Widely recognized as the Father of The Playstation, Ken Kutaragi was the acting Chairman and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment from 2003 until his retirement in 2007
Born on August 8, 1950 in Tokyo, his parents, although not wealthy by Japanese standards, managed to own their own business and ran a small printing plant. Kutaragi always had a desire to take apart his toys as a child to see how they worked. Working at his parents' plant, this curiosity stayed with Kutaragi and as a teen learned the intricacies of electronics. This natural curiosity and desire to see how things worked lead Kutaragi to fall in love with electronics and eventually earned a degree in Electronics from Denki Tsushin University.
Right after achieving his degree, Kutaragi began working for Sony as a part of Sony's digital research labs. Working on many successful projects - including early liquid crystal displays and digital cameras - Kutaragi quickly earned himself the reputation of being an excellent problem solver and forward thinking engineer. He became close friends with Norio Ohga, Sony's then CEO.
In the late 1980's Kutaragi realized the exciting potential in video games while watching his daughter playing the Famicom. Ironically, the father of the playstation began working in secret with Nintendo when they needed a wave table sound chip for Nintendo's upcoming new 16-bit system as Sony expressed little interest in the video game industry at the time. As you would expect, Sony executives were furious when they learned Kutaragi was working in secret with Nintendo, it was through Norio Ohga that Kutaragi was able to keep his job at Sony and still complete the project he started with Nintendo, the SPC700.
Kutaragi managed to persuade Sony, again with the help of Sony CEO Norio Ohaga, to fund his next project, The Super NES CD, despite opposition and at a time when video games were regarded as a fad. The Super NES CD would eventually become the Playstation. Facing strong competition from console market veterans, Nintendo and Sega, the Playstation would eventually go on to displace them both and become the most popular console of that era. Kutaragi's success with the Playstation earned him the go ahead from Sony to start and head the development of the Playstation 2, the most successful video game console in history and Sony's latest in the Playstation brand, the Playstation 3.
Thanks to the success of the Playstation, Norio Ohga's successor, Nobuyuki Idei, promoted Kutaragi to Deputy Executive President, Sony-Global Chief Operating Office, and Vice-Chairman in 2003.
In 2005, a management shuffle within Sony saw Kutaragi demoted from the Board of Directors and was replaced as head of consumer electronics. Kutaragi remained President of Sony Computer Entertainment gaming division until his successor Sony Computer Entertainment America President Kazuo Hirai took over his role on November 30, 2006 and Kutaragi was promoted to chairman of Sony Computer Entertainment Incorporated. Kutargi announced his retirement on April 26, 2007 and took the role of Honorary Chairman.
- “The PS3 is not a game machine “
- "Beating us for a short moment is like accidentally winning a point from a Shihan (Karate master), and Microsoft is still not a black belt. Just like with their operating systems, they might come out with something good around the third generation of their release.”
- “I believe we made the most beautiful thing in the world. Nobody would criticize a renowned architect’s blueprint that the position of a gate is wrong. It’s the same as that.”
- "This time, Microsoft has stated clearly that it is going after PlayStation. However, they're going not after the PlayStation 3, but the PlayStation 2. They were looking at 2, and that's why Xbox 360 became like that."
- “With the PS3, our intentions have been to create a machine with supercomputer calculation capabilities for home entertainment.”
- " for consumers to think to themselves ‘I will work more hours to buy one’. We want people to feel that they want it, irrespective of anything else.”
- “Microsoft is trailing behind us, but they are not a threat. They are good at improving [on products], but we will be advancing to the next level with revolutionary technology.”
- “We’re not going to equip the PS3 with a HDD by default, because no matter how much capacity we put in it, it won’t be enough.”
- "You can communicate to a new cybercity. Did you see the movie The Matrix? Same interface. Same concept. Starting from next year, you can jack into The Matrix!" Speaking About the PS2