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Sony's Ken Kutaragi To Step Down

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the no-more-easy-quotes dept.

Sony 81

Joystiq reports that Chairman and group CEO for Sony Computer Entertainment Ken Kutaragi is retiring as of June 19th. The Sony reshuffling of executives late last year left Mr. Kutaragi out of the PS3 nitty-gritty, and one could imagine led to his decision to leave the organization. From SCEI's official statement: "[Mr. Kutaragi] stated that, in the six months since the appointment of Kazuo Hirai as President in December, the new generation of management, led by Mr. Hirai, has continued to develop. With the March introduction of PS3 in Europe completing the successful launch of PS3 worldwide, Mr. Kutaragi has identified SCE's Annual Shareholders' meeting in June as the ideal timing to pass on the torch to the new generation of management. Mr. Kutaragi will now apply his extensive technological knowledge and leadership skills to take on new challenges beyond the world of PlayStation."

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Meaning? (1)

grenz (969305) | more than 7 years ago | (#18888365)

What's the true meaning though? Does this mean that Ken was pushed out because of some of the more famous gaffs that he and others made leading up to the launch of the PS3?

Re:Meaning? (1)

tuffy (10202) | more than 7 years ago | (#18888449)

It's safe to assume Sony didn't move Ken out of his Playstation boss role because he was performing it too well.

Re:Meaning? (1)

flitty (981864) | more than 7 years ago | (#18888997)

*hands bucket to guy standing next to him*
"Here, YOU start bailing water. I'll take my chance in the ocean."

Re:Meaning? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18889551)

It's a bit of a coincidence for him to leave just after the PS3 is confirmed as a total failure (full international release and still way behind the competitors). Clearly shows that inside Sony they're well aware they have a serious problem, and the hilarious press releases about the PS3 are a miserable attempt at damage control, and not simply corporate arrogance.

Yokoi? (2, Funny)

alexmogil (442209) | more than 7 years ago | (#18888385)

Is he going to get a Gunpei window seat, or is he going to have any real power?

Re:Yokoi? (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 7 years ago | (#18888557)

Consider their fortunes of late, he should be glad they're not making him commit sepuku.

Re:Yokoi? (1)

British (51765) | more than 7 years ago | (#18890731)

Consider their fortunes of late, he should be glad they're not making him commit sepuku.

I was envisioning an expensive Sony-brand proprietary Wikazashi(sp?), a blade shorter than a katana that is especially for suicide. That seems more appropriate.

Either that, or he'll be assigned to staring out of a window forever, or maybe that weird white cube-room we saw in the bizarre PS3 commercials.

Re:Yokoi? (1)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 7 years ago | (#18891025)

Even better: Ritual Wii-mote Seppuku. Only fair.

Re:Yokoi? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18891159)

The sword is called a Wakizashi [wikipedia.org] and it is not repeat not especially for suicide. If you can believe wikipedia the name literally translates as "to wear a sword at one's side" and not "to disembowel oneself to relieve population pressure."

Re:Yokoi? (1)

Masami Eiri (617825) | more than 7 years ago | (#18894087)

Wakizashi is the term. It was used typically as a shorter alternative/backup to the katana. When indoors, swinging space is limited, thus the need of a shorter blade.

Re:Yokoi? (1)

pragma_x (644215) | more than 7 years ago | (#18890949)

Sepuku? I think a lifetime supply of Sony laptop batteries ought to do the job eventually.

Re:Yokoi? (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 7 years ago | (#18899407)

The comparison to Gunpei Yokoi kinda implies that.

I think something should be missing... (4, Funny)

jojoba_oil (1071932) | more than 7 years ago | (#18888393)

With the March introduction of PS3 in Europe completing the successful launch of PS3 worldwide [emphasis mine]
What is that word doing in there?

Re:I think something should be missing... (1)

twistedsymphony (956982) | more than 7 years ago | (#18888433)

well it did actually launch didn't it...

I suppose it depends on your definition of success.

Re:I think something should be missing... (3, Funny)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 7 years ago | (#18890319)

well it did actually launch didn't it...

Yep, but so did the Challenger.

Re:I think something should be missing... (1)

MS-06FZ (832329) | more than 7 years ago | (#18891663)

well it did actually launch didn't it...

Yep, but so did the Challenger.

The Challenger launched the Playstation 3??

Re:I think something should be missing... (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 7 years ago | (#18894413)

No, what I meant was that both the PS3 and Challenger technically "launched," but were equally unsuccessful. See also: "Titanic."

Re:I think something should be missing... (2, Informative)

Alzheimers (467217) | more than 7 years ago | (#18889525)

Even if the ship sinks after being rolled down the pier, as long as it's *in* the water, technically it's a successful launch.

By that comparison, 3D0, the Sega CD, Atari Jaguar, and the Intellivision II all had successful launches.

