Kazuo Hirai seems fairly relaxed for a man named one of the most powerful business executives in the world. Since joining Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE) in 1995, Hirai has been pivotal in the success of Sony's PlayStation brand, eventually rising to worldwide CEO of the business in 2007.
If the pressure is on, with the video game industry being at its most fiercely competitive, then it doesn't show as we sit high above the streets of downtown Los Angeles at the famous Westin Bonaventure Hotel. "I'll tell you one thing." Hirai says, grinning, as he settles into a large, comfortable sofa by the window, overlooking the hills. "I like this hotel room."
The past few years for SCE haven't been their easiest, with Microsoft's Xbox business solidly improving and Nintendo's Wii conquering all. However, recently Sony's PlayStation 3 has begun building real momentum, with some quality exclusive titles out now and looming on the horizon. Has it been tough for the PS3 to reach this point? "It's no secret that [success is] all about what compelling content you can bring to the console," says Hirai.