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Ken Kutaragi
Ken Kutaragi
(久夛良木 健, Kutaragi Ken, born August 2, 1950) is the former Chairman
Chairman
and Group CEO of Sony
Sony
Computer Entertainment (SCEI), the video game division of Sony
Sony
Corporation, and current president and CEO of Cyber AI Entertainment. He is known as "The Father of the PlayStation", and its successors and spinoffs, including the PlayStation
PlayStation
2, PlayStation
PlayStation
Portable, and the PlayStation
PlayStation
3. He had also designed the sound processor for the Super NES. With Sony, he designed the VLSI chip which works in conjunction with the PS1's RISC CPU to handle the graphics rendering. Kutaragi was closely watched by financial analysts who trace profiles of the losses and profits of the Sony
Sony
Corporation.

Contents

1 Early years 2 Career

2.1 Assessment by industry analysts 2.2 Seventh generation game consoles

3 References 4 External links

Early years[edit] Ken Kutaragi
Ken Kutaragi
was born in Tokyo, Japan. His parents, although not wealthy by Japanese standards, still managed to own their own business, a small printing plant in the city. As Kutaragi grew into childhood, they actively encouraged the young boy to explore his mechanical abilities in the plant, and he worked after school there. Aside from his duties in his parents' factory, Kutaragi was a studious, high-level student; he was often described as a "straight A student." Kutaragi always had the desire to "tinker", often taking apart toys as a child to see how they worked. This curiosity carried from childhood, leading him as a teenager to learn the intricacies of electronics. Eventually, in fact, his love of electronics led to him enrolling in University of Electro-Communications, where he acquired an Electronics degree. Immediately after graduation, Kutaragi began working for Sony
Sony
in their digital research labs. Although at the time it was considered a radical decision, Kutaragi felt that Sony
Sony
was on the "fast track". He quickly gained a reputation as an excellent problem solver and a forward thinking engineer, earning that reputation by working on many successful projects - including early liquid crystal displays (LCDs) and digital cameras. Career[edit] In the late 1980s, he was watching his daughter play a Famicom and realized the potential that existed within video games. At that particular time, Sony's executives had very little interest in video games. Thus, when Nintendo
Nintendo
expressed the need for a wave-table sound chip for its upcoming new 16-bit system, Kutaragi immediately accepted. Working in secret, he designed and built the chip, the SPC700. When they found out, Sony's executives were furious. Only with Sony
Sony
CEO Norio Ohga's help was Kutaragi able to push the project to completion and keep his job. Even while working with Nintendo, within Sony, gaming was still regarded as a fad and something looked down upon. Despite this hostile atmosphere to video games, Kutaragi managed to persuade Sony
Sony
to fund his research into the Super Famicom CD-ROM Adapter. These efforts resulted a device called the "Play Station", a console that would be compatible with both Super Famicom games and software released on a new format called the SuperDisc. Eventually, the partnership between Sony
Sony
and Nintendo
Nintendo
faltered due to licensing disagreements, but Kutaragi and Sony
Sony
continued to develop their own console. Kutaragi later recalled staying up all night working on the console design for several nights in a row "because our work was so interesting."[1] Despite being considered a risky gamble by other Sony
Sony
executives, Kutaragi once again had the support of Norio Ohga and several years later the company released the original PlayStation. The success of the PlayStation
PlayStation
led to him heading up the development of more consoles like the PlayStation
PlayStation
2, and its successor, the PlayStation
PlayStation
3. The commercial success of the PlayStation
PlayStation
franchise makes Sony Computer Entertainment the most profitable business division of Sony. Despite being an upstart in the console market against veterans Nintendo
Nintendo
and Sega, the first PlayStation
PlayStation
displaced them both to become the most popular console of that era. The PlayStation
PlayStation
2 extended Sony's lead in the following generation, at one point holding a 65% market share with 100 million units shipped.[2] Ken was recognized by many financial and technological publications for this success, most notably when he was named one of the 100 most influential people of 2004 in TIME magazine[3] and the "Gutenberg of Video Games". Since 1997, Kutaragi had been favoured to become the next Sony president. He enjoyed a close relationship with Sony
Sony
CEO Norio Ohga, who had backed Kutaragi on the Sound Chip and PlayStation
PlayStation
projects.[4] Ohga's successor Nobuyuki Idei
Nobuyuki Idei
promoted Kutaragi to Deputy Executive President, Sony-Global chief operating officer, and Vice- Chairman
Chairman
in 2003. On November 30, 2006, Kutaragi was replaced as President of Sony Computer Entertainment by Kaz Hirai, the President of SCE America. In addition to other management changes, Kutaragi was promoted to chairman of SCEI, and retained his position as chief executive officer of the group.[5] On April 26, 2007, it was announced that Kutaragi would retire and instead take up the role of Honorary Chairman. Taking over his position would be then SCEI president and CEO Kaz Hirai, who would eventually be promoted to president and CEO of Sony.[6][7][8][9] On June 29, 2011, following the reshuffling of management, Sony announced that on June 28, 2011, Kutaragi had stepped down as honorary chairman of SCEI. Kutaragi relinquished active management of the business he created and built in 2007, when he stepped down as executive Chairman
Chairman
and Group CEO of Sony
Sony
Computer Entertainment.[10] He has remained at Sony
Sony
as senior technology advisor. Ken Kutaragi
Ken Kutaragi
later became president and CEO of Cyber AI Entertainment, Inc. He also serves on the boards of Kadokawa Group Holdings, Inc., Nojima Corporation, and Rakuten, Inc. In 2009, he became a visiting professor of Ritsumeikan University.[11][12] Assessment by industry analysts[edit] Although Kutaragi's leadership of consumer electronics was not successful, analysts also suspect that outgoing Sony
Sony
CEO Nobuyuki Idei had set up Kutaragi to fail, given that both men had a cool working relationship. Idei assigned Kutaragi the tedious task of turning around the consumer division which had already been falling behind competitors such as Samsung
Samsung
in the LCD market.[4] Kutaragi's rival for the top position, Howard Stringer, was given the less difficult assignment of the content business and his success at Sony
Sony
BMG Music Entertainment resulted in his promotion. Sony
Sony
Computer Entertainment, which Kutaragi had been heading since its inception, had a weaker year in 2004 after several years of solid growth.[13] During that same year, Sony’s game sales fell to $7.5 billion from $8.2 billion, and its operating income slid to $650 million from $1 billion, losing $25 million in Q4 of 2004. This can be attributed partially to the over-saturation of the video game market and price wars which caused the PS2 to lose the top sales position for a time.[14] Seventh generation game consoles[edit] Kutaragi has labelled the Xbox 360
Xbox 360
as "just an Xbox 1.5" and stated that it was "only going after PlayStation
PlayStation
2".[15][16] However, SCE Executive Tetsuhiko Yasuda did not consider Microsoft
Microsoft
to be a competitor, and has said that they might consider working on games together.[17] In September 2006 Kutaragi admitted that the shortage of PlayStation
PlayStation
3 consoles to North America and Japan
Japan
as well as the postponing of the consoles debut in Europe put Sony's strength in hardware in decline.[18] References[edit]