Re: Long live the Vasa! (1)

trdrstv (986999) | more than 7 years ago | (#18902705)

Even if the ship sinks after being rolled down the pier, as long as it's *in* the water, technically it's a successful launch.

The Vasa! [www.abc.se]

Well, it's about time. (1)

Pluvius (734915) | more than 7 years ago | (#18888643)

Does anything more need to be said?

Rob

Too late (-1, Offtopic)

nuzak (959558) | more than 7 years ago | (#18888677)

I'm getting an xbox elite as soon as it's out. The only thing I'm going to miss is the fact that I won't be playing the next katamari with symmetrical sticks.

"His decision to leave the organization?" (4, Insightful)

Rimbo (139781) | more than 7 years ago | (#18888735)

Oh, I don't think he decided anything. This is how executives get pushed out while allowing them to save face.

Anyway, thanks to Ken, for one of the most entertaining business dramas I've seen since 3dfx.

Re:"His decision to leave the organization?" (5, Insightful)

darkrowan (976992) | more than 7 years ago | (#18888937)

Business language translations:

Leaves to spend more time with family - Flat out quit, had to be begged to give some kind of notice
Leaves to take on new challenges - "There's the door, don't let it hit you on the ass."

Mod parent up (1, Insightful)

bigred85 (1030936) | more than 7 years ago | (#18890295)

Wow. Just wow. If only I had mod points.

If I did, however, you'd probably get "Insightful" rather than mere "Funny".

Re:Mod parent up (1)

Amouth (879122) | more than 7 years ago | (#18892819)

that's because it is Insightful - there are some people out there (i don't know where but i am sure there are) that don't understand them.. we might be able to find this if sony every lets us look at the list of people that acutaly bought a PS3 and didn't ebay it..

Re:"His decision to leave the organization?" (3, Interesting)

Rimbo (139781) | more than 7 years ago | (#18893381)

Yeah, that's not "Funny," and it's not even "Insightful," it's "Informative."

This is a code phrase for "This guy did a really lousy job and we're finally happy to be rid of him."

If you follow college football at all, this kind of thing is normal. You learn that, for example, the administration making an official statement to the effect of "We stand behind Coach Winsnogames 100%" is pretty much a guarantee that the guy is either about to be fired, or will be if he doesn't win it all the next year. "I committed to this school because of their outstanding academic support" means that someone will take the tests for him. And "I committed to Texas A&M" means the athlete's only committed to that school until a real school offers him a scholarship.

I mean seriously... A&M's had what, 6 decommits already? :)

WTF (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18888857)

Heads continuing to roll at Sony (1)

Bamafan77 (565893) | more than 7 years ago | (#18888867)

The PS3 is an amazing machine technically, but it's too hard to develop games on it and unfortunately people still think of the PS3 as primarily a gaming machine, even though Ken and Sony execs would prefer they didn't. And bottom line is people aren't willing spend that much money for a gaming machine; especially one with games whose quality doesn't scale with the extra cost.

I guess Gabe Newell (head honcho at Valve) had it right all along [destructoid.com] .

Re:Heads continuing to roll at Sony (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18889221)

Kutaragi does have interesting visions for gaming and multimedia hardware, and for that reason I hope he can continue his job somewhere else.

I believe that the PS3s price issue (and the whole ousting of Kutaragi) is mainly due to the rest of Sony doing so poorly for many years. At some point the board decided that the profits of the Playstation division had to support the failing parts of the company. This had two important results: firstly Kutaragi was no longer free to do as he pleased which probably didn't go over too well, and second it was no longer possible to subsidize the hardware to the degree they may have wanted. I'm also fairly sure that the somewhat fateful decision to use Blu-Ray was made in order to prop up the consumer electronics and movie divisions and forced upon the Playstation division, possibly against the promise by the electronics division to support the Cell by using it in digital TVs, Blu-Ray and DVD players etc.

Re:Heads continuing to roll at Sony (1)

Southphillyman (1064260) | more than 7 years ago | (#18889535)

uh the PS2 sells more per month then Xbox360. I'm sure That was carrying the company more then PS3. Even at the PS3s "price point"* it was still losing over $100 per unit sold. * new keyword here

Re:Heads continuing to roll at Sony (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18891491)

No shit the PS2 outsold the PS3 while the PS3 was under development. No shit it will be outselling the PS3 for a good while yet. And Sony may be taking a $100 hit per console now, but if they could plow all the PS2 money into supporting the PS3 they could take a lot more. And if it weren't for the Blu-Ray they might not have had to.

Re:Heads continuing to roll at Sony (1)

Merusdraconis (730732) | more than 7 years ago | (#18893155)

What's scary is that they knew the strategy wouldn't work: they'd tried it before with the PSX, which was a PlayStation with media functionality. Consumers didn't take to it because they didn't want to spend a ton of money to get features they wouldn't use.

