Ken Kutaragi, the "Father of the PlayStation," has announced his forthcoming retirement from Sony Corporation.
Inspired by Nintendo's forays into the home gaming market, Kutaragi first worked with them in the development of a sound chip for their Super Nintendo console, and then went on to challenge their console dominance by inventing the original PlayStation in 1994. Six years later, he followed that success with the PlayStation 2, which cemented Sony's position at the top of the game console food chain.
Although stepping down from his executive position, he will continue to hold the title of Honorary Chairman at Sony Computer Entertainment Inc., and will serve as senior technology advisor to Sony CEO Howard Stringer.
In a statement, Stringer said, "Ken Kutaragi is a rare combination of a powerful visionary and entrepreneur in one figure. Not only has he created a multi-billion dollar business for the Sony Group, he has brought the industry into a new dimension. Sony has benefited tremendously from his vision, his creative genius, and from the very strong team he assembled and nurtured. As Ken moves forward to pursue new opportunities, we will encourage and support him."
Commenting on his retirement, Kutaragi said, "It has been an exciting experience to change the world of computer entertainment by marrying cutting-edge technologies with creative minds from all over the world. I'm looking forward to building on this vision in my next endeavor."
While Sony's PlayStation 3 console hasn't performed up to expectations, the PlayStation and PlayStation 2 consoles were the dominant platforms of their day, and the PlayStation 2 continues to sell well. According to Sony, the PlayStation and PlayStation 2 have a combined user base of over 200 million, and over 2 billion units of software for them have been shipped.