Ken Kutaragi, the maverick Sony engineer behind all three generations of PlayStation games consoles, will on Friday become chairman and chief executive of Sony Computer Entertainment
The surprise move, though technically a promotion, removes Mr Kutaragi from the day-to-day running of Sony’s games division at a critical moment.
Replacing Mr Kutaragi as Sony Computer Entertainment’s global president and chief operating officer will be Kazuo Hirai, a veteran of SCE’s US division, who prematurely claimed four years ago that the era of console wars was over.
“The appointment of Hirai could be the start of a shift from hardware to software,” said Yuta Sakurai, an analyst at Nomura. “I cannot now imagine a PlayStation4.”
Mr Sakurai said that Mr Hirai’s new global portfolio puts a predominantly software-focused manager in charge of the company, adding that SCE’s future would be shaped by Mr Hirai’s relationship with Phil Harrison, the president of SCE’s worldwide studios.
Analysts argue that while Mr Kutaragi, a brilliant engineer, was the right man to run SCE as a hardware powerhouse, Sony may now see better opportunities as a pure maker of games.
kutaragi for all his madness was an innovater and the one who really made the playstation brand what it is today. kaz hirai might turn to be better simply because he litsens to his fans and he really is sony's face in the us market.hope it turns out good for ps3 cause if the ps3 fails not only is sony screwed but microsoft next console but not even have a competitior
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