Ken Kutaragi – Keynote Speaker

Engineer known as "The Father of Play Station"

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Specialist Subjects

  • Technology
  • Innovation and Creativity
  • Leadership
  • The PlayStation


  • Japanese


Ken Kutaragi is known as “The Father of the PlayStation”. He is an industry legend, and a respected visionary that helped bring about an unparalleled era of growth in the gaming industry. He is the former Chairman and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment (SCEI), and was the Honorary Chairman of Sony Computer Entertainment, until 2011.

As an engineer at Sony, Kutaragi created the SPC700 sound chip for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System in 1990. Gaming was still regarded as a fad at this time. However, despite a hostile atmosphere to video games, Kutaragi managed to persuade Sony to fund his research into the Super Famicom CD. These efforts resulted in the “PlayStation”, launched in 1994, with Kutaragi as its lead engineer.

The first PlayStation displaced both Nintendo and Sega, to become the most popular console of that era. It sold more than 100 million units, and its successor, the PlayStation 2, went on to become the bestselling console system of all time with 155 million units sold. The commercial success of the PlayStation franchise has made Sony Computer Entertainment the most profitable business division of Sony. Kutaragi was recognised by many financial and technological publications for this success, most notably when he was named one of the “100 most influential people of 2004” in TIME magazine and the “Gutenberg of Video Games”.

The success of the Sony Computer Entertainment division, which Kutaragi led, propelled him into the position of Deputy Executive President from 2003-06, overseeing the launch of the PlayStation 3. In 2006 Kutaragi was promoted to Chairman of SCEI and CEO of the group. He stood down as CEO in 2007, and took up the role of Honorary Chairman of SCEI, which he held until 2011. He has remained at Sony as Senior Technology Advisor, and currently serves as the President and CEO of Cyber AI Entertainment Inc. He also serves on the boards of Kadokawa Group Holdings, Inc., Nojima Corporation, and Rakuten, Inc.

The success and longevity of Playstation is a reflection of the insight, craft, technical prowess and dedication of Kutaragi. He recently was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2014 Game Developers Conference, for his contributions to the world of gaming.

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