Last year, the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences awarded its inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award to former Nintendo of America execs Howard Lincoln and Minoru Arakawa, who played a dominant role in resurrecting the North American gaming industry during the fallout years of the early-to-mid 1980s. Today, the AIAS announced that this year's Lifetime Achievement Award will be given to former Sony Computer Entertainment chairman and CEO Ken Kutaragi.
After joining Sony in 1975 as an engineer, Kutaragi gained his title as the "Father of PlayStation" in 1994 with the successful launch of the original PlayStation. He later solidified his position as an industry luminary in 1999 with the invention and successful launch of the PlayStation 2, which as of its seventh anniversary in October has sold more than 120 million units worldwide. Calling out Kutaragi's contributions to the gaming industry, the AIAS stated that Kutaragi helped "revolutionize the global in-home entertainment market." Following the troubled PlayStation 3 launch, Kutaragi ended his tenure with the Japanese giant in June.
"Ken Kutaragi's passion, innovative thinking and business savvy sparked a monumental movement that was unstoppable," said AIAS president Joseph Olin. "If it wasn't for Ken and his concept of the original PlayStation, there wouldn't be the billion dollar industry there is today. His contributions have clearly set new standards for developers, publishers, and consumers worldwide."
The AIAS Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented during the Interactive Achievement Awards on February 7 at the Red Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas at the D.I.C.E. Summit 2008.