, PS2 and PSP, the PSP happens to be the fastest-growing product we've ever launched. I think we cleared 20 million units worldwide within the first what, about 18 months or so. And in the US, we've already cleared 5.2 million.
  • Again, [there are] no adjustments on the horizon as far as PSP [pricing] goes. We're happy with the pricing, we're happy with the value proposition ...

Even after all the bad press and poor E3 showing, Kaz and Sony still feel very comfortable with what direction the PS3 will be going. What is your ultimate (non-fanboy) prediction now that we're three months away from launch?

[Update: SCEA contacted us to let us know that Kaz's statements were "misunderstood." They issued the following statement:

"Unfortunately Kaz Hirai's comments in the recent GameSpot interview regarding PLAYSTATION 3 production were misunderstood. We are still on schedule to ship 2 million units for our mid-November 2006 launch and additional 2 million units by the end of the year for a total of 4 million units."

Damage control? Perhaps (we're still having trouble rectifying how his statements regarding "2 million units worldwide within the calendar year" could be misunderstood). We don't think anyone (at Sony, Joystiq, or elsewhere) is under the impression there won't be any PS3 shortages, but Sony appears confidant they'll have 4 million of these puppies out the door by end of year.]

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