(Edited by nullnullnull (1473), Apr 26, 2007)Ken Kutaragi is leaving Sony
nullnullnull (1473), Apr 26, 2007
Bloomberg is reporting that Ken Kutaragi, the father of the PlayStation, will retire in June of this year.
"Kutaragi, who stepped down from day-to-day management in December, will relinquish the role of chief executive officer of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. Kazuo Hirai, president of the unit, will take over, Tokyo-based Sony Corp. said today in a statement."
The conventional wisdom is that the corporate bosses aren't too happy with the missteps Sony Computer Entertainment made in the launch of the PS3. I can't say that I am surprised, but I am not sure what a management shake up will do. The train seems to have already left the station.
The train has left the station, but they can get someone else to design the tracks for the next one.
They're giving Kaz Hirai more power? After what he did at E3?
Hirai is much more software oriented, which is what Sony needs at this point. I wouldn't be surprised if he was the force behind the upcoming "Home" features we should be getting by the end of the year.
Kutaragi was all about hardware, and you only get a few chances with hardware in your career. I am fairly confident that Kutaragi placed his vision at a much higher priority than that of the consumer, and that lead to this failure.
Hardware failures are big. Gunpei Yokoi was a brilliant visionary, but when Nintendo rushed his VUE project to an earlier-than-expected release, it flopped and he left the company because of it. The situation is similar.
Though comparing Yokoi to Kutaragi is hardly fair, they seem to be walking similar paths. I wonder where he'll end up. Maybe he'll be the lead designer on the yet-to-be-invented AmazeGoose handheld. Or not. bad joke.
It wasn't exactly the Playstation 3 (which is still up in the air if it's a success or a fiasco) that brought him down. It was a bit more complex than that.
An excellent article on the topic: