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PlayStation pioneer hangs up his joypad

Exit comes as Sony projects $2bn loss

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It's sayonara to Ken 'Father of the PlayStation' Kutaragi, who has announced he will stop working for Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE), at least on a day-to-day basis, from 19 June.

Sony's very first PlayStation games console

A jump or a push? Sony's spin suggests the move was one Kutaragi had been "considering... for some time". Since December, we'd say, when he was moved up a rung to become SCE's Chairman and CEO in a reshuffle instigated by Sony chief Howard Stringer and which say SCE America's chief, Kaz Hirai, take over as President and COO.

Kutaragi will stay on as honorary Chairman and support Stringer as a senior technology advisor.

Kutaragi's departure comes as the PlayStation 3 continues to lag in sales behind Microsoft's Xbox and the Nintendo Wii after delayed launch dates, backwards compatibility issues and a lack of games.

sony's pink ps2

Instead of breathing new life back into Sony's console efforts, the PS3 is expected to produce losses of $2bn for the Japanese giant's most recently completed fiscal year, which ended in March. That's double the original expectations.

Sony PlayStation 3 - front

As the popularity of the first- and second-generation PlayStation grew, so did Kutaragi's profile. However, he went over budget in developing the PS3 and announced in September last year that Sony was going to halve shipments of the eagerly-awaited new console to the US and Japan. He also pushed back the European launch date.

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