Ota: Another crucial factor when designing this HD device was the structure of the exterior parts. The conventional wisdom with previous video decks and DVD players was to construct the case from a front panel and metal panel on the rear. We were determined to take a bold step and revolutionize the design.
In this model, premium aluminum is used across the whole surface of the top panel. The top surface has been fashioned so there is not a single joint, and no screw holes to be seen anywhere. Common responses when first seen include: "How on Earth was it assembled?" "How much of it is just one part?" and "How is it supposed to be disassembled?"
The recent trend in living rooms is to place audio-visual equipment in a visible location. Storage racks have become lower as television screens have become larger, and an open style is becoming the norm. More people are also placing their devices directly on shelves. This is our flagship model, and it too is designed not to be hidden away inside a cabinet, but rather to be placed in a visible location, such as directly on the living room floor.
Nakamura: In normal circumstances, such a parts structure would be unthinkable with a deck-sized case, because of issues involving cost and production line efficiency. But our success shows that there was something inside us that we wanted to express, which made us determined to overcome these difficulties. And further, we achieved this not in a showy way, but in a manner that was very minimalist.
Sony designs have always been based on the principle of simplicity. As such, the implicit issue we constantly face is how to take advantage of our design skills and express high quality in our designs, while still being minimalist. Achieving such simplicity is very difficult. It is hard to decide what to leave in the design and what to take out, how to give expression to Sony's specialist technology, and how to make sure that the advanced functionality will be apparent in the final design. Often the crucial issue comes down to where and how to draw a single line in the design. In order to achieve the best design forms, we look at a wide range of objects and try out different ways of thinking. This is what we do every day.
We call this process "minimalist design." The designers were very excited about the glass treated with blue vapor deposition. The desire to show this glass in the most beautiful way possible led almost inevitably to the outer structure, materials and composition. All the required design elements were identified, and each one seemed to have a predestined role to play. The designers were obsessed with embodying HD quality in the final design.