Friday, May 4, 2007

Ken Kutaragi

Last week's news of Ken Kutaragi's departure from Sony Computer Entertainment was greeted with the usual fanboy enthusiasm. Many were glad that the man who heralded the PS3 as 4D to finally step down as chief at SCE. It is a shame because no matter how much you hate Sony (and I don't really like them very much these days), Ken Kutaragi, like former Nintendo dictator Hiroshi Yamauchi, is a rare specimen that will be much missed.

Unlike many industry suits, he at least has inside technology knowledge into what makes a console thick. Remember that beloved SNES of yours? Without the audio processor Sony SPC700 that Ken Kutaragi designed secretly from his bosses at Sony, you would not have classic SNES soundtracks like Final Fantasy VI. Like the rebel he was, he was also critical of Sony's love affair of DRM (way before Steve Jobs jumped on the anti-DRM bandwagon), which many believes was the reason he was demoted from his position at Sony.

Without Ken Kutaragi, consoles would still be viewed as the toys they once were. As a fellow gamer I wish him success in his future endeavours.

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