Re:Heads continuing to roll at Sony (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18906507)

On the other hand they knew the strategy could work. Early PS2 sales in Japan was largely driven by the fact that it also functioned as a DVD player.

My question is.... (4, Funny)

MBraynard (653724) | more than 7 years ago | (#18888987)

Will the video footage of him comitting ritual suicide be available on UMD?

Re:My question is.... (1)

bensch128 (563853) | more than 7 years ago | (#18899653)

I hope so. I'd love to see him try to do Seppuku with one of nitendo's wireless controllers.
It would be so poetic...

Cheers
Ben

RIIIIDGE RACER (4, Funny)

0kComputer (872064) | more than 7 years ago | (#18889035)

Someone must have hitten him in his weak point for MASSIVE DAMAGE!.

...Sorry, I had to do it.

Re:RIIIIDGE RACER (1)

DrEldarion (114072) | more than 7 years ago | (#18889105)

...Sorry, I had to do it.
No, no you really didn't.

Re:RIIIIDGE RACER (1)

LordVader717 (888547) | more than 7 years ago | (#18889259)

News just in

A visibly distressed Mr. Kutaragi was seen crawling from head offices clutching his crotch. Meanwhile, a victorious looking Mr. Hirai gave an applauded speech at the press statement, explaining how he had been inspired by a battle that took actually place in ancient Japan, and how his new strategies are based on japanese history.

Re:RIIIIDGE RACER (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#18889533)

You know, neither one of those gaffes were uttered by Kutaragi. "Riiiidge Racer!" was Kaz Harai's, and the "Massive Damage" thing was a representative of the company that makes Genji. (Who's name escapes me at the moment.) What Kutaragi actually said when he stepped down was, "Inside this body, is powerful and elegant system!"

The reporters weren't quite sure how to take it until he explained that he was working at Sony for far "too cheap". "Is it not nonsense to compare the charge for dinner at the company cafeteria with dinner at a fine restaurant? It's a question of what you can do with that Ken Kutaragi. If you can have an amazing experience, I believe price is not a problem."

At that point the media wrote him off as another Sony loon. Some guy was on hand to tell Kutaragi that he's going to, "beat you" and that "it's going going to hurt". When asked why, he responded, "because... I don't know!" At that point his buddy stepped in and said that he, "heard that [Ken Kutaragi's] graphics were awesome!"

Goodbye Krazy Ken... (1)

AbsoluteXyro (1048620) | more than 7 years ago | (#18889053)

Hello Krazy Kaz!!

This is not the first time Kaz has replaced Ken. Remember, remember, the 30th of November [wikipedia.org]

Is Microsoft gonna supply the boat for him to leav (1)

Southphillyman (1064260) | more than 7 years ago | (#18889299)

Good riddance to Korny Ken. The PS3 will survive no matter who is heading Sony. PS3 is bigger then a CEO. It is a movement among the people , guerillas in this console war.

Re:Is Microsoft gonna supply the boat for him to l (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18889465)

movement yes, but you're forgetting a word there.

Re:Is Microsoft gonna supply the boat for him to l (1)

Southphillyman (1064260) | more than 7 years ago | (#18889637)

Don't be a fanboy. The PS3 is $600 ($100000 ruprees in Europe), has limited games, and is losing "exclusives" every day ..........yet it still has sold over 3.5 million worldwide. It's a movement dude, admit it. This is a marathon not a sprint, the PS3 is basically at the lowest of lows right now and still selling better then the original xbox when it came out. Think about it.

Re:Is Microsoft gonna supply the boat for him to l (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18889991)

It may be selling better than the original xbox, but it's not competing against the original xbox.

It's competing against the Wii, and the xbox 360.

And I'm not sure Sony is prepared to pay, and support, a console system that is loosing money. Microsoft went into the games market knowing that the xbox was going to loose money the first few years - and was prepared, financially, for that outcome. I'm not so sure Sony is.

The next year will be interesting for the PS3. This is the first time that I can recall Sony being on the bottom of the holy console trinity (Microsoft/Sony/Nintendo). I wonder what they'll do in the long term to boost sales... perhaps release a scaled down version of the PS3 without blueray?

Re:Is Microsoft gonna supply the boat for him to l (3, Interesting)

Crymson4 (1018850) | more than 7 years ago | (#18890419)

I have a PS3, and as a game system, I think it sucks. Over 50% of the games currently out for the system are made by SEGA, and each and every one of them I hate.

In fact, I find it funny that the only highly rated games for the system are ports from successful PC games. The reviews are high, but they all say the same thing - "If you played this on PC, there's nothing new here." So why shell out $60 more for something I played 1-2 years ago?

I'll buy GT5, White Knight (if we see it here), FF XIII... that's about it. Those are all over 12 months away still, and I knew that when I bought the system.

In the meantime, I have it set up to run Linux, and it serves as a media PC for me.

