The Fall Of Ken Kutaragi
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The Fall Of Ken Kutaragi: How The Father Of PlayStation Lost His Way
Ken Kutaragi is widely regarded as one of the most influential figures in the history of video games. He is the former chairman and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE), the video game division of Sony Corporation, and the current president and CEO of Cyber AI Entertainment. He is also known as \"The Father of the PlayStation\", as he oversaw the development of the original console and its successors and spinoffs, including the PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable and the PlayStation 3.
However, Kutaragi's legacy is not without controversy. He has been described by many as a visionary, but also as a moody, stubborn and extreme micromanager. He has been praised for his technical brilliance, but also criticized for his abrasive and arrogant attitude. He has been credited for revolutionizing the game industry, but also blamed for alienating his partners, colleagues and customers.
In this article, we will explore the rise and fall of Ken Kutaragi, from his humble beginnings as an engineer at Sony's digital research labs, to his triumphant launch of the PlayStation brand, to his eventual departure from Sony after the disappointing performance of the PlayStation 3.
The Rise Of Ken Kutaragi
Kutaragi was born in Tokyo, Japan in 1950. His parents owned a small printing plant in the city, where he developed his mechanical abilities and curiosity for electronics. He was a studious and high-level student, who enrolled in University of Electro-Communications and acquired an Electronics degree in the 1970s.
He joined Sony in their digital research labs in the mid-1970s, where he worked on many successful projects, including early liquid crystal displays (LCDs) and digital cameras. He quickly gained a reputation as an excellent problem solver and a forward-thinking engineer.
In 1989, he was watching his daughter play a Famicom (the Japanese version of Nintendo's NES) and realized the potential that existed within video games. At that time, Sony's executives had no interest in video games. Thus, when Nintendo expressed the need for a sound chip for its upcoming new 16-bit system (the Super Famicom or SNES), Kutaragi accepted the offer. Working in secret, he designed the chip, the SPC700. When Sony's executives found out, they were furious. Only with Sony CEO Norio Ohga's approval was Kutaragi able to complete the chip and keep his job.
This was the beginning of Kutaragi's involvement in video games. He continued to work with Nintendo on other projects, such as the Super FX chip that powered games like Star Fox and Yoshi's Island. He also started to develop his own vision for a game console that would use CD-ROMs instead of cartridges, which offered more storage space and lower production costs.
In 1991, he proposed a partnership with Nintendo to create a CD-ROM add-on for the SNES, called the PlayStation. However, due to contractual disputes and mistrust between the two companies, Nintendo abruptly announced that it would instead work with Philips on a similar project. This left Sony humiliated and enraged.
Kutaragi convinced Ohga to let him continue working on his own game console project, using the PlayStation name and technology. He formed a new division within Sony called Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE), which would be dedicated to developing and publishing games for the PlayStation. He also recruited many talented developers from Japan and abroad to create games for his new system.
In 1994, he launched the PlayStation in Japan, followed by North America and Europe in 1995. The system was an instant success, selling over 100 million units worldwide by 2005. It offered stunning 3D graphics, high-quality sound and a diverse library of games from various genres and styles. It also appealed to a wider audience than previous consoles, attracting older and more mature gamers with titles like Final Fantasy VII , Metal Gear Solid , Resident Evil , Gran Turismo , Tomb Raider , Tekken , Crash Bandicoot , Silent Hill , Wipeout , Parappa The Rapper , Castlevania: Symphony Of The Night , Twisted Metal , Spyro The Dragon , Tony Hawk's Pro Skater , Grand Theft Auto , etc.
Kutaragi had achieved his dream of creating a game console that would rival Nintendo and ec8f644aee