PlayStation pioneer hangs up his joypad
Exit comes as Sony projects $2bn loss
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.
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.
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.
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.
sorry to nitpick
"but as the home PC prices have dropped by over 100%"
Free PCs for the French?!?! no wonder consoles aren't selling!
> why the much cheaper Wii is working
No kidding. The XBOX 360 (AKA the HALO3BOX) is about US$450.
Which is what I can buy a new PC for. However, the consoles are far better at games than the PC, because I'm just not dealing with the video card wars until they come out with real non-binary-only drivers for Linux that don't urinate all over my kernel. Until then, I'll keep using my Voodoo 3 or whatever I have handy.
A Nokia N800 is only US$400, and I've had an absolute BLAST playing with that. More fun actually than any of the games on my current XBOX, except for HALO/HALO 2.
So I'll buy one when HALO 3 comes out. Maybe. If there's some sort of sale or special. I'm not one of the guys that's happy with something off ebay, I've had too much electronics crap out (Palm, I'm looking at YOU, bitch)
The reasons for his departure should be fairly obvious. "Time with the family" and stuff like that.
If we removed the Wii from the equation, the PS3 and xbox360 would be doing INFINITELY better than they are now. The fact is that Sony and Microsoft got caught up in all the hype from the PC gaming vendors about bigger, faster, better, more expensive. They got caught up in things like processors, and chipsets, and resolution, and framerates, and were so busy counting pixel shaders and pipelines that they lost touch with what a game console is really about. It's not about numbers, it's about being a departure from reality. And with the advent of popularized multiplayer, it has become about friends and interpersonal relationships. Other vendor's thoughts on how to innovate in multiplayer involve such things as voice chat and allowing more people into the same game to shoot at each other.
Nintendo, on the other hand, took two Gamecubes, stapled them together, put them in a shiny new chassis that they lifted off a slot-loading CDROM drive, decided to get all the players into the same room, add a tinge of addictiveness, and expand upon that central idea. Instead of selling 4 consoles to make the 4 players, they'd sell 1 console, get all their friends addicted to it, and sell 9 more.
interest in consoles...
I remember when the PS (1) came out, they were priced at about 2000 Francs (about 300 euros today). At the same time, a decent home PC setup was about 12000 francs/1700 euros.
Today, the tendancies have evolved: a half decent home computer can be had for about 700 euros, flat screen included, and games at about 40 euros a pop, but as the home PC prices have dropped by over 100%, the console prices have increased by the same factor - and the games seem to be 50% more expensive.
The games console was supposed to be a game-only replacement for a home computer... and it would seem that the console makers have forgot this... this is also probaby why the much cheaper Wii is working and the others are not...