All the PS3 needs is games, and it needs good ones, not the garbage freely flowing from SEGA studios.

Re:Is Microsoft gonna supply the boat for him to l (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18890679)

All consoles suck for the first year, why whould the PS3 be an exception? When the PS2 launched you had Ridge Racer 5, Tekken Tag Tournament and little else, but that turned out OK in the end.

Re:Is Microsoft gonna supply the boat for him to l (2, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18891439)

All consoles suck for the first year, why whould the PS3 be an exception? When the PS2 launched you had Ridge Racer 5, Tekken Tag Tournament and little else, but that turned out OK in the end.

There was less competition in the prior generation. Dreamcast was killed at least in part by Sony's fraudulent claims of performance. (Not only could the system actually not push as many triangles as they originally claimed, but it CERTAINLY couldn't push that many triangles in anything but a demo.) Gamecube was still just considered a "kiddie" system by the masses. Xbox was late to the table, and Microsoft was just trying to figure out how the console gaming market worked.

This time, Sony is up against a determined Microsoft, who was first to market in the generation, and a seriously damned strong Nintendo, which has single-handedly revolutionized gaming. I shit you not man, they are THE force in bringing gaming to the masses. The GBA SP was a big first step in that direction, being the first handheld game system that a) could comfortably fit in almost anyone's pocket and b) didn't look like a fisher-price toy.

In addition, this is Sony's second generation of alienating developers. The Playstation succeeded in large part because it was the easiest console on which you could get good results. N64 had no optical drive, so that took it out of the running for many publishers right there. Saturn was $100 more than the Playstation, and had two processors with no OS to help you use them or any other hardware, so it was the most difficult to utilize in its generation. Sony won that fight more or less by default. But the PS2 was the most complicated game console platform (from a programming standpoint) that had ever been released! The main CPU was made of two other 64 bit cores glued together with a 64 bit processor with some 128 bit instructions, the two cores behind the glue logic meanwhile being asymmetrical. But the PS3 is even harder to fully utilize than the PS2, with its eight total [usable] processors, not counting the graphics core.

Meanwhile, this is Microsoft's second generation of attracting developers with easy-to-use development tools, and Nintendo has never made a console that was especially complicated from an architectural standpoint - every system so far has had one CPU, one graphics chip (whether 2d or 3d) and so on. The systems are easy to develop games for and that is a huge selling point to the developers. And the only manufacturer not working to make work easier for developers is Sony.

The result of this is that the PS3 games cost more to make because of the added complexity. This will not only make them more expensive but piss off developers and bias them against projects on the PS3. They'll still support the platform if they're told to (and paid to) but I think we can expect the PS3 versions of non-exclusive titles to be the least impressive in many cases even though the PS3 has the most raw power, both because it's harder to utilize the hardware to the fullest, and because the developers will simply not want to work on it as much.

Re:Is Microsoft gonna supply the boat for him to l (1)

mgabrys_sf (951552) | more than 7 years ago | (#18893845)

Quick question - does anyone who walks into Best Buy give a shit how many empty words you type? Did they ever?

Fuck I hate games.slashdot.org. Fucking mind screaming waste of time.

Ya go in to read news, and it's more pissing in the wind circular logic bullshit.

Whoop - de - shit. Almost bad enough to make me go to Digg.

Re:Is Microsoft gonna supply the boat for him to l (1)

The13thSin (1092867) | more than 7 years ago | (#18893907)

[quote]This time, Sony is up against a determined Microsoft, who was first to market in the generation, and a seriously damned strong Nintendo, which has single-handedly revolutionized gaming. I shit you not man, they are THE force in bringing gaming to the masses. The GBA SP was a big first step in that direction, being the first handheld game system that a) could comfortably fit in almost anyone's pocket and b) didn't look like a fisher-price toy.[/quote]

Well I guess the GBA SP design is up for debate and I'd certainly follow if it's more about the games than the design, but come-on, the PSP look WAY better than the GBA SP (or DS for that matter). Also, I'd give Nintendo points for breaking up an entire new market, but the previous game market doesn't seem to have decided yet which platform to adopt. With XBOX360 & PS3 sales figures close to PS2 & XBOX sales a couple of years ago, and the WII selling like crazy to the new market segment, I'm not so sure who will win... And you shouldn't be either, as this "war" will probably be "decided" not until late 2008, at the earliest.

Further on, you mention the difficulty of programming for the PS3, and while I wholeheartedly agree, this is not as big an issue as it might seem. The same was true for the PS2, and although the XBOX has been around for some time now, the PS2 is still vastly outselling them. All it takes is some time for the studio's to get used to the new system, and the user decides in the end... Oh and don't forget a lot of programmers still like a challenge, and favoring the most technological advanced system. Multi-Core processing is a requisite for any future game anyway.

In the end offcourse, the debate is quite useless. Consumers will decide, and no matter what, they won't be as easily predicted as many poll-businesses or other slashdot posters will have you believe. Guess we will just have to wait and see.

