“Father of Playstation” Kutaragi Retires From Sony

2757644775475176.jpgShocking news came in today from Sony that announced the retirement of Sony Computer Entertainment chairman and CEO Ken Kutaragi.  The “Father of Playstation” will be officially leaving the company on June 19th at the company’s annual stockholder’s meeting.

The surprise announcement comes a little over a year after Kutaragi was named chairman and CEO of the Sony division that overlooked their video game consoles, the launch of the Playstation 3, as well as the ongoing efforts to bring the PlayStation Portable to the masses.  The man who will be taking his place is another familiar name within Sony:  current SCEI president and COO Kazuo Hirai.  When asked for comment, Sony Corp. chairman and CEO Sir Howard Stringer had this to say:

“[Kutaragi is] “a rare combination of a powerful visionary and entrepreneur. Not only has he created a multibillion-dollar business for the Sony Group, he has brought the industry into a new dimension. Sony has benefited tremendously from his vision, his creative genius, and from the very strong team he assembled and nurtured. As Ken moves forward to pursue new opportunities, we will encourage and support him. My support also goes to Kazuo Hirai, who is a terrific executive with a proven track record with PlayStation business in the US. I am confident that he will inspire and lead SCEI to new heights.”

These bubbly comments are slightly surprising, given that just recently in an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Stringer called Kutaragi “uncommunicative” and hinting at problems with the way that Kutaragi handled himself and the PlayStation brand to the public during the launch of the PlayStation 3.

Obviously, comment boards and forums everywhere have been writhe for the picking with all kinds of comments leaning towards the negative and the positive.  Many still remember a lot of the comments that Kutaragi made that earned him the nickname “Crazy Ken” and are satisfied with his departure, while others question whether Hirai will be able to fill the shoes of the man that created the video game empire that Sony now has.  Regardless, here’s what we’ll say:

Kutaragi, you were a hell of a guy.  You gave us some good times and some bad times.  You promised all kinds of crap that we haven’t seen yet, but you also brought innovation to the scene with the EyeToy, the PS2, the fusing of high-end technology and gaming consoles, and a sweet controller design that has lasted through three consoles.  We hope that your future endeavors lead to as great of victories as you saw with your previous work.  Piece, bro.

About the Author