Time has passed, and it's time to look back. Does Sony Computer Entertainment honcho Kaz Hirai have any regrets?
When asked if including a Blu-ray drive on the PS3 was a mistake, Hirai replied, "Purely from a gaming standpoint there was no other choice for us." The reason being, Hirai explained, that the disc capacity is essential. "Last year's Metal Gear Solid 4 was pushing 50GB as it was," Hirai told The Guardian. "If it was on DVD it would have been a 6 disc set. The packaging and cost would have been prohibitive and it would have been hugely inconvenient to consumers."
What's more, the PS3 helped Sony get a leg up in the format war. Winning that format war was a bright spot for Sony — and the company isn't looking to abandon it any time soon. C"onceptually it may make sense to remove the Blu-Ray drive but in reality it doesn't make sense," said Hirai. "Also we never want to be in the position where countries without super fast broadband connections are locked out of the PlayStation business because the PS3 has gone download only."
The PS3 launch, however, wasn't as smooth as the company would have liked. Does Sony have any regrets? "Looking back if we could have done it again we probably would have not gone for the simultaneous worldwide launch," Hirai said. The exec pointed out that it's not so much how a console starts, but how it finishes — take the PS2, for example.
"For other consoles which have a five year life cycle it is much easier to judge performance after two years," said Hirai. "But for us, with the 10 year life cycle we have, it is premature to judge after such a short time."
Interview: Playstation boss Kaz Hirai [Games Blog]