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Sony Businesses PlayStation (Games)

Father of Sony Playstation Steps Down 57

Raver32 wrote with a link to a CNN article about the end of Ken Kutaragi's time at Sony. His departure was announced back in April, and now leaves Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCEI) headed by Kazuo Hirai, Sony Computer Entertainment's (SCE) former president and COO. "Though no longer a board member, Kutaragi will hold an advisory post at the gaming unit, according to SCE official Sayoka Henmi. The departure of Kutaragi, an icon among gamers, marks the end of an era at Sony Corp. that saw the company long dominate the video game industry with its flagship PlayStation consoles. But it also highlights troubles at Sony amid a series of blunders over the rollout of its PlayStation 3 and intense competition from Nintendo Co.'s popular Wii console and Microsoft's Xbox 360."
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Father of Sony Playstation Steps Down

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  • Honesty. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Pojut ( 1027544 ) on Tuesday June 19, 2007 @02:26PM (#19568081) Homepage
    While I have consistently prefered other consoles over the Playstation platforms, I cannot deny the impact that Sony has had on the gaming culture as a whole (both positive and negative). There is a good possibility that gaming would not be as prevelant and pronounced in our culture had it not been for the PS1/PS2.

    Mr. Kutaragi, I rarely agree with your opinions on the business of video games, as well as your opinions on what gamers "want". However, you are still an icon in the industry and I respect you as such. Godspeed to you, sir.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Fozzyuw ( 950608 )

      There is a good possibility that gaming would not be as prevelant and pronounced in our culture had it not been for the PS1/PS2.

      I agree to your point that Ken was an important icon to gaming simply because he DID do what he did. However, I disagree with the point that the PS1/PS2 where instrumental to the gaming culture. By the time the PS1/PS2 came along, the gaming industry was doing nothing but picking up steam since it's crash in the late 70's early 80's. With the NES, SNES/Gensis battle, Dreamcast

      • by Pojut ( 1027544 )
        I agree with everything you have said.

        However, since the PS1/PS2 were released, the effect on the gaming culture in general did indeed happen. Personally, I would have LOVED a second Dreamcast (since it is tied for first place overall in which system I enjoyed the most....Super Nintendo is the other), however that is not what occured. I was merely regarding events as they happend (which is different from what I wish had happend)

      • I don't know dude, "Playstation" kind of became synonymous with playing video games the way "Nintendo" was in the late 80s and early 90s. Plus they did sell 100 million of each of their consoles.

        Of course, "xbox" is in a lot of circles the generic term for playing video games now and they've sold pretty horribly.
      • I agree. It's not as much a single vendor, changing the industry, as it is simple gamers getting older. The NES was the first console that created a generation of children who viewed gaming as something normal. The VCS didn't really do that - even though it was tremendously popular, it never became "normal," as shown by the temporary demise of the gaming market. People viewed the VCS as a fad. The NES, on the other hand, was part of common culture.

        The people who grew up on the NES are now adults, and the vi
        • You can't know that for sure - that someone else would surely have came out with a more "mature" console in time. Timing is everything with these things; if someone had come along two years later, it might have been a flop and we might not have seen a game system for the "older" game player for a long time.

          You give no credit to Sony, and I don't know why. They really did push forward the console game system market.

          PS. Not everyone loves the Wii. I think the games are rather boring after you play them
          • You give no credit to Sony, and I don't know why. They really did push forward the console game system market.

            I would agree, but now that you've said it, I have to ask: In what way do you think Sony pushed to console game system market forward?

            I actually remember that time. The market was not lacking for attempts at creating a more mature console. Philips, Amiga, Atari, 3DO... Everyone was trying to enter this market. Sony was just one among many. They won not because the PS1 was so amazing, but because all other consoles had pretty big flaws.

            Not everyone loves the Wii. I think the games are rather boring after you play them twice

            Uh, what games are you talking about, specifically?

            and it's networking abilities suck.

            Why, what's m

            • Maybe Sony should be given credit because they DIDN'T have major flaws in their console?

              The PlayStation was the first console to offer real 3D acceleration, which made a huge impact on the types of games available for this system versus anything else before it. They didn't have silly cartoon mascots. The controllers were nearly perfect for any size hand. Even the look of the machine itself was simple, elegant. The machine WAS pretty damned amazing.

              The other console options at the time were either A)
              • by LKM ( 227954 )

                Maybe Sony should be given credit because they DIDN'T have major flaws in their console?

                Not sure what you're trying to say.

                The PlayStation was the first console to offer real 3D acceleration

                Not sure if the PlayStation's geometry transformation engine actually counts as "3D acceleration." Well, I guess it does, but really...

                Also, the Jaguar had 3D hardware, too, and was on the market a year earlier.

                which made a huge impact on the types of games available for this system versus anything else before it.

                That is wrong. What made a huge impact on the types of games available was Sony's licensing restrictions.

