Sony's Harai at CES: Makes first public comments on hacking, touts PlayStation 4 sales, 4K

LAS VEGAS--Using descriptors like "vicious" and "malicious," Sony Corp. CEO Kazuo Hirai used his company's Consumer Electronics Show press conference Monday to finally break his public silence about the crippling IT attack on Sony Pictures last month.

"Both Sony Pictures Entertainment former employees and certainly current employees were unfortunately the victims of one of the most malicious cyber-attacks we have known in recent history," Hirai said. "I am very proud of all employees and all the partners we've worked with who stood up against the extortionate effort of these criminals."

The attacks, believed to have been originated by the North Korean government, centered on Sony's theatrical release of the film comedy The Interview, which was initially scuttled.

"I have to say freedom of speech, freedom of expression, those are important lifelines of Sony and our entertainment business, and today as you all know The Interview is available through multiple online venues and through satellite, telecom and cable partners, as well as 580 independent theaters alone in the U.S.," Hirai added. "I want to take this opportunity to thank all of the partners who made this possible, the members of the media who supported our launch, but most importantly the people who have come out to see the movie."

Hirai also sounded a triumphant tone for Sony's PlayStation 4 videogame console, which endured a separate attack by computer hackers over the holidays. He said the console has now sold 18.5 million units since launching last year, an uptake rate that trumps the PlayStation 3 at a similar product phase.

Hirai also pledged Sony's continued commitment to 4K/Ultra HD, noting that Sony-produced TV shows The Blacklist and Masters of Sex will begin shooting in the format. "Four K will continue to be an important area of development and distinction for Sony," he noted.

For more:
- read this Variety story
- read this Deadline Hollywood story
- read this Los Angeles Times story

Show coverage: CESLive 2015

Related links:
Sony's 'The Interview' nets around $15M in online sales from 2M moviegoers
Pay-TV VOD exclusive for 'The Interview'? Sony says no
Sony lawyer warns news outlets not to report on 'stolen data'