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Sunday, August 21, 2005

Meet: Ken Kutaragi. For PS3's creator, this isn't a game

Meet: Ken Kutaragi. For PS3's creator, this isn't a game

"Ken Kutaragi, president and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc., proposed the underpinnings of the Cell processor to IBM engineers as part of a next-generation gaming platform that would fully realize the "computer" portion of computer entertainment. That system, the Cell-powered Playstation 3, was unveiled at the recent Electronic Entertainment Expo. In the wake of a management restructuring that may indicate Sony brass was not of one mind on the best path for the company, Kutaragi told EE Times that the PS3 will kick off the new "computer revolution" he has dreamed about since he proposed the first Playstation console.

EET: When did you first get the idea for the Cell processor?
Ken Kutaragi: It was immediately after we completed the development of the PS2. [The Playstation2 was introduced in 2000.] After we presented the papers on the Emotion Engine processor at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference and the main work proceeded to the building of the PS2 console, I started thinking about what would be next.

EET: Then the Cell processor was conceived for gaming?
Kutaragi: No, it is for computing-but I wanted to change the concept of computers. The name of our company is Sony Computer Entertainment; I wanted to merge computer technology and entertainment. It may be regarded as game applications for the time being, but I wanted to realize the day when "computer entertainment" would mean all such entertainment applications, including games.

From the engineers' side, what we are working on is computer technology. When we designed the Emotion Engine, for example, we strongly based it on computer technology and deployed a computer architecture for it.

The PS1 and PS2 were based on computer technology, but they were still transitional. At the next stage, I hoped to tackle computer technology from the start. I have harbored that hope since the 1980s.

Now, in the third phase, I have aimed at bringing about a computer revolution, teaming with the world's largest computer company and with Toshiba, a longtime partner since the days of the Playstation 2." [more]

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