Kutaragi ends tenure at Sony

After announcing his retirement in April, the so-called "Father of the PlayStation" has his last day at work.

Today an era officially ended in the game industry, as Ken Kutaragi had his last day at work at Sony Computer Entertainment. Though a bittersweet development, his exit was not unexpected. The executive announced his intention to retire in April, nearly six months after he was replaced as SCEI president by Kaz Hirai, former president of Sony Computer Entertainment America. Kutaragi will continue to hold the advisory role at SCEI in Japan.

After helping Sony get into the console market in the mid-1990s, Kutaragi became widely known as the "Father of the PlayStation." After Sony's collaboration with Nintendo on a disc-based console, the Super NES CD, ended in acrimony, he pushed the company to produce its own device.

After the original PlayStation was released in Japan in 1994, the Walkman maker soon challenged the Mario Factory for supremacy in the console market. The PlayStation 2, released in 2000, saw Sony become the world's biggest force in gaming. As of 2005, the PlayStation had sold over 102 million units worldwide, with the PS2 moving over 120 million units as of May 30, according to Sony. In 2004 and 2005, Kutaragi also championed the release of the PlayStation Portable.

But after years of being one of the multinational's most profitable divisions, SCEI experienced difficulties with the PlayStation 3. Production problems pushed back the platform's launch to November 2006 in Japan and North America and March 2007 in Europe. Subsequent sales of the comparatively expensive console have been far behind that of its competitors, with the Wii outselling the PS3 4-to-1 in the US last month.

In many cases, Kutaragi was personally blamed for the PS3's woes. A November Newsweek report claimed his "slowness" to negotiate with publishers allowed Assassin's Creed and Grand Theft Auto IV to also be developed for the Xbox 360. Sony CEO Sir Howard Stringer told the Wall Street Journal in March that he found Kutaragi "uncommunicative" and had struggled to earn the executive's trust.

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310 comments
filiwian
filiwian

Well it sucks that he's going to get replaced but everyone makes mistakes. His mistakes might have cost the ps3 exclusives and the profits but c'mon, he was the founder of the playstation generation and besides things are getting for the ps3 since now the war of blue-ray and hd dvd is now over. Plus there are many more exclusives for the ps3 to come out soon like MGS4, etc.

Michael324
Michael324

Ken was getting well crazy and that's why they let him go.

jp_sithlord
jp_sithlord

oh my god do all of you have to write a freaking novel in your comments, im not reading that

619fan1
619fan1

thank you pin the pimp agree with everything. peace out ken 'father of the playstation" but the work that u have created will go down in my opinion and the wii will rule the market.u heard it hear first

pinthepimp
pinthepimp

TehPickle - Mainstream ? I think you're forgetting Nintendo dude. The rumble feature we all know and love was conceived by Nintendo. The analog stick was conceived by Nintendo. Using Motion sensing was again, conceived by Nintendo. Bringing gaming back into the mainstream ? Sony have mainly concentrated on my demograph - 18 - 30's. In the next five - ten years you'll see the games market double even treble in size, and the only way to do that is to increase the demograph you appeal to, and I can't see Sony instigating that with a £400/$600 machine. How about copying your competitors ? (Don't believe me ? do a search for Immersion in google.) Immersion/Sony have ended their litigation now, Sony will continue paying them royalties for the rumble hardware they used in the PS2 pad, and i'll bet you'll see a revised PS3 controller in a few years, featuring rumble, which Sony claim they can't do at the moment due to the motion sensing. Wonder how Nintendo done it then, in a smaller device, with a speaker & infra-red. Call me a fanboy, maybe so, but companies that create innovation should be recognised not plagurised. Nintendo have that much in common with Apple. Designing hardware is one thing (I can build a PC as good/better as the next person, but doing something different, and being creative is quite another. I remember when the PS2 launched, it was not easy to design for, but eventually developers got to grips with the console (Sony aren't the most helpful company in this respect, M$/Nintendo differ in this way and are more helpful in supplying software tools required.) If the PS3 is as sucessful depends on the games that are released, and to get those games to market, Sony needs dev's. You get more dev's on your side by working with them well, and not making their job more difficult. At the moment, I'm only aware of MGS4 and the unannounced God of War III (If Sony aren't making it, their quite foolish, 1 & 2 were excellent games) still being exclusive. One last thing, removing the emotion engine was a kick in the teeth for some British/European gamers (and the price-hike for british gamers, but we suffer that for everything, not just games). Where M$ had to do it due to their parting ways with nVidia/Intel, Sony chose to treat their customers like that. Making the Nintendo Wii the only true Backwards-comptible Next-Gen console. Don't get me started that the Wii isn't next-gen, all three consoles use CPU's made by another innovative company, IBM (no-one else patents inventions as much as them) Mainstream is quite a loosely used term it seems...

