President and CEO of Sony Corporation Kazuo Hirai delivered his keynote address at the 2014 International CES describing how Sony has been at the forefront of consumer electronics innovation….here is the full keynote transcript at the CES 2014
Gary Shapiro – President and CEO, CEA
[Starts abruptly]…next wave of the consumer technology experience. Sony leads the way in shaping how consumers enjoy their music, movies, TV shows and games and delivers news ways for consumers to receive information. And Sony has the most options for consumers to create their own content and then watch it on any type of device. From the earliest days of the Trinitron and the Walkman to the dawn of the digital and high-definition areas to 3D and now lots of high-definition TV and high-resolution audio and across any type of platform, Sony is always a leader out in the front.
And, of course, Sony always has one of the most exciting exhibits here at CES year after year. In breadth of resources, it’s unrivaled in addition to its consumer electronics reach and a movie studio directly produces box office favorites, a music label that showcases the best in every genre and a professional group that covers everything in Hollywood to network news. Sony ties it all together into an intuitive and seamless consumer user experience. But don’t just take my word for it.
Our speaker this morning has personally been involved in many of Sony’s achievements. Like Sony itself, Kazuo Hirai, President and CEO of Sony Corp. is a man of many talents. He’s seeing consumer electronics from all sides from the successes with the Sony PlayStation business to international work with music artists to his leadership of Sony’s network products and services initiatives.
He also was the 2013 ESA Champion Honoree where he was recognized as one of the most influential executives in the entertainment industry. He is uniquely qualified to continue Sony’s leadership at the forefront of consumer electronics innovation.
Ladies and gentlemen, please join me in welcoming Sony’s Kazuo Hirai.
Kazuo Hirai – President and CEO, Sony Corp.
Thank you, Gary, for that great introduction. Good morning everybody and thank you for being a part of the keynote this morning. And as Gary said, I know a lot of you had challenges coming into Las Vegas. I’m glad you made it, and I’m doubly honored with the fact that you’ve made it this morning to our keynote.
So ever since I was a boy, I’ve been curious. All sorts of things interested me whether they’re cars, science, gadgets, and of course electronics. I was, and I still am, very inquisitive.
Now, as you all know, childhood is a time of wonder and awe. It’s a time when the whole world around us captivates our curiosity and our imagination. Our fascination with children’s books to the questions about how things work, our experience as children is defined by play and by discovery. And one of my earliest memories was sitting in front of the television set watching Romper Room. Many of you watched it as well. It was an experience of magical connection, and for me emotional engagement with friends that I did not really know, but was relating to via my television.
Now, one day, I remember the hostess passing out cookies to the children on the show. I waited patiently and wondered where my cookie was. All the children on the television set, they were getting their cookie. And I kind of felt left out.
How did these people arrive in my living room each and every day? Why couldn’t they hear or see me? My curiosity was piqued, and has continued to be throughout my life. And today, I suspect many of the people in this room, right here, like me, still hold on to at least a bit of their childhood curiosity.
Now, we choose to be engineers, inventors, and creators because we’ve retained our childlike wonder and imagination. And at Sony, we cultivate curiosity.
Asking questions about how we might improve an everyday experience propels our desire at Sony to make things. And making things is a reflection of our desire at Sony to connect with people, to create surprises, to transform the ordinary into the extraordinary and to inspire people to experience, wow, wow.
Often, our curiosity stimulates creative thinking that yields those great innovations. For example, in 1979, the Sony Walkman became the first portable device that enabled a personal playlist, a favorite album, or that beloved mix tape — remember those? — to go everywhere that people went. It was mobile, and I have to say, it was a “wow.”
In 1982, the compact disc was introduced. This innovation improved recording, storage, and above all, sound quality. And I still remember the first time I heard a compact disc on, of course, a Sony CD player. And it was Billy Joel’s 52nd Street, and it sounded incredible. That, to me, was a wow.
In 1994 in Japan, we introduced PlayStation. And of course PlayStation became a game-changing home entertainment console. In fact, I was so wowed by PlayStation, I left the music business to pursue further development of the PlayStation franchise right here in the United States.
And PlayStation proved that consumer electronics products could be more. It could be more than just a modern convenience. Devices could provide emotionally rich experiences.
And today, our legacy of providing action-packed adventure takes another step forward with the launch of the PlayStation 4. The market, wowed by our technology and by our engineering and by our software. The gamer, thrilled by the lineup of amazing titles, they’ve responded enthusiastically around the world. And these innovative products created or redefined categories. And they’re all the result of curious minds asking, “What if? What if?”