Internal Strife at Sony Headquarters Revealed

All is not well at Sony Corp. headquarters in Japan, according to a recent article published by the Wall Street Journal, via Gamasutra. According to the article, tensions between Sony CEO Sir Howard Stringer and PlayStation father and designer Ken Kutaragi have been described as one of the causes for the PS3’s difficult development cycle and launch.

The Sony CEO was kept in the dark about the ever increasing development costs of the PS3 and how the project was going far over budget. Additionally, Kutaragi continually snubbed requests by Stringer to report and meet with electronics division brass to discuss the PS3 project.

Stringer said, "I’ve had dinner with [Ken Kutaragi] more times than I’ve had dinner with my wife, and that’s not really healthy."

Sony’s PS3 losses would increase dramatically after a surprise strategy announcement came from Kutaragi during a board meeting. He ordered a 20 percent price cut of the PS3 during its initial launch in Japan in order to generate strong sales, which did not occur as expected. Stringer described the situation by saying, "It wasn’t financially one of my best moments. The budget implications were self-evident. [However] I agreed because I wanted the launch to be successful."

Regardless of whether Stringer’s decision to go along with Kutaragi’s lead was a wise move or not is a moot point. What is important, however, is the apparent challenge of Stringer’s authority by Kutaragi, and whether this state of affairs will continue. Kutaragi was described by the Journal as "notorious within the company for his reluctance to communicate with his bosses or other units," and if true, may dictate a precarious future for the PlayStation designer at Sony.


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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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