Sony CEO Kaz Hirai says cloud TV won't compete with cable, 4K adoption could take seven years


At a sit-down with Sony CEO Kaz Hirai, the company head spoke on the new products and services announced at CES 2014, some of which were just introduced today. One of the more interesting developments on center stage was the announcement of a new streaming cloud TV service that could be Sony's first real initiative to take on the living room in a cohesive manner.

Hirai was tight-lipped when discussing the service's features or Sony's partnerships, but he was quick to defend against the notion that Sony's cloud TV would be running up against cable providers. "We're not trying to compete with the cable operators — we're trying to resolve one of the biggest hurdles, which is watching live TV and streaming content on different devices." However, he did note that on live TV broadcasts, there was a chance for friction. "Everybody's been talking about it, I don't think anyone has been able to do it," Hirai said, describing a system that could, when all is said and done, look a little something like what Microsoft is trying to do with the Xbox One.


Unlike Microsoft's push, Hirai focused on the installed user base of the PS3, suggesting that when the service does come to customers it will be modular and will allow TV viewing across several of the company's products. "I know Intel was in this space as well, but from my perspective, when you look at the installed base of the PS3 — 25 million in the US — when we're talking to a lot of the broadcasters, it's a compelling number."

When asked about the company's 4K push in both content and technology, Hirai sees a slow climb to mainstream adoption. "How long did HD take?" Hirai asked, as he suggested mainstream adoption of 4K could take five to seven years. Sony doesn't see its 4K business as only for the mainstream, however — Hirai pointed out that early adopters are very much a part of its plans, and the need to get those adopters into retail stores to see the difference between HD and 4K is crucial to the selling process.

The Verge
Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new Verge username and password

As part of the new Verge launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to Verge going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new Verge username and password

As part of the new Verge launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to Verge going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.



Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.