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.