Interview with Hirai - High-Def Digest Forums
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Old 09-11-2007, 06:41 PM
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Default Interview with Hirai

http://www.watch.impress.co.jp/game/...70903/scej.htm

First of all, let me say that translating Japanese really isn’t my specialty. I don’t get much practice actually taking one language and converting it into the other, since the point of my language classes is to learn how to converse and think in Japanese, not translate from one language to another. It’s a very difficult language to translate, as simple and elegant grammatical structures from Japanese often end up as complicated messes in English, and it’s hard to capture the original meaning of long, complex sentences without something even worse in English. Often, I will know what a sentence means or is saying, but I can’t really think of a way to express that in English using the same sort of grammar. Since I wanted to make this readable but as literal as possible, parts of it might be a little rough. I understood most of the meaning of it all (some parts made me say “Huh?” though), but I’m not always perfect at how to convey that in English without deviating from the literal translation a lot—something I didn’t want to do, knowing how people read things like this.

The sentences were very long and hard to translate, with tons of subordinate clauses and advanced grammar. I didn’t put my own little twist on any of this, and warp the translation to my own agenda (I don’t really have one anyway). I actually think this is what the interview says. If I hear anyone accuse me of doing that, I’ll never translate anything for anyone here again. If you don’t like or agree with the content, that’s fine, but don’t think I just made it up to agree with me.

I didn’t really proofread this, so it is what it is.

I only did the first half of one section. The entire interview is over 8 pages long in Japanese, and this alone is about 3 pages, and 2000 characters. I didn’t have time for anymore. Sorry, I’m a busy grad student and I have my own students and course stuff to take care of—and study for my upcoming qualifying exams. I might get around to the rest of it later, but don’t count on it too much.

“The PS3 is a ‘game machine.’” It’s not like anything more than that!
First directed at the gamers, I think that what has been made the center of the Playstation 3 is the “big bundle story.” (?) This is a self-centered interview, and when the first-generation Playstation was introduced, it received quite an impact from “Ridge Racer.” At the time of the Playstation 2, the sudden popularity of the new format called DVD was noticeable. As for the Playstation 3, those points, or that is to say not arriving on them, it seems as though the things that will become the indices [for the system] corresponding to game titles like Ridge Racer and DVD are hard to see. How do you suppose President Hirai perceives those points?

Mr. Kazuo Hirai (hereafter, Mr. Hirai): It is a question that is heard often, but I will state clearly here that “The PS3 is a ‘game machine.’” It’s not like anything more than that, is it? I think that it becomes a story like “Whenever I regretfully say that, it’s not lonely,” but I think that, like the PS and PS2 , and the PSP too, it is necessary to consider that “a single aspect.” In regards to that aspect, the PS, PS2, PSP, and PS3 are all especially “game machines” without changing anything.

On top of that, there are various additional functionalities attached, and we hope that people enjoy those, but if I am asked “What is this thing?” I think of the aspect that it is a game machine that can be enjoyed in high definition (HD) and network environments, and the various ways to enjoy the other functionalities surrounding those come along with it.

Interviewer
: At Tokyo Game Show 2006, in the keynote speech of Mr. Ragi Hisada (久夛良木) (the previous group’s CEO), together with images of games in development, the next generation computer entertainment world would be introduced, and at the very end there would be an announcement of a price cut, but many people felt that “Compared with game systems released up to now, it’s expensive,” and, consequently, I think the impression was “The PS3 can’t be just a game machine.”

This time, I think it is natural that Mr. Hirai says it is a game machine. At the PLAYSTATION PREMIERE 2007 of a few days ago, when I was greeted by Mr. Hirai, Mr. Game Maker said before that “It’s life is game content.” He (?) felt that going back to the starting point would be very reliable. Accordingly, what about the implications of “going back to the starting point,” is it was said?

Mr. Hirai: Of course you would make me talk about that. For example, at the Tokyo Game Show 2006, in his keynote speech, I think Hisada gave a very interesting talk about the world that next generation computer entertainment can make possible, but the major premise was to that effect. That is, it was “As a game machine, it’s ‘estaburisshu’ [no idea what that is] (if I recall correctly) at first, and then people can enjoy the other functionalities. I think that’s what Hisada meant when he was made to talk about the implications.

As for the “going back to the starting point,” when I think about the company called Sony Computer Entertainment and the platform known as Playstation, and “What is driving them?”, it’s of course computer entertainment and interactivity, and, to say it more simply, offering a platform for people to enjoy those things, and on top of that, for you users to enjoy our running games, and be excited like “Such interesting things are possible!” and “There’s such fun entertainment!”—that’s the true starting point.

As for our in-house company, as far as that we’ve confirmed that [the above] is what everyone feels is the starting point, we think that that working on software development with everyone from first and third-party [companies] and making them offer [titles] rapidly to all of you users is important. Thus, people enjoy it as a game machine, and on top of that, we think that it brings alive various functionalities such as the enjoyment of Blu-ray content, internet access, and pictures for the first time.

