Playstation Creator Steps Down From Sony

from the falling-on-the-sword dept

Since he was appointed as the head of Sony two years ago, Howard Stringer has been trying to turn the company around. It's been a struggle, both as the company deals with a number of quality problems, but also as it's pushed new products and technologies on consumers with little success. Some of them, like Blu-ray DVDs, are simply overpriced and unappealing, while others are so burdened with DRM that they're largely useless. The Playstation 3 was supposed to be a big part of the company's turnaround, but it was delayed as Sony waited for the Blu-ray drive to be ready -- and then the cost of the drive helped contribute to the reported $300 per-unit loss Sony takes on each PS3. Perhaps the only saving grace there is that PS3 sales haven't been too high, holding down the losses. It's not too surprising, then, to see the head of Sony's video game unit, Ken Kutaragi, announce he's stepping down. Kutaragi created the Playstation and led the unit during the launch and lifespan of the PS2 -- Sony's last significant, large-scale hit product -- but couldn't repeat the trick with the PS3. It's also worth noting that Kutaragi was about the only Sony exec to admit that the company's love affair with DRM was holding it back. Kutaragi had been replaced as president (but not chairman and CEO) of the unit last November by Kaz Hirai, who will take over his other roles as well. It's hard to see this shift leading to any substantial changes, when it's becoming increasingly clear that's what's needed at Sony.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Geoffrey Kidd (profile), Apr 26th, 2007 @ 11:29am

    What's needed at Sony?

    Prison terms for the executives whose rootkit scheme permanently blackened Sony's reputation. That and a Chapter 11 enema.

     

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  2.  
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    Neo, Apr 26th, 2007 @ 11:38am

    The PS3 has only been out 5 months in what has usually been a 5 year race. Isn't it a little early to write it off?

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 26th, 2007 @ 11:50am

    Yes. M$ at play

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 26th, 2007 @ 11:52am

    Re:

    What does M$ have to do with anything here?

     

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  5.  
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    Buzz, Apr 26th, 2007 @ 11:55am

    Figures...

    Sony tried to live too far into the future. Of course I support innovation and love using futuristic technology, but it comes with a cost. Sony leaped so far ahead that no one could afford it. $600 for a game console? Screw that! Sony loses $300 with each console. The place I work at has more than 20 in stock. Meanwhile, Nintendo remains sold out on a present-day console (in terms of graphics/capabilities) that it actually profits on. Microsoft managed to find a safe balance with its XBox. Despite losing money on each console, the deficit was overcome through excellent game/accessory sales.

     

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  6.  
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    Sanguine Dream, Apr 26th, 2007 @ 12:00pm

    It didn't take the early lead...

    and in the corporate world the mentality is that whoever takes the early lead will win the race. While I agree with Neo in that it's too soon to write off the PS3 the mentality of the corporate world (that Sony is a part of) is resposible for that line of logic.

     

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  7.  
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    Charles Griswold, Apr 26th, 2007 @ 12:10pm

    Re: Re:

    What does M$ have to do with anything here?

    Good grief, man, didn't you know that Microsoft is to blame? They're to blame for everything because Bill Gates is the Antichrist.

     

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  8.  
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    Chronno S. Trigger, Apr 26th, 2007 @ 12:26pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    That's cool and all but the ASCII value of Bill Gates is Bill Gates. There are no numbers. The hex value of B is 42. I have no idea where they came up with 66. Besides the true number of the beast is actually 969. I watch way too much history channel.

     

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  9.  
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    Vincent Clement, Apr 26th, 2007 @ 12:45pm

    If there was ever a time for Sony to walk away from DRM and proprietary memory card formats it would be now. Stop worrying about customers making copies of songs, movies and games. Stop worrying about forcing customers to use the Memory Stick when SD memory cards suffice. Stop worrying and give the customers what they want.

     

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  10.  
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    ehrichweiss, Apr 26th, 2007 @ 12:59pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Number of the beast actually 969?!?!? Where'd THAT come from? I suspect it's the "dyslexic number of the Beast" in that joke page that was floating around in the 90's.

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 26th, 2007 @ 1:10pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    no, its true. 666 was a mis-translation by some accounts.

    Wikipedia: Mark of the Beast

    And even 616 (not 969) was nothing more than a not-very-stealthy reference to an enemy-of-the-church and nothing more.

     

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  12.  
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    Chronno S. Trigger, Apr 26th, 2007 @ 1:13pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    as I eluded to in the comment "I watch too much history channel" I saw it on a show on the history channel. It was a show on the second coming and how the anti-christ would appear and how the world would turn to hell. In that show they pointed out a few misconceptions about the bible, to point out why doomsday predictions have all been wrong in the past. the number 666 was one of them.

     

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  13.  
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    Perturbed, Apr 26th, 2007 @ 1:18pm

    Re: Figures...

    "Despite losing money on each console, the deficit was overcome through excellent game/accessory sales."

