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Sony CEO at CES 2024: “Creators Are at the Heart of our Business”

Sony continues its investment in — and encouragement of — content creators.

At its 2024 CES press conference, Sony focused less on new products and more on discussing its tools for enabling content creators, developments with PlayStation game film and TV series adaptations, and discussing the evolving relationship with Honda in its mobility division. In fact, there wasn’t a single mention of any Sony consumer electronics – TVs, projectors, or audio systems – during the entire presentation, and none of these devices were on display in the company’s booth.

Sony CES 2024 Press Conference
Kenichiro Yoshida, chairman and CEO of Sony Group. Photo by John Staley.

Kenichiro Yoshida, chairman and CEO of Sony Group, said that Sony has always placed people at the heart of creativity, and that “the company has always been committed to being a force for good by empowering creators to turn their creative sparks into stories…creators are at the heart of our business.”

Yoshida mentioned that Columbia Pictures celebrates 100 years this year, and said, “We will continue to work alongside teams of filmmakers, writers, producers and actors to fill the world with emotion.”

To further its support of enabling content creators to express their visions, Sony introduced Torchlight. This is a space with tools and technologies that allow creators to experiment with new concepts and unique ways of storytelling, allowing ideas to move from concept to visualization to production in real-time using performance capture, virtual cameras, and advanced visualization tools. This provides a much faster time from pre-production to final product.

While Sony has been successful with film adaptations of PlayStation games like Uncharted and Gran Turismo, the company also produces some of the most successful television series in the world. Last year, The Last of Us was the second most watched HBO series in the past 13 years, and the series has already won eight Emmy awards and is currently nominated for five more, with a second season already underway. Twisted Metal also launched last year on Peacock and has also picked up for second season. Writing is underway for God of War for Prime Video and Horizon Zero Dawn for Netflix. And live action film adaptation of Nintendo’s game franchise, The Legend of Zelda, is underway that “will deliver an amazing tale of adventure and discovery.”

Sony is also looking to expand its imaginative worlds into physical world, and Wonderverse, located near Chicago and opening in two days, will feature immersive experiences from Sony films like Jumanji, Uncharted, and Zombieland, and the company will be demonstrating an immersive world of Ghostbusters here at CES using haptic and motion technology.

PlayStation has been a leader in gaming innovation for decades, and last month PlayStation 5 surpassed 50 million units sold. There has been a tremendous response to hit games like Spiderman 2, Fortnite, and FC24, with over 123 million active monthly accounts. PlayStation continues to expand on being the best place to play with even greater access to gaming experiences.

Sony continues to find opportunities in both virtual and physical spaces, and its mocopi 3D motion capture creation tool transports real human movement to the virtual space, allowing a new solution for spatial content creation by enabling creators to shape and edit 3D models. Sony says this expands the creation space by overlaying virtual objects into physical spaces, letting creators work in real space with an immersive development experience.

Last year’s CES saw the announcement of the new joint development of Sony Honda Mobility, and this year Sony debuted the latest prototype of the AFEELA vehicle, which was driven onto the stage using a PlayStation Dual Shock controller. While they previously stated they expected the first cars to be delivered to customers in spring 2026, no update was given on any timeline.

Sony CES 2024 Press Conference - AFEELA

Toshihiro Mibe, president of Honda, took the stage and said Honda is focused on the future of mobility and added, “That goes beyond the cars and motorcycles on the road today. It will play a key role in the sky, in the ocean, and even outer space.”

Mibe also said, “Mobility is undergoing a once-in-100-years transformation. Honda wants to be the company that leads this transformation.” He said there is a unique “chemical reaction” when Sony and Honda collaborate, and hopes Sony Honda Mobility will fully leverage this chemistry to create a new mobility experience, producing “something we couldn’t have imagined before.”

Using Sony’s video, audio, and entertainment technologies, Sony Honda Mobility will transform mobility and offer new value in that space, and Sony believes software will provide new function and value to redefine the relationship between people and mobility.

Of course, safety is also a prime concern, and Sony touted its partnership with Microsoft to use AI for Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) along with advanced sensing devices like LIDAR, cameras, and radar, with an aim of realizing autonomous driving.

Yoshida closed by saying the company’s potential is unlimited when they work alongside creators. “People are at the heart of creativity. And we power creativity with technology.”