                They didn't have silly cartoon mascots.

                What? Are you kidding? Were you even around back then? Of course they had "silly cartoon mascots." Just none that reached the popularity of Mario or

                • See, here's the problem. It's as if you believe that because the Wii is an old system repackaged, with a new controller, automatically every game is "built for fun" whereas games on other systems are not. You've fallen into the marketing brainwashing and you don't even realize it.

                  It's not all about the graphics, but they sure do count when you're talking about real cash and future game development. I still lug out my old Atari 2600 (with full faux wood-grain and working paddles) to play the classics li
      • by iocat ( 572367 )
        Sony's revolution wasn't the PS2, it was the PS1. It was the system that first realy started the maturation of the game industry and how it was perceived. Other systems (NES, Atari 2600) were certainly insanely popular, but the PS1 was the first system, especially in Europe, that felt "cool," This was due to both its then revolutionary industrial design, its extremely advanced (for the time) graphics technology, and Sony's intense lifestyle-based marketing efforts. The Genesis and Super NES were marketed an
        • by Fozzyuw ( 950608 )

          It was the system that first realy started the maturation of the game industry [...]the PS1 was the first system, especially in Europe, that felt "cool," [...]The Genesis and Super NES were marketed and accepted as kids toys.

          I cannot say I disagree with your point of the PS1's important being the system the DID herold in more 'mature' games (read blood, violence, and all kinds of squishy and dark stuff). However, I would disagree that they where the 'first'. Though, I do speak from an American side of t

    • I never get the "Mr [insert the name of the person talked about in the news] here's my opinion as if I'm speaking directly to you!" replies to these kind of stories..

      Do you really think Kutaragi is browsing slashdot for the comments on what ppl think? He's too busy updating his myspace blog, putting his resume on monster.com and posting his latest singstar performance on youtube for that!
  • occasional failure. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by TheGeneration ( 228855 ) on Tuesday June 19, 2007 @02:35PM (#19568235) Journal
    Why do the Japanese seem to always throw the baby out with the bathwater? One failure is not equivalent to becoming incapable of producing more success. I'll just be happy I live in a culture where occasional failure is seen as an opportunity to grow and become better.
    • by uarch ( 637449 )
      And what makes you think this is entirely do to some perceived failure with PS3? There could be other factors at play including a personal desire on his part for change.

      You also shouldn't be so quick to assume PS3 was that much of a failure; yes it's not selling as fast as many would like but it's playing a strong role in helping Blueray pull ahead in the format wars.
      • In a culture where employment for life within the same company is the ideal, for someone to step down for something that's not a problem is pretty rare.

        That said, he's not being outed like Nintendo outed Gunpei Yokoi. He's still going to be an "advisor" outside the board... whatever that means. Yokoi was basically showed the door after the Virtual Boy: a failure far worse than the PS3.
        • by tuffy ( 10202 )
          The Virtual Boy is a bigger failure in the sense that nobody bought one and it completely failed to catch on, but its economic impact wasn't as severe due to strong SNES and Gameboy sales.

          The PS3's failure in the marketplace isn't as total, but its impact on Sony is greater since the PSP isn't strong enough to pick up the slack. So in that respect, the PS3 is the worse failure for its overall effect on Sony and the Playstation brand.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by aichpvee ( 631243 )
        Seems to me that PS3 is doing pretty well. It's outselling 360 in Japan and selling about even here in the States. All that at a price tag that's basically twice as high. Of course 360 is selling about as well as the original xbox. So while it isn't exactly something to brag about, I wouldn't count Sony out yet. They've definitely got a good shot at being the dominant "HD" console this generation, and who knows how it'll be doing against Wii 3 or 4 years from now. Though I wouldn't put it past Sony to
        • by hibiki_r ( 649814 ) on Tuesday June 19, 2007 @03:28PM (#19569045)
          About even? I guess that they are, in the same sense that 30 are 60 are about the same.

          NPD numbers for May in the US:

                  * Nintendo DS: 423K
                  * Nintendo Wii: 338K
                  * Sony PSP: 221K
                  * Sony PlayStation 2: 187K
                  * Microsoft Xbox 360: 155K
                  * Sony PlayStation 3: 81K

          The Wii sells twice as much as the 360, which sells roughly twice as much as the PS3. I call that a spectacular failure for Sony.
          • Hmm, have you ever thought that perhaps the PS3 sales numbers are low because the PS2 numbers are high? That perhaps Sony meant what they said a few years back about the PS2 lifespan? There's still good games coming out for it. YAPS2RPG (yet another PS2 RPG) just got game of the month award from EGM. The PS2 is still going strong.

            I also must remind you that with all those RPG's still being released for the PS2, RPG fans have no reason to upgrade.....yet. A similar thing happened with the PSone, RPG fan
            • Hmm, have you ever thought that perhaps the PS3 sales numbers are low because the PS2 numbers are high?