    Haha! What a joke this is the funniest thing I have heard all month! XBox is worst when it comes to games and accesories. XBox can't even make up it's mind on what they want to include in the 360, screwing past customers by releasing a "PS3-clone" unit recently. Who wants to be who now? And 200.00 for a HD-DVD addon? Are you serious? And why in the world would I want to pay just to have ACCESS to on-line content. I am not a Fanboi of any of the systems. My favorite is probably the PS3, and I love the novelty of the Wii. Which the lack of availability is a marketing/sales scheme I think. The only thing that I think the Xbox or the 360 has going for it, is the SPorts titles. They do and most likely always lead the pack on them. But none of the current console manufactures are doing any justice for thier industry. But I tell you what, let's revisit this topic in 12 months and see how it all shapes up. My guess is that Sony will be back on top, with Xbox scratching it's collective heads to fiqure out how they screwed up again, when they clearly had a chance to overwhelm the masses. And Nintendo will still be pumping out systems left and right. Like the Wii2 or WiiBoy.

    But to call the PS3 a dead system after only 5 months of release is very very unrealistic.

    Flame ON!

     

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  14.  
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    MrCrispy, Apr 26th, 2007 @ 1:18pm

    lmao

    Once again Nintendo reigns supreme! I have never liked any piece of Sony hardware I have ever owned. Here is a listing of every problem I have had with Sony.

    -I owned a portable MD player back in 01 and after a month the screws started randomly falling out of it!
    -My home MD player needed to be serviced twice within the timeframe of one year.
    -My receiver stopped working after two years.
    -Half of the people I know with old ps2s are having problems with them.

    Sure, I guess a ps3 would be kind of nice, but I don't feel like taking out a second mortgage on my home to afford a ps3 with an extended warranty.

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 26th, 2007 @ 1:26pm

    Re: Re: Figures...

    But to call the PS3 a dead system after only 5 months of release is very very unrealistic.

    Hello, SONY called the PS3 dead (for now) when they canned katuragi for its massive failure.

    Flame ON!

    Yes, it's totally transparent from your lack of any knowledge of what you posted that you are jsut trying to start a flame war. Wrong site tho.

     

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  16.  
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    ehrichweiss, Apr 26th, 2007 @ 1:40pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    But didn't the original number come from the numerology of the Hebrews. AFAIK, it wasn't a stated number originally but rather something someone interpreted from a phrase that was, IIRC, "the wrath of god is a double edged sword" or somesuch. I could be wrong as the person who taught me this is not to be found.

    It's kinda like how we somehow turned "satan" into a proper noun when in reality it only ever meant "adversary" or "opposite" which is why, of course, the 'terrists' call the United States "The great satan".

     

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  17.  
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    Apennismightier, Apr 26th, 2007 @ 1:42pm

    Re: Re: Figures...

    Did you even read the article? Sony loses $300 per console, PLUS at first 1 of every 5 they made didn't work. The fact that Sony also pushed the release back several months didn't help either. The first generation of PS3s were also meant to come with 2 HDMI outputs and only feature 1. On top of all this, which isn't even mentioned, is the growing number of defective systems that have been released that either crapped out altogether or burst into flame.

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 26th, 2007 @ 1:45pm

    So if the PS3 is 'too' advanced for this era of game consoles then Sony has no worries when the next era iteration of the XBox or Nintendo's next console comes out. Because consumers will not need to purchase a new console, they already have a 'next-gen' console. Sony will prevail in the long run, we all know this to be true. We just don't want to accept it.

     

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  19.  
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    Apennismightier, Apr 26th, 2007 @ 1:45pm

    Re: lmao

    If you need to take a second mortgage out on your home to buy a PS3 with a warranty, then you probably can't even afford to pay the power needed to run it, Let alone buy any games to play. What do you live in a cardboard box? And if you were trying to make a joke, a bad one at that, try and be less dramatic about it. We get the point. It's expensive compared to every other console. But look at what most people pay for computers. At least 3 times the price of a PS3. There aren't any worthwhile titles out that even look like next gen right now for any system. It can wait to be bought.

     

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  20.  
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    David B, Apr 26th, 2007 @ 1:50pm

    Sony is catch between DRM and a hardware place!

    Most equipment providers sell equipment and most media companies sell "rights to use". By owning a media division Sony does both which in turns forces one division (hardware) to think in terms of DRM, for the benefit of their other division (media). Any time a large company tries to control one division for the overall good of the whole company, it usually stalls across the board. Look at IBM for example, they gave up their total lead in PC's as not to hurt their Mainframe and Midrange side of the business.

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 26th, 2007 @ 1:51pm

    Why do you need 2 HDMI ports? Watch simultaneously on two HDTVs? If you have 2 HDTVs in the same room you should not be complianing about the price at all.

    And as too the PS3's bursting into flames. The XBox has/had the same problems, so that point is completely moot.

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 26th, 2007 @ 1:56pm

    A Chicago man who bought the Xbox 360 is suing Microsoft, over the largely publicized glitch that causes the 360 to freeze up and overheat. The lawsuit states that because of Microsoft’s eagerness to release the product before their competitors they sacrificed product quality, for money. Other problems include crashing during the use of the XBox Live service, screens going black, and error messages.

