Launched on December 3 1994 in Japan, September 9 1995 in North America and September 29 1995 in most of Europe, the PlayStation revolutionized the game industry in so many ways. But what role did the hardware play into this?
If there is one name to remember when it comes to the PlayStation, it’s Ken Kutaragi. The engineer joined Sony in 1975 and worked on many different products until one caught his eyes in 1984: the System G. This imposing work- station, mainly used by TV stations, was able to render 3D graphics in real- time! An avid gamer since he bought a Famicom (the Japanese name for the NES), Kutaragi directly thought of a video game application. Unfortunately, the ridiculously high costs prohibited him from doing at that time. Like Eric Bromley—ColecoVision’s creator who had to wait from 1979 to 1981, leaving the Intellivision for Mattel on the table in the process—before him, Kutaragi needed to wait for the components to become more affordable and powerful according to Moore’s Law.
But the engineer didn’t give up; far from that actually. Hopefully for him, Kutaragi had a gift: He knew how things worked and managed to build the best products for the brand in the consumer electronics field. He quickly climbed the corporate ladder and could do pretty much what he wanted. He was also known as a rebel in the Japanese group, a profile that is very rare in “the land of the rising sun” where the vast majority tend to blindly follow the rules without questioning anything or taking any risks.
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