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Console business 'not going away any time soon', insists Sony CEO

Kaz Hirai says the games market still wants core devices; Pledges commitment to PS Vita

The chief executive of Sony, Kaz Hirai, has given the PlayStation business a shining endorsement in the wake of a new debate on the future of core consoles.

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Hirai, whose tenure at the top of Sony has been characterised by drastic measures to close down entire operations, said that the dedicated games business is under no such threat.

On Monday, mobile games executive Ben Cousins triggered a new debate on the future of consoles by writing in a Kotaku editorial entitled 'How and why consoles will die'. The article suggested, though could not prove, that the Xbox and PlayStation 3 have yet to make a profit for their platform holders.

However, in an interview with The Verge, Hirai was asked about the commercial outlook for its slow selling PS Vita handheld.

"Based on the consumer feedback that we've been receiving, there is certainly a very large segment of the video game market that wants to play immersive games on a dedicated device, as opposed to playing casual games on smartphones," he responded.

"Between that and home-based consoles as well, they're not going to go away any time soon."

Speaking on the wider issue of Sony's drastic business restructure, Hirai added that games are key to the firm's overall recovery.

"The most important thing that I've impressed upon my employees is that we need to be a more focused company. Sony needs to take a look at where we excel and make investments in those areas, which will manifest itself in exciting products that will wow our customers."

Asked about the PlayStation 4, he again returned to the promise that Sony is committed to supporting PS3 until about 2016.

"There's a long way to go," he added.

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