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Father of PlayStation Gets Lifetime Achievement Award

by Rainier on Nov. 26, 2007 @ 12:19 p.m. PST

The Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences (AIAS) has named former President and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc., Ken Kutaragi, the recipient of the 2008 Lifetime Achievement Award, which will be bestowed at this year’s Interactive Achievement Awards (IAA) ceremony on Feb. 7 at the annual D.I.C.E. Summit 2008.

Recognized internationally as the “Father of PlayStation,” Kutaragi will be honored for revolutionizing the global in-home entertainment market with the creation and monstrous success of the PlayStation game console. The launch of the original PlayStation in 1994 made it the most popular gaming system of the era, resulting in a shipment of more than 100 million units worldwide.

“Ken Kutaragi’s passion, innovative thinking and business savvy sparked a monumental movement that was unstoppable,” said Joseph Olin, president, AIAS. “If it wasn’t for Ken and his concept of the original PlayStation, there wouldn’t be the billion dollar industry there is today. His contributions have clearly set new standards for developers, publishers and consumers worldwide.”

The “Father of PlayStation” launched his career in 1975 by joining Sony Corporation’s research lab, where he earned the reputation as an excellent problem solver and forward-thinking engineer. This same reputation was confirmed over the years by Kutaragi’s vision and foresight of the potential of computer entertainment. In the late 1980’s, he presented his idea to build new gaming technology. This landmark proposal to Sony allowed Kataragi to bring to the market in 1994, the original PlayStation.

Just five years later, in 1999, on the heels of the PlayStation launch success, Kutaragi was named president and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment, Inc. During his tenure as president, he spearheaded the release of the next-generation PlayStation 2, the best-selling in-home game system in history with more than 120 million units shipped worldwide.

Recognized for the success of PlayStation 2, TIME magazine named Kutaragi one of the 100 most influential people of 2004. During that same period, he was appointed executive deputy president of the Game Business Group and Broadband Network Company for Sony. Kutaragi briefly shifted his focus to handheld gaming and launched the PlayStation Portable (PSP), quickly followed by the next version of the popular home console, the PlayStation 3.

In June 2007, Kutaragi announced his official retirement from Sony after 30 years of service. He currently serves as honorary chairman of Sony Computer Entertainment, Inc., and senior technology advisor of Sony Corporation, where he applies his extensive technological knowledge and experience to continue to advance the future of technology.

“Ken Kutaragi is the smartest guy in the history of the video game business,” said Trip Hawkins, founder, Electronic Arts and AIAS Hall of Fame member. “Without Ken, there is no Sony PlayStation, and that is beyond comprehension.”

The first Lifetime Achievement Award was presented last year at the 10th Annual Interactive Achievement Awards to honor those individuals who have devoted their lives to the advancement of the interactive entertainment industry. Recipients are recognized for their continued contributions that have significantly impacted the $25 billion video game industry.

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