Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Who started it all

           Who Started It All and how it advanced
          Ken Kutaragi

 Ken Kutaragi is the inventor of the playstation which captivated so many of its users. But not many people know where this master mind came from or how he started the great play station franchise which keeps microsoft and nintendo on their toes all the time.

Ken Kutaragi was born in Tokyo Japan in 1950, He is the son of a businessman who was from the Japanese island of Kyushu. He came to the capital of Japan to start his own printing company and to start a new life. Kutaragi learned about how to run and manage a business by watching his father work as he was growing up. His father, when he was ill with cancer, told him that he should not to take over the family business, and should strike out on his own. Because he was trained as an electrical engineer, Kutaragi joined Sony in 1975. He designed a liquid-crystal-display projector in the 1970s hoping it would be chosen to be sold to the public, but Sony did not use his design,  soon after sony began losing out to other companies who marketed similar technology with success. He soon developed a reputation as one of Sony's most talented engineers.
PlayStationImage result for ps

Soon the turning point in Kutaragi's career came in 1990, right when a partnership between Sony and Nintendo to create a new video game console system was broken. Many of the Sony executives wanted to give up on creating a console for homes. Although Kutaragi pushed and insisted on the idea that Sony could develop its own system. He even threatened to leave Sony if  Sony did not go through with the plan. In 1991, he won his battle: he was soon named the project manager of a group that built a new gaming console for homes world wide, the PlayStation. The gaming console went on the market in December of 1994 and was a huge hit. It became Sony's the most popular product. By the end of the 1990s, it was so popular, it alone was generating 40 percent of Sony's profit.

More on Ken
Kutaragi's charisma, and his daring eagerness to question authority was and unusual trait to have in the Japanese corporate culture. In 1995, he once tried to win a debate over the PlayStation's design by arm-wrestling  one of his coworkers. "Kutaragi is a rare breed in Corporate Japan: an engineer with vision and marketing smarts," said the journalist for BusinessWeek.  He won the respect of many other Sony executives after a lot of long and hard work he did for his company. "They used to say I was merely lucky with the PlayStation," Kutaragi told the magazine.
In a 1999 meeting of Sony executives, Kutaragi surprised the crowd by saying Sony needed a drasitic change in the way the company works. "The old guys should step aside to make way for the young," he declared, according to Robert A. Guth in the Wall Street Journal. 
"For years he has reveled in his role as Sony's precocious bad boy—a visionary who pitched spitballs at the company's rulers from his own unassailable perch at Sony Computer Entertainment, the wildly profitable house that his PlayStation built," Steven Levy wrote in Newsweek.
Most Japanese companies can be very secretive about the decision-making that occures in side the company, but Sony chairman Nobuyuki Idei has often talked about Kutaragi's position in the company, always acknowledging him as an important and talented while also saying he needs to work on working well with the rest of the company. It now shows that Sony succeeds because it has the ablility to tolerate idealists and rebels more than other companies.

PlayStation 2

Image result for ps2Kutaragi had soon convinced the company to take yet another big risk on his ideas when work had began on Play-Station 2 console. Instead of using any of the already built parts from the Play-Station, everything in the PlayStation 2 was designed from scratch. The cost of developing it grew more and more. Other Sony executives, felt that Kutaragi needed a partner, and they soon encouraged him to enter a deal with Microsoft to produce an online video game business. Kutaragi soon met with the Microsoft chairman Bill Gates in 1999, but no deal was created between the two companies.
When the PlayStation 2 finnaly came out in April of 2000, it sold really well, but Sony found it difficult to make a mass production of the the chips inside it. The company had to pour in a lot more money into the project, bringing up the development cost to $2.5 billion. Meanwhile, Microsoft announced it would release a new and competing game console, the Xbox. Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE) lost quite a lot of money that year, nearly dragging all of Sony below the break-even point. Speculation arose in the company that Kutaragi would be fired. But PlayStation 2 sales rallied as more games soon came out for it, and SCE began making money again regaining all of the profit they lost. The PlayStation 2 took over about 70 percent of the home-gaming market. Within a few years, SCE was generating 60 percent of Sony's profits. Kutaragi's work soon became even more important to Sony as the company's profits and stock price declined in 2003. Some commentators pointed to Kutaragi's new PSX, a combination digital video recorder, TV, and game player as a possible bright spot, but it ended up having disappointing sales.

PSP (PlayStation Portable)

As 2005 began, Kutaragi was the center of attention at Sony again. Another new product from his branch of Sony, the PlayStation Portable (or PSP), a nine-ounce gaming machine that can also play movies and music, was released in Japan in December of 2004 and sold 800,000 copies in its first six weeks on the market. Again, Sony was taking a big chance on a Kutaragi product; the production of many of the parts for the PSP itself, kept the device's retail price down and could make producing it less expensive if it is a hit. But if it flops, the financial cost for the company could be steep. In January Kutaragi was at a press conference promoting the PSP, which was scheduled to be released in the United States in spring of 2005. The PSP uses flash memory and a new technology, Universal Media Disc: discs that are only six centimeters in diameter but can store up to 1.8 gigabytes of data. Kutaragi confidently predicted that portable entertainment that uses Universal Media Discs will win out over hard-drive-based devices like the Apple's iPod.

PlayStation 3

Kutaragi was talking up the PSP as Sony reported that its sales and profits for the year would most likely miss their targets, because of tough competition from portable entertainment devices such as the new iPod. Kutaragi admitted to reporters that Sony had missed out on opportunities in the portable entertainment market by now releasing a device similar to the iPod earlier. (Sony's first music players had not supported the popular MP3 format, and would only play files with Sony's format, Atrac.) Sony management had hesitated at first because its music and movie divisions were worried about content rights. In the meantime,Kutaragi and his division worked on another innovation: developing powerful microprocessors that could take various kinds of input from broadband networks and run several products, including a new gaming system the PlayStation 3 home media center.
Sony's innovative spirit had become "diluted," and the company needed to "concentrate on our original nature—challenging and creating," Kutaragi said at the January press conference, as quoted by Yuri Kageyama in the Washington Post. His admission of such a mistake and his revelation of an internal company dispute were considered surprising, unusual remarks.

New Chairman?
Journalists often suggested that Kutaragi would become chairman of Sony someday. Kutaragi disdained the idea while talking with the Wall Street Journal 's Guth. "I would need to sacrifice myself endlessly for the coming years," he says. "My health would be ruined. Some people may find it interesting. But not me." However, Guth pointed out that Sony had a history of elevating mavericks like Kutaragi to top positions to make sure the company is periodically reinvented. However, on March 7, 2005, it was announced that Howard Stringer would become the new chairman and chief executive officer of the company. Kutaragi was scheduled to resign his spot on the board on June 22, 2005, and lose his position as executive in charge of semiconductors and home electronics. He was to remain on top of the game division and take on the new title of group executive officer on April 1, 2005.

PlayStation 4 
As the years passed on Kutaragi created many more gaming and entertainment systems along with his division such as the PlayStation 4. which truly captivated the attention of many people around the world and made Sony's money gain sky rocket through the roof.  Soon making Sony one of the leading companies in home entertainment.

 This is where i found my information