-Werner

Re:Is Microsoft gonna supply the boat for him to l (2, Interesting)

Leviance (1001065) | more than 7 years ago | (#18894485)

I'll just get branded fan-boy for this, but I don't think the PSP is any better looking than the SP or DS... Only difference is the PSP seems to have a slightly nicer screen and is black.

As far as the new consoles go.. I think I'll only be getting a Wii (when I can find one..) I can't stand the evil empire, and the PS3 is just.. well, too expensive. That leaves Nintendo.

Re:Is Microsoft gonna supply the boat for him to l (1)

The13thSin (1092867) | more than 7 years ago | (#18894997)

You fanboy! ;) Well to each his / her own I suppose. I do believe most people (that I know anyway, but I have to admit, I do live in a cave) think the PSP is prettier... Nonetheless, I'm sure you'll have tons of fun with your WII, just like I'm having with my PS3... and others with their XBox360... (Why again are we so hostile against eachother? Was there a memo I missed?)

Re:Is Microsoft gonna supply the boat for him to l (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18898745)

(Why again are we so hostile against eachother? Was there a memo I missed?)
Your memo, sir! [gamersmark.com]

Re:Is Microsoft gonna supply the boat for him to l (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18896865)

The DS Lite looks nicer than the PSP, but only as long as the lid is closed. There's something about the buttons, d-pad and small screen that just says "bleah".

Re:Is Microsoft gonna supply the boat for him to l (1)

Frostclaw (1006995) | more than 7 years ago | (#18898725)

I think the PSP is a great system -- wonderful visuals, nice look and feel to the system overall (although I don't know what they were thinking with the speakers). Having said that though, I've been really shocked by the complete lack of decent RPGs for it. I figured a Sony system would be chock full of great RPGs like the PS2 was. Instead, there have been only a few decent RPGs and nothing that's really stood out for me. The DS, on the other hand, has had many great RPGs released for it. Plus there's the huge library of Advance games to use as well.

Re:Is Microsoft gonna supply the boat for him to l (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18898785)

The DS, on the other hand, has had many great RPGs released for it.
No it hasn't. There's plenty of JRPGs but they're all shit. (And many of them are just ports of older games.)

Re: DS Lite FTW. (1)

trdrstv (986999) | more than 7 years ago | (#18899821)

I'll just get branded fan-boy for this, but I don't think the PSP is any better looking than the SP or DS... Only difference is the PSP seems to have a slightly nicer screen and is black.

Actually, I agree. If the PSP is 'teh Sexy'... then apparently it just isn't my type. I like the sleek industrial design of the DS Lite over the PSP, and even taking the games out of consideration (which we know is the reason to buy one in the first place) I simply think the DS Lite is a much better design.

The GBA SP won me over for having (drumroll please) a clamshell design. Despite having an inferior D-Pad to the original GBA, My screen wouldn't get scratched up, and worn out (I replaced a few screen covers). So I went to an SP. Then upgraded to the DS (Phat), although like the PSP, or my original B&W Gameboy it was large, and didn't fit into many of my pockets. It was simply less portable. Now the DS Lite hits all points for me, with a clamshell design great D-Pad, and small enough to fit in (just about) all my pockets for travel.

Re:Is Microsoft gonna supply the boat for him to l (0, Troll)

CK2004PA (827615) | more than 7 years ago | (#18898777)

Wow so much Sony fanbo-ism here where to start ?

[quote]although the XBOX has been around for some time now, the PS2 is still vastly outselling them. [/quote]

Dude, Xbox1 was taking off the market, like 1.5 years ago. The PS2 better outsell it! And if you are refrring to the X360 ? check your sales figures again. The PS2 may have more "numbers" for a $129 item, but at $399 the 360 is right there with it (within a few % points) and still #1 next gen gaming console.

Lets talk about what developers care about. Games sold and install base. 5.7 games per 360. Under 2 for PS3Cast (same as PS2, they are bought by casual developers and don't have many million+ titles, the 360 has a dozen or so now? This early? Yes.)

Have fun running Folding@Home 1.3 this X-mas.

Re:Is Microsoft gonna supply the boat for him to l (1)

The13thSin (1092867) | more than 7 years ago | (#18911679)

Ah, did I step on somebody's toe? Although I have no respect for people calling others fanboys, you seem to try to make a valid point as well, so I'll reply just this once. "Xbox1 was taking of the market like 1.5 years ago" -> that's why I said a couple of years ago. "5.7 games per 360. Under 2 for PS3" Allthough I wonder if these numbers are correct (could be), you do realize that the 360 has been on the market a full year before the PS3 right? The PS3 would be doing extremely well if it had allready surpased the 360 in that front. "Have fun running Folding@Home 1.3 this X-mas." Hehe, yes I will... still you don't seem to grasp that the console "war" hasn't been decided at all yet... That was the point of my post and I'm not saying the PS3 will win, but come on... it has only just begun. Now can we all please stop this stupid argument and enjoy our PS3's / Xbox360's / WII's?