That is to say returning to the starting point, including my section of our company, namely, as written in our company name, we think it’s “We’re a company that makes software and a platform that makes computer entertainment available to everyone in the whole world”

Interviewer
: As for the appearance of the discussion about returning to the starting point , was that appeal not sufficient? (Sorry, I have no idea how to translate this while preserving the original structure and not adding completely different verbs.)

Mr. Hirai: It was a practical question (at the time), since I was in America (laughs). As a consequence, I don’t know whether it was insufficient, but of course I receive the question “What is the PS3?” well. It isn’t being conveyed as a hindsight based opinion…I attempted to express otherwise, but it is possible that it hasn’t been treated as such. Since I supposed that the message isn’t linked somewhere (?), we once more thought that we had confirmed what the starting point is. In short, because of that, the feeling is “Let’s start over.” That’s what made everyone in my section and in third-parties have the discussion.
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Old 09-11-2007, 06:44 PM
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So? And? What is this all about?

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Old 09-11-2007, 06:49 PM
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Thanks for the rundown, Aurora.
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Old 09-11-2007, 07:05 PM
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My japanese is very, very poor. I understand that not everything translates precisely to English. In light of that, could you provide your own understanding of the article? The translation is a wonderful gift, but unfortunately there are many things "lost in translation". It would help if you could also share what you understood the gist of the article to be.
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Old 09-11-2007, 07:14 PM
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Unfortunately, the article has nothing to do with blu-ray. It really centers around the PS3 as a gaming machine, and the concepts that it is still foremost a gaming machine. They talk about the releasal, the pricing, the ability to link with PSP. The article is very game centric. Unfortunately, after scan reading the article, I could find no mention of its prevalent use as a blu-ray machine.

Though, give props to Aurora for attempting to translate such a difficult article considering your level of Japanese.

Just unfortunate that it has nothing pertinent in this part of the forum, and may/should be moved to the gaming thread/forum.
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Old 09-11-2007, 07:20 PM
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the translation's fine but Hirai is full of shit

there's a difference between including a new format that is already accepted and pushing your own frormat through a backdoor

it's basically weak pr

he's saying that it's a games console first but they included blu-ray as it was the medium of future, even though this meant starting from scratch.

calling it the medium of the future implies certainty. The ps3 was a trojan horse. The fact that sony now denies this (due to the negative reaction the move has recieved) is pretty much to be expected

Thanks for the translation though
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Old 09-11-2007, 07:26 PM
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Playstation: CD
PS2: DVD
PS3: Blu-ray

It's simple evolution. To argue that video game consoles should remain stagnant while technology marches forward is inane.
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Old 09-11-2007, 07:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hippy fascist View Post
the translation's fine but Hirai is full of shit

there's a difference between including a new format that is already accepted and pushing your own frormat through a backdoor

it's basically weak pr

he's saying that it's a games console first but they included blu-ray as it was the medium of future, even though this meant starting from scratch.

calling it the medium of the future implies certainty. The ps3 was a trojan horse. The fact that sony now denies this (due to the negative reaction the move has recieved) is pretty much to be expected

Thanks for the translation though
you hit the the nail on the head. He seemed a little dodgy but he is Hirai, and you don't use Honne (direct language), but instead use tatemae (indirect language) to get the point across. He is saying that PS3 is first and foremost a game machine, but there are many more aspects that the machine takes on.
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Old 09-11-2007, 08:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PS3Maniac View Post
Playstation: CD
PS2: DVD
PS3: Blu-ray

It's simple evolution. To argue that video game consoles should remain stagnant while technology marches forward is inane.
*takes a deep breath and counts to ten*

ah...fuck it

If BLU-RAY WAS THE SOLE FORMAT THAT WOULD BE TRUE

how is this not clear to you?

DVD wad the sole format by the time the ps2 came out

they were pushing the standard format

same with CD's

pushing one side of a format war, unless done as an OPTIONAL extra, is forcing consumers hands. In other words

"you want a ps3, you HAVE to take blu-ray."

What is so difficult about this concept?
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Old 09-11-2007, 08:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hippy fascist View Post
...there's a difference between including a new format that is already accepted and pushing your own frormat through a backdoor

it's basically weak pr....
And, although Toshiba obviously does not have a games market that they manufacture in whereby they could have 'backdoor-ed' their format, ... in a similar fashion they did strategically "backdoor" HD-DVD.

What do you call 'fixing the votes' in the DVD Forum to allow them to "officially sanction" it as the next-gen HD format (when most of the original Forum members abstained from voting, because they had already moved to the BDA)? How about the simple act of re-naming what was originally called "Advanced Optical Disc System" to be "HD DVD".

--Now that's what I call "weak pr": naming an entirely new format based on the familiarity & comfort that the mass market has with an unrelated name they already know.
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