When in the year 1994-the first PlayStation appeared in Japan, nothing was the same. Sony’s virgin leap into the still unknown electronic entertainment industry is a leap from a great height, and yet unpredictable and very risky. To whom do we owe the success of the PlayStation brand? And how was history made?
An agreement with Nintendo
„Sharak”, as is usually said about the first in achieving Sony console, without a shadow of the slightest doubt contributed to the popularization of video consoles in our country, instilling many young people love this form of entertainment. However, before the first PlayStation Came on the market, Sony was not particularly interested in our industry. True, in the early 80’s the Japanese tried to explore the soil, getting involved in the production of one of the models of home computers series MSX, however, it is only a novel with Nintendo and pushed our brothers skośnookich to the activities to be one of the biggest coups in the history of video consoles.
The coup, which would not be possible if not for the character of Ken Kutaragi, also called, quite justly, the father of PlayStation. Our today’s hero was born in Tokyo in 1950, where he lived for a long time with his family, who moved to the capital of Japan to create his own printing press company. Despite the fact that Ken very quickly learned the profession, dying of cancer father advised him not to continue the ” family tradition „and tried to start his own business:” this company will cease to exist with me. You have to think about the future and do what you really want.”
Kutaragi from youthful years was fond of electronics (spent a thousand dollars on the first, electronic calculator!), when buying any new equipment, which appeared on the market and rummage for hours in his guts. Nurtured by years of passion led him to Sony in 1975, where he quickly gained great respect among his employers, becoming one of the most talented engineers of the Japanese giant. A bright moment for future events was a visit to Ken at the factory Sony, located in the city of Atsugi.
What did the future Creator of PlayStation see there? A computer – generated image of a person’s face that could be manipulated with a mouse. We are talking about a computer graphics system called g Control, after acquaintance with which the deliberate Kutaragiego was born a new dream-what would have happened if to apply this technology in video game consoles? „The G system was more advanced than modern graphics systems. The fact that something like this existed really made a huge impression on me. I thought it would be great if it could help to improve such a Famicoma (NES),” recalls Ken.
The Father Of PlayStation Ken Kutaragi
Why the Famicom? „I’ve been testing consoles for business benefits. I put in front of my son Sony MSX and Famicoma and then I watch him waiting for what he will do. Chose Famicoma (…) Personal computers created wisepixel images, but the Famicom could produce images the size of a single pixel. I thought it was just amazing, ” Kutaragi explains. The next, very important step was the development of Sony’s 2-inch floppy disk, which drew Ken’s attention to digital technology. ”
At Sony, every new solution that brought in more than 10 billion yen was considered a great success. I wanted to join the company, which should become the main source of income of the Corporation in the future,” explains. When in the mid-80s, Nintendo announced the release of Family Computer Disk System, nozzles for Famicoma performing the function of external drive, the vision of The History of PlayStation Ken began to materialize. But first he grabbed his head, wondering what was the reason for entering the market with a technologically obsolete product.
No matter how he pondered, to understand this policy simply did not go. „Technologically, it was an anachronistic product. The disk rotates at a speed of 300 revolutions per minute, had a capacity of only 64 kilobytes and did not provide free access. Dwucalowa drive that we have developed, allows the read speed of 3600 rpm and could accommodate up to 1 megabyte of data” – wypomina Ken, which translated itself making it a „sell”, error, Nintendo, the existence of technologies developed by Sony. What should I do now? Return włodarzy Nintendo to the right path that Ken, without hesitation decided to take.
Gave him a reason to consider himself only a question of how to make cooperation with such a giant as Sony, following the absolute independence of Nintendo? It started innocently because of the supply of specialized sound chips for Famicoma, however further action is the way through the suffering and struggle with the limited thinking of corporate cones. „I wanted to work with Nintendo because I thought gaming consoles would be the most popular source of entertainment for home appliances in the future. But in Sony, no one then agreed with me,” recalls with sadness Ken. What was the reason for this erase of the reluctance of video games? Sony’s bosses didn’t take this segment of the market too seriously, looking at consoles like toys for children, an unworthy interest in an electronics industry tycoon like Sony.
The prototype of console, formed by Sony and Nintendo, called colloquially the SNES-CD
So we got to the end of the 80s. In the market of video games competed with each other mainly by two companies: Nintendo and Sega. As well as the fact that this second started trampling Ninny on the heels, planning to enter the market with a special CD Genesisa nozzle, the heads of the Big N were not going to sit and wait. Kutaragi had finally reached their and after several meetings with representatives of Nintendo, he was able to establish the conditions of large-scale cooperation.
We are talking about the Super Disc (hereinafter also SNES-CD), the console, which was originally supposed to be equipped as a CD-ROM drive, as well as a slot for cartridges, from which Ninny for China did not want to give up. Kutaragi took the whole project very seriously, as can be seen from one of his reports: „we are Working on the PlayStaion. We are going to create a system addressed to high school and high school students (…) We plan to sell 3 million pieces in the first year.
The means to achieve this goal is Super Famicom.”Norio Ohga, then President of Sony, but was aware that Kutaragi is a cocky type, which in addition to being a genius, always without pity loudly expressed his opinion that in a Corporation like Sony, not everyone liked. „Wherever he appeared, someone always disagreed with him, and Kutaragi would not be himself if such a person did not criticize,” explains Ohga. So what did the concerned President do? He decided to move Ken with his team of ten… Sony Music. These strange, seemingly strong, became known in the later period of the miser, but before that still come. „I asked to vacate the premises of the former office of Epic Sony in Aoyama and created an environment in which the team could work on the project. One of the roads leading to PlayStation’s success is to exclude Kutaragiego’s genius from Sony’s team,” Ohga adds.
This transfer to Sony Music allowed Ken to make friends with Shigeo Murayamą, who greatly contributed to the implementation of the PlayStation project on many levels. For a while it became so cute and nice, but the idyll didn’t last long. Hiroshi Yamauchi, the former President of Nintendo, after a long study of the signed contracts, came to the conclusion that someone wants to write it after all frankly, to make a horse. The contract guaranteed Sony not only profits from the brands of games released on CD (Nintendo was earning on kartridżach), but also the rights applied in the device technology.