Re:Is Microsoft gonna supply the boat for him to l (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18900341)

Well I guess the GBA SP design is up for debate and I'd certainly follow if it's more about the games than the design, but come-on, the PSP look WAY better than the GBA SP (or DS for that matter).

I'm not saying the PSP doesn't look good. I'm saying it looks like a toy. So does the DS, but not the DS lite. The DS lite and the GBA SP look like they could be travel alarm clocks or something, except for the much better fit and finish than you usually find those sorts of things with. They look like just another piece of consumer kit. Whereas the PSP looks distinctly like a game system. There's nothing inherently wrong with that except that it's simply less acceptable to carry around with you and that will necessarily make it less popular among people who care about such things.

Re:Is Microsoft gonna supply the boat for him to l (1)

king-manic (409855) | more than 7 years ago | (#18894603)

There was less competition in the prior generation. Dreamcast was killed at least in part by Sony's fraudulent claims of performance. (Not only could the system actually not push as many triangles as they originally claimed, but it CERTAINLY couldn't push that many triangles in anything but a demo.)

I think you over state the case. The PS2 can indeed push a lot more poly's then the DC but they are of a somewhat lower quality. You'll see in games like FFXII that it is indeed a decent machine. Compare it to any crop of DC titles and you will notice a lot more poligonal objects. The DC would not be able to do the same amounts of detail. As for the DC, it was killed by extremely poor management by sega. Even if no one care about the PS2 the DC would have died anyways. Sega burned too mana US/CA fans bu it's quick push to 32 bits via the 32 x and saturn. The low game count and high cost basically burned the majority of their fanbase. The moderate Sega fan boys jumped ship, only the die hard stayed on.

Re:Is Microsoft gonna supply the boat for him to l (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18896673)

Ease of development is irrelevant, publishers will release games on the hardware where they can make the most money and developers will adapt accordingly. The blame for the Dreamcast's demise lies with Sega alone as they basically pissed away all their money instead of promoting their games.

As a minor point the PS3 is actually easier to develop for than the PS2. Not only are the SPUs architecturally saner than the VUs, the tools are also better. I guess that's one of the benefits of having IBM on board.

Re:Is Microsoft gonna supply the boat for him to l (1)

Crymson4 (1018850) | more than 7 years ago | (#18891455)

The PS3 isn't an exception. People are really hot to call it a failure though... and while I think the machine is great, with the games available right now, it most certainly is not a game console in my eyes.

Re:Is Microsoft gonna supply the boat for him to l (1)

triffid_98 (899609) | more than 7 years ago | (#18891303)

I think someone at SEGA understands Schadenfreude [wikipedia.org] . If it wasn't for Sony they'd still be in the hardware business.

Of course this comment parallels both the Xbox and 3DO though in both cases some of their best exclusives were also ported to the PC (Gex,Halo,etc).

I have a PS3, and as a game system, I think it sucks. Over 50% of the games currently out for the system are made by SEGA, and each and every one of them I hate. In fact, I find it funny that the only highly rated games for the system are ports from successful PC games. The reviews are high, but they all say the same thing - "If you played this on PC, there's nothing new here." So why shell out $60 more for something I played 1-2 years ago?

Re:Is Microsoft gonna supply the boat for him to l (1)

Crymson4 (1018850) | more than 7 years ago | (#18891511)

The thing is, the games were ported *TO* the PC, not *FROM* the PC. I agree that the system is difficult to program for, and it's a shame they are losing their exclusives. IMO those are where the games and hardware could shine. Rather than program for the lowest common denominator, they could focus all their energy on getting the most out of the awkward APIs and doing something great on the PS3. What it boils down to is this - until a truly next gen exclusive comes out (see my previous post for the ones I'm waiting for) the PS3 really doesn't have a gaming leg to stand on. It'll just be a pretty black box capable of running Linux for geeky people like me.

Re:Is Microsoft gonna supply the boat for him to l (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18891825)

*shipped*, not sold. Considering how silent Sony was when Nintendo announced numbers, that speaks volumes.

GTA4 (1)

mgabrys_sf (951552) | more than 7 years ago | (#18889607)

This could be a stretch, but at the moment GTA4 seems to be the next killer app that will move it into the public's hands - regardless of cost. The first inkling I had that GTA wasn't just another series was hearing an audience respond - loudly - during the Daily Show back in 2001 during a segment they showed. The sales of couse spoke for themselves. Now - if - and we're talking a big if, IF the Sony PS3 version is appreciably better looking than the Xbox360 version - then I don't see why people wouldn't step up to the plate to get the most capable GTA platform available much in the same way gamers shop for PC's. The high-end wins out in those instances so I'm waiting till the fall before I give any arguments credit.

