Ando Tetsuya, the CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment Korea (SIEK) had his first official interview in South Korea on December 20, 2019.
“2019 marks 25 years since the launch of PS brand, which made it into the Guinness Book of Records as the world's best-selling game console brand. We couldn’t do this without the support of our customers”, he said.
He continued, “In March 2019, more than 10,000 people attended the ‘PS Festa’ in South Korea, and many people also visited the ‘Des Stranding World Stranding Tour’. In return for the passion of South Korean users, I will try to make more people enjoy PS4. And we will be offering good games and various services in 2020”
■ The following is a summary of the Q & A.
Q: Can I play PS4 or PS3 games on PS5?
You can play PS4 games on PS5. About PS3 games, it has not been announced yet.
Q: Ando Tetsuya is attending various events in South Korea. What was the most impressive event?
‘PS Festa’ was the most impressive event. I saw a lot of people lining up for playing games. And a lot of our partner companies were there. I thank to them.
Q: You gave a speech in Korean at 'Death Stranding' event.
I am studying Korean very hard. One of the reasons for studying is that if you don't know Korean well, you would be concerned when other people gossip about me.(laugh). No, it's a joke. I like South Korean games and culture. To enjoy and understand them properly, I need to know Korean. And communication with the user is also important. I want to talk with them in Korean.
Q: How much has the PS4 hardware, software, and PS stores grown compared to the early days of the PS4 release?
PSN is growing smoothly. For the convenience of users, credit card payments have recently been introduced. In particular, PS Plus is growing through promotions that offer games for free. The PS4 and PS4 games sold more than the PS2 or PS3.
Q: What is the proportion of South Korea in the global market?
South Korea's proportion is small, but I think there are a lot of potential to develop.
Q: Several companies are rolling out cloud gaming services based on 5G technology. Is SIE prepared for this? Are you considering partnering with other company?
SIE is serving ‘PS NOW’, which is not launched in South Korea. I think SIE is playing a pioneering role in this area. In October 2019, the price was lowered. It is difficult to say when to release ‘PS NOW’ in South Korea, but we are considering positively, given the fact that South Korea is one of the country that 5G infrastructure is well established.
Q: Recently, a lot of South Korean people are boycotting of Japanese product, due to the conflict between South Korea and Japan. Has the PS4 been affected?
I can’t say PS4 has not been affected at all. And I don't know if the boycott will affect the PS5. I hope it won’t.
Q: May 2019, operations of South Korean PSN moved to Japan. Do you plan to hand it over to South Korea again?
At this point, there is no plan to do it.
Q: Shiro Kawauchi, the former SIEK(SCEK at that time) CEO became very popular in South Korea after the PS4 launched in South Korea. And Tetsuya Ando CEO is about to launch the PS5 in South Korea. Do you have any special plans?
PS4 has been getting a good response right after the release of South Korea. I want to keep this good atmosphere going forward. Since the release of the launching PS5 is a huge issue for us, I will try hard to prepare well and get a good response in South Korea.
Q: There were many people who couldn’t enjoy ‘PS Festa’ because there was not enough space. Do you plan to increase the size of the event in 2020?
The ‘PS Festa’ will continue to be held in South Korea. We will provide a better environment for users in the future.
Q: There are many interesting videos on SIEK YouTube channel.
Many people are responding that the video is interesting. We will keep making a video that we all can laugh and enjoy in the future. When a video is completed, I check it myself.
Q: The SIKE partner shop plus store was impressive. Why does SIEK run these stores?
I thought about it four years ago, when I came to South Korea. I wanted to create a space where customers who do not play PS4 games can enjoy our games.
Q: Recently, Many South Korean game companies are making console games.
We have a lot of inquiries. I'm happy. We will do our best to make sure they can launch their games on PS brand. In order to increase the size of the South Korean console game market, I think the most important thing is providing good games.
Q: It seems that the South Korean console game market has grown significantly since the launch of the Nintendo Switch. What do you think?
I think the South Korean console game market is growing. Console games are also sold in non-game stores. I think it's a good sign. We will do our best to develop the South Korean console game market further.
Q: When SIEK first entered South Korea, it also published South Korean games.
There is a team working on this within SIEK. We are collaborating with many game companies and believe that big projects will continue in the future. SIE is investing heavily in indie games, and SIEK is committed to interacting with small and medium-sized game developers and to helping them develop their games in a better environment.
Q: What are your goals for 2020?
In 2019, users gave us a lot of attention. We will work hard to give a reward to these users.
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