^ "75 Power Players: Back at the Lab...". Next Generation. Imagine Media (11): 73. November 1995.  ^ "playstation 2 breaks record as the fastest computer entertainment platform to reach cumulative shipment of 100 million units" (PDF). Sony
Sony
Computer Entertainment. November 30, 2005. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 23, 2009. Retrieved September 23, 2006.  ^ "TIME 100: Most Influential People 2004". Time Magazine. April 26, 2004. Retrieved September 23, 2006.  ^ a b "Mr. Idei's Kurosawa Ending - The Rise of Howard Stringer
Howard Stringer
at Sony
Sony
is More Properly the Fall of Ken Kutaragi". PBS. March 10, 2005. Retrieved October 12, 2006.  ^ Sony
Sony
Computer Entertainment, Inc. (November 30, 2006). "SCE Announces New Management Team" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on December 6, 2006. Retrieved November 30, 2006.  ^ "Kutaragi to retire from executive role at Sony". gamesindustry.biz. April 26, 2007. Retrieved April 26, 2007.  ^ "Farewell Mr Playstation". mvcuk. April 26, 2007. Retrieved April 26, 2007.  ^ " PlayStation
PlayStation
creator Kutaragi resigns". CNET News.com. April 26, 2007. Retrieved July 23, 2007.  ^ "Farewell, Father". GamesIndustry.biz. April 27, 2007. Retrieved July 23, 2007.  ^ " PlayStation
PlayStation
'father' Ken Kutaragi
Ken Kutaragi
retires". Los Angeles Times. June 29, 2011. Retrieved June 29, 2011.  ^ "客員教授 - 教員紹介 - 経営管理研究科(経営大学院) - 立命館大学". Ritsumei.jp. Retrieved August 17, 2012.  ^ "ソニーの久多良木氏、立命館大の客員教授に : J-CASTニュース". J-cast.com. Retrieved August 17, 2012.  ^ " Sony
Sony
hit by drop in games sales". BBC. April 27, 2004. Retrieved September 23, 2006.  ^ "Xbox officially outsells PS2 in US". GameSpot. March 26, 2004. Retrieved September 23, 2006.  ^ " Xbox 360
Xbox 360
= Xbox 1.5? Kutaragi trashtalkin'!". Engadget. May 25, 2005. Retrieved September 23, 2006.  ^ "Broken Promises: A Closer Look at the PS3". GamePro.com. Archived from the original on June 19, 2006. Retrieved November 20, 2006.  ^ "" Sony
Sony
would consider working with "non-competitor" Microsoft"". Joystiq. February 25, 2006. Retrieved September 23, 2006.  ^ "Kutaragi: Sony
Sony
Hardware 'In Decline'". BetaNews. September 8, 2006. Retrieved September 23, 2006. 

External links[edit]

Wikiquote has quotations related to: Ken Kutaragi

Farewell, Father - Eurogamer's retrospective on Kutaragi's career.

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Consoles

Home consoles

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Models Main hardware

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3

Models Main hardware System software

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4

Main hardware System software

Handhelds

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Portable

System software

PlayStation
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System software

Miscellaneous

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TV

Games

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NA PAL JP

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Best-selling Physical Digital only Physical and digital 3D games PS Move games PS Now games

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Best-selling PSVR

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Other

PS Vita games

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PS Mobile games TurboGrafx-16 Classics NEOGEO Station Classics HD Instant Game Collection

NA PAL Asia Japan China

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Network

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Controllers

PlayStation
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Controller PlayStation
PlayStation
Mouse Analog Joystick Dual Analog DualShock Sixaxis PlayStation
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PlayStation
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VR

Kits

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WorldCat Identities VIAF: 68472666 LCCN: no00037753 ISNI: 0000 0000 3930 3974 SUDOC: 171512332 BNF: cb16668301c (data) BIB

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