The last pop-culture artifact that made my ears perk up, was the Mayor of NYC making a sound-bite over a GTA4 DEMO. Think historically. Has this EVER happened before? A fucking DEMO?

I'm addicted - really addicted - to the series so your millage may vary on this post, but the sales numbers were astounding for this franchise so with a wildcard like this, who knows.

Re:GTA4 (1)

Applekid (993327) | more than 7 years ago | (#18890693)

Hmm... I don't know. The PC versions of GTA always looked better but I never heard of them outselling console versions.

Re:GTA4 (1)

mgabrys_sf (951552) | more than 7 years ago | (#18891077)

Well, there could also be branding carry-over - people say "GTA" in the same breath they say "Playstation". That REALLY sounds like a stretch - but Hilary Clinton and others keep saying the two together as well so you have that out there in the public. I think the fact there hasn't been a new GTA game (apart from the "stories") in 3 years and a new engine in 6 years, is going to have some kind-of traction. And since I don't expect massive changes in the gameplay - it's going to be the grapics that sell. IF Sony was smart, they'd be damn sure there's a bit of visible difference between the two versions.

In a perfect world, you'd hope the engine Rockstar North use scales for however much firepower is behind it - in which case this wouldn't be so speculative.

Still the demo looks great. It'll be a nice boost for Sony and Microsoft regardless if the damn company doesn't go tits-up before it's released.

Re:GTA4 (1, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18891271)

Now - if - and we're talking a big if, IF the Sony PS3 version is appreciably better looking than the Xbox360 version - then I don't see why people wouldn't step up to the plate to get the most capable GTA platform available much in the same way gamers shop for PC's.

Because it won't change the gameplay? It won't look dramatically better, which is what it would really take.

There are few games that have the power to draw people to a console even when they are exclusives if that console doesn't have a life of its own. Nothing you say about the PS2 applies to the PS3 because the PS2 had a shitload of games and a shitload of exclusives.

Basically Sony's only hope now is Gran Turismo. And I frankly don't think that will bring people in. I paid $300 for a PS2/GT3 bundle and I felt that was a lot of money for one game. It was worth it because at the time, Gran Turismo had no credible competition. That is no longer true, so I maintain that the PS3 is basically over already.

The one thing I think that Sony could do to turn this thing around, besides come up with some killer exclusives (which is NOT going to happen unless they develop them as first party titles) would be to completely open the PS3. Give us full access to the graphics hardware in Linux. I still wouldn't buy one, but a lot of people who haven't decided to boycott Sony and even some that have would start buying them and stop badmouthing them so much, increasing the installed base and attracting developers.

But since it's not going to happen, it's quite irrelevant.

I don't take Sony's fears that letting other people develop full-featured games will destroy the licensed game market seriously, because the claim is that games cost a shitload to make on the PS3. On the other hand, it very well might destroy the simple game market (puzzle games and such) and I honestly don't think Sony can take that risk if only because they need to avoid further alienating game developers.

If Sony wants to stay in the gaming business, their next console is going to have to be a fuck of a lot easier to program.

Re:GTA4 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18901569)

then I don't see why people wouldn't step up to the plate to get the most capable GTA platform available much in the same way gamers shop for PC's

What, exactly, about a pile of 600 $1 bills makes it hard to see?

A PS3 is not a PC. A PS3 will never be, nor replace, nor occupy the same niche as the PC. Like it or not, the PS3 is video game console. Thats it. Thats all it will ever be. It will NEVER be worth $600.

Re:GTA4 (1)

mgabrys_sf (951552) | more than 7 years ago | (#18904557)

What the fuck does that have to do with GTA being one of the most - if not THE most - popular platform games out there? You're a fucking moron.

Shareholders (4, Insightful)

duerra (684053) | more than 7 years ago | (#18889887)

Sounds to me he picked the shareholders meeting to announce his retirement so that the shareholders don't have to announce it for him.

aka. poisoning the water supply. (1)

Applekid (993327) | more than 7 years ago | (#18890619)

Mr. Kutaragi will now apply his extensive technological knowledge and leadership skills to one of our competitors so, hopefully, they can fail even beyond the world of PlayStation.

That's me birthday! (1)

7Prime (871679) | more than 7 years ago | (#18891505)

Happy happy early birthday present to me!

Japanese (1)

SuchiRu (675808) | more than 7 years ago | (#18894019)

This is where Western people REALLY don't understand Japanese business practices. Kutaragi failed BIG TIME, and when you do that in Japanese business it is considered "honorable" to step down. This is not weird to Japanese. Just unsaid rules of the system. Kind of like a code. Think of "parle" in Pirates. Kinda like that.