TrumpyTheDog
TrumpyTheDog

@dekomania: Granted pretty much every game has been done before, but there are ones out there trying to do something different to make it stand out, and I don't count shaking a controller like a baboon something different. Bioshock seems to be picking up a little of where Deus Ex left off making you think about what you have to do rather than the run&gun shooters of RFOM and Halo. Surely hoping for a little bit of originality is not too much to ask for? So far all I've seen PS3 wise is Little Big Planet, 360 wise there is at least Bioshock and Mass Effect to look forward to, rather than just waiting. Didn't miss that many PS1 games as thats were I re-entered console gaming, having heard so much about Resident Evil I had to pick it up. Avatar wise I am just angry that having shelled out nearly £500 for a PS3 there isn't anything worth playing on it that I haven't been able to get elsewhere done better, I'm all for supporting a new console but Sony need to do something sharpish to make me keep it rather than just trading it in while its still in warranty.

TehPickle
TehPickle

Off-topic: Trumpy, Was TT modded again? Back on-topic(ish): This article isn't really the place for system wars type arguments. Please chaps, keep it respectful for the man that brought gaming into the mainstream.

dekomania
dekomania

To TrumpyTheDog ... Sorry mate but what game hasn't been done before in one form or another!? So please..... And as I said before, it all comes down to personal taste. You like Riddick, I like MGS. Judging by your image you really hate Sony so no wonder you missed out on allot of quality games. A shame about the SNES, Mega Drive, Saturn and PS1 games you missed. (You can always pick them up. Never too late) PS. No shame in playing on PC. If you like FPS or Strategy games no other platform brings them like the PC does.

TrumpyTheDog
TrumpyTheDog

Sorry but Heavanly Sword may be a new IP but its been done before 1000's of times, just with less fancy graphics, RFOM is a Half Life 2 wannabee and Motorstorm another off road racers like we've seen with countless games before. The only remotely new one mentioned is Little Big Planet but 1 game doesn't really cut it, needs more than 1, other Xbox games that beat the PS2... Riddick for 1, KOTOR, Jade Empire to name but three, its usually a case of "If you don't own the console you tend not to look at the games for it", hence I doubt I'd be able to name too many SNES or Saturn games as I was, too my shame, into PC gaming back then. But I lapped up dozens of Dreamcast/PS2/Xbox/Gamecube titles and the PS2 had the short end of the stick when compared to them, it just had a lot more quality titles. As for Ken, he brought gaming into the living room, too many gamers before were stuck away in the bedroom feeding their habit, he made it more respectable.

dekomania
dekomania

To bluntiss>>> I do agree with you to some degree about the PS3 being this gen XBOX or N64. But I think if Sony plays it's cards right and developers focus more on the PS3 (they should in my opinion. They have Sony allot to thank for and vice verca. I think if the full potential of the PS3 is realised then will be getting wonderful games. Not bashing X360 and Wii) they'll be superior ones more. You're thoughts on not having a reason of buying such a expensive console I don't fully agree. My personal favorites is on it. MGS4. In my opinion no better game is made then Metal Gear Solid on the PS1. I would buy it only for MGS4. Also both the N64 only for Zelda, Mario and GoldenEye. It comes done to personal taste althought it doesn't take the fact away it's expensive. You're thoughts on this? To TTDOG>>> XBOX having better tittles? Halo and Ninja Gaiden! I my eyes those were the best of XBOX. Dreamcast? Not im my opinion, although I never have played most of them. But then again. Just personal taste I guess. Gamecube????????? Metroid. The list of PS2 games I like is tooooooooooo long so I wont bother. It all comes down to personal taste. You were saying you don't want to see too many old games with better graphics on PS3. Maybe that's why Sony lost (?) allot of exclusives ( If trully so than it's been a really bad move so far). Maybe they are focusing on more new IP's this gen. Maybe! Motorstorm, RFOM, LittleBigPlannet,Heavenly Sword and the list go's on. Only time will tell were the PS3 is heading. The new N64 or The underdog (in it's current form) That ruled them all. Back on topic.... I think all of us should BE THANKFUL of KEN. Because without him maybe the half of today gamers wouldn't even have pict up on gaming and the industry would be in a different form. (It would be really funny if the PS3 comes out on top. What are people then gonna be saying about Ken.)

taylormadederek
taylormadederek

He didn't make games. He only made hardware. Pong was fun and anyone could make that hardware. Games wont change at all. As long as companies still make great content it can be fun on anything. Not about system design all about gameplay.