              That doesn't make a whole lot of sense. If anything, Wii sales are so low because PS2 numbers are so high. The PS2 and the PS3 target different markets, interestingly. The PS2 was the casual, cheap console last generation. This generation, it's the Wii.

              Personally, I think a lot of PS2 owners will switch to the Wii instead of the PS3. I own both a Wii and a PS3. By default, PS2 owners tend to be interested in the PS3, until they hear how much it costs, at which point the Wii suddenly becomes the "next-gen

        • "but it definitely has a better chance of giving Sony a boost than microsoft with their HD-DVD drive,"
          Or it has a chance to cripple the PS3 as being overpriced. I believe that the majority of potential customers in the North American market are not clamoring for HD and that DVD is "good enough"; so, by including a Blu-Ray drive that is not driving sales but merely inflating the price, Sony is hurting the chances of the PS3.
          • No question. But it's got a way better chance to help Sony than that the HD-DVD drive add-on for 360 will help microsoft. Which is actually what I said.
            • it's got a way better chance to help Sony than that the HD-DVD drive add-on for 360 will help microsoft.

              The 360 HD-DVD add-on also isn't HURTING Microsoft in any way, though. It's just commodity parts inside a custom case, so it's relatively cheap to manufacture and not a major production risk. And best of all, it's OPTIONAL. You don't hear anybody complaining that they would like an Xbox 360, but won't buy one because they don't want to pay for a hi-def movie player they have no interest in.
              • Seriously, how the fuck did microsoft get to have fanois like you? No one EVER said it was hurting them. Well, maybe someone did but I sure as fuck didn't. I said, and reiterated in the post that you replied to, that Bluray has a chance to help Sony. Period.

                Bluray might help Sony sell PS3. The chance of that goes up as the price goes down. It also might not help at all. If they don't suck up some more of the price or get the manufacturing cost down enough to drop the price it may continue to hurt the
            • "But it's got a way better chance to help Sony than that the HD-DVD drive add-on for 360 will help microsoft."

              Yes, you did say that. I wasn't disagreeing with that point. I'm sorry if it appeared I was. My point was that there is a larger risk for Sony with the route they've taken in regards to HD movies versus what MS has done. I think that considering the 1 year headstart MS has had and my belief that there is not a real big push for consumers to replace their DVDs yet (it'll come, just not too soon) an

        • Apparently you haven't seen the sales data. The 360 is outselling the PS3 2 to 1 in North America and the Wii is whopping them both with higher sales per month than the 360 and PS3 combined. The PS3 is NOT doing well.
      • I would have to agree that the greatest calculated success of the PS3 is the adoption of Blu-Ray by content providers and content makers like Disney and Blockbuster.
    • I live in a culture where occasional failure is seen as an opportunity to grow and become better

      Nevereverland?
    • Why do the Japanese seem to always throw the baby out with the bathwater?

      Well, he should be thankful they didn't have another Sony Exec offer to be his second [wikipedia.org].
  • by niceone ( 992278 ) * on Tuesday June 19, 2007 @02:47PM (#19568447) Journal
    So the first two kids turn out fine, there's problems with the delivery of the third and he's leaving!? Does that make him the Delinquent Dad of the PS?
  • Considering we already have an article anouncing that he would be stepping down today... did we really need another article now that he has stepped down?

    http://games.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/04/26/ 1726200 [slashdot.org]

    I really hate it when I see "news" and think it's old, because I read the "announcement of the announcement" a month or two earlier. /rant
  • Once I asked a Japanese developers what came to his mind when comparing Japan-based console (e.g. PS3, Wii, etc.) and US-based consoles (e.g. XBox 360):

    Bouncing tits.

    Yes, bouncing tits. He replied without blinking. "The former sold games with rocky tits while the latter sold games with bouncing tits [gametrailers.com]."

    Japan based consoles manufacturers care about the reaction of traditional Japanese parents so they tend to sell games with relatively 'clean' contents(even the external game developers are aware of th
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by dj_tla ( 1048764 )
      Is this post a joke? Maybe my sarcasm-radar is on the fritz, but if you're serious, you and that developer are off your respective rockers. Maybe different consoles have different standards for games they licence; I don't know, I've not developed for a console before. But to think that their different standards have something to do with the country they're based in is ludicrous. The forum thread you linked to discusses differences in Resident Evil 4 between various versions; one poster noted: You got it
  • Politics (Score:4, Interesting)

    by rlp ( 11898 ) on Tuesday June 19, 2007 @04:19PM (#19569937)
    My understanding is that there was no love lost between Kutaragi and Stringer. Kutaragi had expected to be made CEO, but instead the board picked an outsider. Problems with the PS3 gave Stringer an excuse to ease Kutaragi out.
  • didnt Kutaragi step down a few weeks ago? and slashdot already report on it?

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