Feeds

Chris Deering looks back at Sony

Ex-Sony exec dodges PS paternity test

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Chris DeeringTechscape "Sony is like Disney without the devices," Chris Deering told me not long ago.

Known to some as "The Father of the PlayStation", Deering stepped down from Sony recently, where he was president of Sony Europe and chairman/CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE). At last count, Sony Europe accounted for 24 per cent of Sony sales globally.

Deering tried to dissuade me that he was really the "father" of the PlayStation.

"Ken Kuteragi is the 'father' for sure. The games business is really about the software."

But Chris Deering is the consumer marketer who made sure the PlayStation (PS) and PSP sold. And it did. Conservative estimates put the rough numbers at more than 75 million PlayStation units (PS-1 and PS-2) sold in Europe yielding an estimated €30bn euros to Sony. Remember, this is Europe alone and does not include the released recently PSP.

A product of the Harvard Business School, Deering worked at Gillette and McKinsey before becoming VP at games software maker Atari. In 1985 became a senior VP at Columbia Pictures. In 1990, Deering became EVP and COO of Columbia/Tristar International, later renamed Sony Pictures Entertainment.

"I was working for Sony Pictures and was introduced to Ken Kuteragi. He told me 'that the games behemoths don't take Europe very seriously; that they milk it through various distribution channels.' So I told him, let me take over the games in Europe."

Kuteragi's next move was to challenge Deering: "Why? You'll never get it over 60 per cent of the US games sales?"

"I thought we could and we eventually did with both PS-1 and PS-2," Deering recalls.

Deering started building "successes from hitchhiking on the Sony Pictures product". Ghostbusters, he says was a "good example of cross-over commercial downstream exploitation."

Can Deering be criticised for creating a gaming phenomenon which takes children away from their parents, leaving them isolated and vulnerable? Or, should he be praised for giving these kids something to do?

"In a generous sense," Deering says, "you could say both are true. But the PlayStation was really just an updated delivery system - kids were playing games long before PS. Look, different countries have different cultural nuances. In Germany for instance, it's not desirable to let guests in your home see a games console under your TV. Games arcades were by bus stations and train stations in dangerous parts of town and games shooting people is not considered a positive thing to bring into the home."

So where and when did things turnaround in gaming?

"I think it started when the educational component sprang to life at the Broderbunds of the world." Deering becomes excited at this point. "'Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?' was great. I met Doug Carlston (Broderbund founder) and thought he was running a great company."

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.