Hell-Fire21
Hell-Fire21

See I thought he already left? But like they said he just announced he was going to retire in April. It's too bad, but with this new direction Sony is headed in, if I were him? I'd retire too. Generation jumped a little bit ahead of him I guess, MAYBE that's why they're blaming him to a certain extent of the PS3 woes. I think that every company has it's issues at some point or another, maybe not as BAD as Sony, but because they're such a large company (with such large expectations), it just doesn't seem that they can do any wrong. Ah well, I'll be 26 before they come out with the Ps4, let's see what happens. Happy fishing Kutaragi.

ControllerLord
ControllerLord

...At least we'll still have Krazy Kaz for a good laugh.

Nstl
Nstl

hehe its cool:-)

anamnawshad
anamnawshad

The gaming world wont as fun without Crazy Ken.......:P

stanleyCG1_2
stanleyCG1_2

I've never really been a fan of the Playstation, but i do appreciate what this guy and the Playstation brand have done for the gaming industry, if it wasn't for the fact that it was so successful then Microsoft probably would not have felt the need to create the Xbox. Thanks for your hard work Ken.

7thRonin
7thRonin

Yes the restructuring has begun, a new era for the playstation brand is here ! Behold it's like 1995 once again !

DannyBoyVai
DannyBoyVai

lol @ Solid_RAG, Playstation is more than one man. Wake up my morbid friend, he's just one of the numerous "faces" of Sony's Playstation division, . 2 years from now Sony will be top dog by a noticeable margine and everyone will have forgotten about this awkward slow(ish) start.

rafey_013
rafey_013

ok now the downfall of the playstation begins

rafey_013
rafey_013

ok now the downfall of the playstation begins

rafey_013
rafey_013

ok now the downfall of the playstation begins

Solid_RAG
Solid_RAG

ok PlayStation is going down hill now. Now With the Father of PS not around ppl are going to Fricken screw the Playstation name and with him not there to stop it. well RIP Playstation I am glad switch back to nintendo cause sony is in a big mess now. Farwell the father of PS cause you got my respect for making the greatest consels of all time by that PSone, PS2, PSP, PSX, and PS3. As for sony Tonight you're gotta dine in hell from now on XD

Eclipse83Lives
Eclipse83Lives

I thought they fired him like quite a while ago. Last year sometime? My bad I just read the first paragraph :P Dough!!! I see how it explains it their.

TehPickle
TehPickle

Now, I've gotta say: Although I'm somewhat anti-Sony right now (as far as I'm concerned, the cons way way waaaaaay outweigh the pros) I think it's disrespectiful of Gamespots news editor to finish the article on such a negative note. "Ken Kutaragi was the force behind the creation of Sony Computer Entertainment, but he was a bit of an arse." - Is what it basically says. Farewell to Ken, he did a pretty good job for a long time. I only hope that now he's gone, the ongoing disaster that is the PS3 can be turned around and made to be something that I might eventually wish to purchase. My closing thoughts: I don't belief the article was anti-Sony, or Pro-MS like some other posters (I can't help but think of the word "fanboy") are trying to say, but it's neutrality is certainly questionable.

wildsnipe
wildsnipe

Wow! now maybe Hironobu Sakaguchi will stop whining about him and get along with Sony. Start making those RPGs!

master_49
master_49

Wow...I guess its a case of "what have you done for me lately". I don't actually own any Playstation systems, but do own the competition. That said, I have played tons of PS1, PS2 and PS3 at family/friends houses. Thanks for pushing the idea, and getting them released - the industry is better for it. You will be missed!

nevershort
nevershort

Thanks for groundbreaking systems... peace out

htownallstar555
htownallstar555

wow Sir Howard thats harsh words to say 2 the father of the playstation

thekey
thekey

Bloodzombie77 "I love all the MS fanboy comments, especially the ones that tactically leave out how horrendously the 360 is getting spanked outside the US" Oh yeah where else eccept japan is the 360 getting spanked ouside the US? If the 360 is getting spanked then what's the PS3 getting? Whuped? Anyways Kutaragi is a tool and its better that he's gone, now like I said before we can now see some real games,

Boy_Man07
Boy_Man07

good luck, Ken Kutaragi! and thank you very much for Playstation! i love Playstation since i was a child...i remember when i got the PS. and then the PS2. and now, the PS3. such great systems...all of them. so, thank you! P.S.: where's the "good luck" and things like that, Gamespot?! come on...you can't say something about Sony without saying bad things about the PS3! i'm tired of this...seriously. it's really frustrating.