*Also, I have some credability being a Japanese studies major, but only a little.*

Gunpei Koto (3, Interesting)

reybrujo (177253) | more than 7 years ago | (#18895149)

After reading Michael Pachter's take on this [gamedaily.com] ,

[The move] probably [had] more to do with software and the PSP than with the PS3
I immediately thought about Gunpei Yokoi [wikipedia.org] , who fell in disgrace after developing the Virtual Boy. The portable market is tough.

Good News from Sony! (1)

Soiden (1029534) | more than 7 years ago | (#18896295)

Finally, some good news from Sony! :D

Ken's a scapegoat (3, Insightful)

BenJeremy (181303) | more than 7 years ago | (#18898317)

Say what youy want about his gaffs with the PS3, but keep in mind that the primary factor that ruined the PS3 was the insistence that it include a Blu-Ray drive, most likely driven from the Media-oriented Mr. Stringer. Kutaragi was forced to support a product that was flawed because its development was driven (and delayed) by motivations that had nothing to do with gamers, and everything to do with promoting a new DRM scheme.

Remove the 6 month delay necessitated by adding the Blu-Ray drive, as well as the expense, and the obvious maneuver to push Blu-Ray into homes using fanboys and loyal customers, and it's an entirely different story... Sony still has a problem with the gaming experience, and the whole fiasco over feedback controllers, but those become minor issues. In making DRM so central to the PS3's strategy (or should I say, making the PS3 central to Sony's invasive DRM strategy) after Sony's horrible anti-consumer behavior primarily in its media divisions has made many of its loyal customers angry and resolute in not supporting the company. It's made them consciously avoid all things "Sony" - from CDs that may install rootkits that open security holes on your PCs, to movies that take extreme measures to eliminate fair use of customers to back up their own movies (while pirates release those same movies on the net days or even weeks before they are released for retail). Until Blu-Ray is added to the mix, one can simply argue that the PS3 is an island in the sea of things wrong with Sony as a corporate citizen; with Blu-Ray, however, the PS3 becomes yet another pawn - a cynical move in an agenda to control consumers' rights and increase control in media markets.

So, here we are, months after the PS3's dismal launch, and we all can agree, game quality issue aside, the PS3 would have sold much better without the Blu-Ray drive inflating the price. All of Ken's crazy words would have merely been a sidenote in a frenzied battle of consoles. It's launch would have occurred 6 months BEFORE the Wii, striking quicker and likely deeper into the market that the Wii got exposure to on equal terms with last holiday season. Can you blame Kutaragi for it all? Would he have agreed to include the Blu-Ray drive if he had not gotten incredible pressure from higher up?

It's no coincidence that Sony's leaders are media people - their media division makes money by the tankerful. What nobody seems to grasp is that those profits are not thanks to those same executives that wield so much political power within Sony's corporate arena.... media sells these days, even crap media. The world is hungry for movies and music - I suppose you could say they at least didn't make so many boneheaded moves that they dragged the company down, but even that's not entirely true - yet they hold the power, and likely forced Blu-Ray upon the PS3.

Ah well... they sweep Ken out the door and play it up as a "shake up" between the lines, it looks like SCE is making moves to improve the PS3 situation, but in reality, it does nothing to solve the underlying problem of a system tied down with a 50-ton boat anchor. It will satisfy the stockholders, many of whome have no idea when it comes to gaming consoles, only that that division has lost money for the last 5 years and is losing money at a rapid pace (even though others might realize it's a strategy to lose money on every PS3 sold).

So basically the GBA just killed Kutaragi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18898403)

So basically the GBA just killed Kutaragi [neogaf.com] ?

Seriously, seeing Ken being japan-fired twice in two years is just too much, it's the best console-on-human slaying since the Virtual Boy offed Gunpei Yokoi.

Give respect where its due... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18899879)

Love him or hate him the man was a pioneer and will be treated as such by history. Just think what the gaming industry was before the playstation...NES, SNES...without the playstation putting up some real competition we'd probably be playing Mario 128 right now. I dare say that if the playstation had not proven that games were more than a fad or a hobby of a few hundred thousand nerds MS and the Xbox would have never entered the fray and given us gamers even more options.

The Playstation revolutionized gaming and brought it into the mainstream, that was largely because of this man. So give the guy credit, without him IMO gaming as we know it would not be nearly what it is now

Note To J. Allard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18900753)

Dear Mr. Allard, I demand to know what, exactly, you're gonna do now?

In January, Allard and the rest of the Xbox senior executives gathered to write brief statements on what motivates them to come to work every morning. The mission: to inspire the group's rank and file. "Most people put down flowery, make-the-world-a-better-place, Miss America types of things," Allard says. "I wrote: What gets me out of bed and into the office every day is the thought of Ken Kutaragi's resignation letter, framed, hanging next to my desk."
I have a thought on a new purpose: how about getting Blizzard to do World of Diablocraft on Xbox live, so I can get the rest of my friends to finally buy the damn 360? Get to it!

Original article. [wired.com]

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