Former Sony Computer Entertainment CEO Ken Kutaragi, occasionally notorious champion of the PlayStation platform, will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 14th annual GDC Awards.
“The PlayStation has become a household name, representing some of the biggest and best gaming experiences of all time. Its success and longevity is a reflection of the insight, craft, technical prowess and hard work of the team led by Kutaragi-san, the father of the PlayStation,” said Meggan Scavio, general manager of all GDC events.
“We’re honored to have Kutaragi-san present at the event, and heartened to recognise a true visionary that helped bring about an unparalleled era of growth in the industry.”
Kutaragi rose through the ranks of Sony as an engineer. His first games-related creation was the sound chip used in the SNES. Shortly thereafter Sony and Nintendo began to drift apart, and Kutaragi, as lead engineer, was central to the development of the very first PlayStation console. The PSOne was a groundbreaking bit of tech, the first console to sell over 100 million units.
Kutaragi also oversaw development of the PS2, which remains the best-selling home console of all time with 155 million units sold worldwide.
His reputation among gamers took a dip during the PlayStation 3’s reveal, thanks to the console’s hefty price tag and limited availability, along with a disastrous E3 showing and a comment from Kutaragi that gamers should take up a second job to buy one. However, the PS3 fought back from a bad start, and went on to rival the Xbox 360 through the generation.
Kutaragi is now Honorary Chairman of SCE and president and CEO of Cyber AI Entertainment Inc. He joins past GDC Lifetime Achievement Award recipients including Valve’s Doug Lombardi, Arkane’s Harvey Smith, and Microsoft’s Chris Charla.
The GDC Awards will be held on March 19. PlayStation 4 lead architect Mark Cerny will present Kutaragi with his award.