    A comment from Microsoft:


    “We have received a few isolated reports of consoles not working as expected.”

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 26th, 2007 @ 1:58pm

    It seems like complaining about the Playstation 3 is yesterdays news. Nowadays, it’s the XBox 360 and the Nintendo Wii which seem to be getting all the attention. Today we have Kevin Ray, an XBox 360 owner who recently got upset after Microsoft told him that he needed to pay $140 for them to repair his console. However, the reason why the console became useless was because he did a firmware update that Microsoft issued.

    According to a copy of the complaint seen by Ars Technica, Kevin Ray was a happy Xbox 360 player until November 1 of this year, at which point he updated his console with the Fall 2006 Update. After installation, his system was unusable, and Microsoft has allegedly refused to repair it unless Ray pays them $140. The class action, filed in a Washington federal court, seeks more than $5 million in damages and free repair of all Xbox 360s damaged by the update.

    The worst thing about this lawsuit is that Microsoft has acknowledged this defect, yet, they still choose make the consumer pay for the “mistakes” they made themselves. Even though Sony’s products may not have the quality standards that they did a few years back, they have a much better attitude towards these types of problems as recently shown with their camera defects, which they repaired for free.

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 26th, 2007 @ 2:07pm

    Re:

    Why do you need 2 HDMI ports? Watch simultaneously on two HDTVs? If you have 2 HDTVs in the same room you should not be complianing about the price at all.

    Because HDMI has limited bandwidth, and there are monitors that have more pixels than a single HDMI channel can fill.

    No, these screens are not TVs, but the PS3 wasn't supposed to be limited to TV output.

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 26th, 2007 @ 2:11pm

    Woe is the Playstation

    Man. I've been a huge Playstation fan since it came out. I still have my original Playstation. It works. It was a tank just like the NES and Super NES.

    When the PS2 came out it was amazing! Backwards compatible (with faster load times on the PS1 games) so I could enjoy it right away, and then the games that came out were amazing. Many of the best games didn't even get much, if any publicity.

    Like with Nintendo, the games I keep going back to. I play most of them at least once or twice a year still. The PS3 promised to be just as amazing.

    Then it all went to Hell. If they had stuck by their original philosophy with the PS2, the PS3 would have been a strong competitor against the Wii (which is amazing if you don't own it, try to. One of the best consoles ever made hands down).

    Instead the delay it to add in their Blu-Ray, which sounded like a 'good idea' to the uninformed. Then you had Sony lying to their consumers about potential games (I think everyone creamed their pants when they say the Killzone 2 trailer, then were equally dissapointed when it wasn't the actual in game graphics; at least thats' what IGN reported so long ago).

    All of that made several developers jump ship. Most of the cool games aren't even coming out yet for the PS3. Sony's been blundering a lot latley, and I just have the feeling it's because someone talked them into it promising untold profits.

    I almost feel bad for them. I used to like them a lot, but now I'm starting to go to their competitors. I'm just glad Nintendo redeemed themselves, the Game Cube was a waste in my eyes.

     

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  26.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 26th, 2007 @ 2:28pm

    Re:

    Yep, because only Microsoft has had issues with consoles locking up.....grow up use your linux box and shut up.

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 26th, 2007 @ 2:31pm

    Re:

    "Today we have Kevin Ray..."
    Except that is a 5 or 6 month old story...

    Find another bridge...if you can understand...

     

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  28.  
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    yardape6, Apr 26th, 2007 @ 2:50pm

    Bill Gates is satan

    The values being used are the ascii values, not hex. Look up any ascii or unicode character map and you will see that the correct values are used.

     

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  29.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 26th, 2007 @ 3:21pm

    Re: Re: Figures...

    @13 -- I believe you misread my statement. What I meant was this: "... through excellent sales of the game/accessory-variety." The sales were excellent, not the quality of the devices. I don't know one way or the other whether Microsoft put out good products, but I do know they eventually did make money.

     

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  30.  
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    Buzz, Apr 26th, 2007 @ 6:33pm

    ARGH

    And, I forgot my name on that one. #29 is mine. XD

     

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  31.  
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    Is this important, Apr 27th, 2007 @ 5:10am

    re: #28

    First the ascii value for the number '3' is not 3 it's 51.

    And btw even if I am not a fan of microsoft. The Xbox has the best games ;)

     

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  32.  
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    slide, Apr 30th, 2007 @ 2:32pm

    Re: What's needed at Sony?

    "Flip them over for massive damage."

     

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  33.  
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    The Truth, Dec 25th, 2007 @ 11:51am

    Your all fools...look at the ps3 now (not the versions of this past spring but present day christmas 2007, hell my ps3 I got back in feb. 07' is still running just as good as they day I got it, no overheats and thats saying something (have had a few 8 hour straight sessions) After all the updates since then...its quite the system...its too bad microfuck pays off gamesites and G4 to down sony products..thats fact research it. Still not leading in sales..but its coming up damn quick, and providing quality play, with all the updates they had done via the internet to the system...it looks like people are pissed again because the big bad sony will have the better system like they usually do.

     

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