Cloud737
Cloud737

Rambling to GS: Sigh...this is such a garbage article. Shame on you, Gamespot! Shame on you and your bias for M$. While the above article is true in all that it states (and I acknowledge that), I find it a bit disappointing that the last 1/3 of the article said only the bad parts of everything, trying to show only Kutaragi`s bad sides (which I do agree with). Really now, for the father of such a successful console, and even probably the father of modern gaming (without him, the gaming industry might as well have been forgotten, and brands such as the xbox wouldn`t even exist, besides the obvious PS brand), I find it a bit disappointing not giving him much praise than that. Really now, not the least bit of respect for a great man that is stepping now. Not even a wishful thought or a good luck wish to him. Nada. You just wanted to hijack the opportunity to bash the PS3 even more, didn`t you? Goes to show that M$`s money, combined with people`s greedyne$$ (which together gives rise to bias) can even make people have no heart at all. Well, have it your way GS. It`s not like you`ll have a different treatment from the users of this site than that which you give to others, as people are slowly leaving GS because of the stupidities here, not even remembering the good times. Anyway, done my ramblings. For a proper, great, and informative article, I suggest to go visit this blog post (which is actually taken from another news site).

Dj_Lizz
Dj_Lizz

to Yuck_Too ,well its just a rumor but the truth is that Wii is more outselling than the PS3 and X360 ,what ive heard since im living here in japan .Wii is 60% 360 is about in 21$ and PS3 is 19%. well thanks to kutaragi he made the whole PS name mark as the best console ,but what I want to blame is not him but the Invertor of Blu-ray wich made the PS3 making process took alot of time and make the stocks poor on selling in the first place :(

jayo17ie
jayo17ie

Thanks for everything that he has done for the playstation but just because he has done so much doesnt mean that he shouldnt shoulder the blame for all of the ps3's shortcomings.

PS3_MidwestKing
PS3_MidwestKing

can some of u show some respect to the man thx for the ps1 up to ps3. Kaz Hirai wats the next move

solidsnake2525
solidsnake2525

Best of luck in all future endeavors, and thank you.

123coolgirl
123coolgirl

this guy is super cool. just read an article about him. i guess most of us dont take the time to find out who made their wonderful systems. thanks for ps1-ps3 and psp. oh and saving the game industry

matrixman2k
matrixman2k

A shame really, they should have recognised the guys previous contribution and allow him - even if just to come in and sit at a table with nothing to do. I'm sure they could have found another useless cleaning guy to sack in order to keep kutaragi's salary.

bestco
bestco

Umm...since the 360 is currently outselling the PS3 at 2:1 worldwide --------------------------------------- your source?

nobeaner
nobeaner

Any business is ruthless. From what I've read it seems that the mentality is "what have you done for me now?" rather than, "thanks for what you've done for me in the past."

Bigboss232
Bigboss232

I remember that article that said he was being unresponsive probably cause he is dumb and made the price point for the ps3 so overwhelmingly high that no one would want it. And then he so called gets demoted lol yeah of course he got demoted. And now he retires lol no he got fired.

risi37
risi37

good bye and thanks for making PS,PS2,PSP and PS3

Yuck_Too
Yuck_Too

--Bloodzombie77 -- "I love all the MS fanboy comments, especially the ones that tactically leave out how horrendously the 360 is getting spanked outside the US" ~~~~ Umm...since the 360 is currently outselling the PS3 at 2:1 worldwide I'm kind of missing your point. Only in Japan is the PS3 outselling the 360 and that is Japan! Worse is that the 360 sells 50% as many units as the PS3 there...which if you think about it is abysmal since the PS3 should have crushed the 360 like 20:1 in Japan.

Yuck_Too
Yuck_Too

--rasterror -- Dude...he was fired...that's how they do it at the CEO level.

NeoNavarro
NeoNavarro

Thank you Ken Kutaragi for everything you gave us... except for the PS3 you can take that back :)

sdfsdaf
sdfsdaf

I laugh at how all the fanboys say Kutagari sucked, yet without him, the Xbox nor the PS2 would be out there P.S. Without the PS2, Microsoft would have never taken Sony as a threat and entered the gaming industry

decoy1978
decoy1978

I was real iffy to jump ship when the PSX first debuted. I was a hardcore Nintendo loyalist, but after giving them a chance for FFVII, I never looked back. Even now with the PS2, its still a very strong system. Ironically, the same faults that plagued Nintendo back then now haunt the PS3. Unable to secure exclusive games, delays, production problems, lack of sales.... PS3 seems like the next N64! I wish him good luck and it a sad way to end his career when he did so much.

hye_03
hye_03

I find he did a good job and i just hope the next dude will do as well!