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Analysts believe Sony's Kutaragi was squeezed out

Ludwig Kietzmann
April 27, 2007
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It's hard not to imagine industry analysts getting along famously with PlayStation father, Ken Kutaragi. Holding hands, dancing in a circle and spouting outrageous claims at each other, they'd have a jolly good session of prediction, scrutiny and hopscotch. In response to Mr. Kutaragi's recently announced plans to leave the circle, several analysts have expressed belief that his departure is partly motivated by the parent company yelling from the outskirts of the park, insisting that, "You've had your fun, it's time to go." According to a GameDaily BIZ report, the PlayStation 3 may make for a particularly heavy golden hand to shake.

Evan Wilson of Pacific Crest Securities tells Bloomberg.com that Kutaragi's retirement "is likely an indication Sony corporate isn't satisfied with the initial success of the PS3." The Washington Post calls it a "face-saving firing," quoting IDC's famous time traveling analyst, Billy Pidgeon, as saying, "Sony had too much hype and not enough delivery." Furthermore, an AG Edwards analyst, Bill Kreher, tells GameDaily BIZ, "The PS3 obviously has had a rough start and I would question whether Kutaragi would still be leaving if the console had been better received by the marketplace."

Still, some analysts agree with Sony's official line that Kutaragi had left of his own accord in pursuit of "new challenges beyond the world of PlayStation." Michael Pachter of Wedbush Morgan Securities states that the decision likely had more to do with software and the PSP. "It can't be [Kutaragi's] fault that the cost of the box was so high, and I have a tough time believing he insisted on Blu-ray. They probably just all agreed it was time to move on." He and a few other analysts go on to note that Kaz Hirai will prove to be an effective leader and a better instigator of success in the years to come.





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