In news that, in truth, should surprise no one Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE) Chairman and "Father of PlayStation" Ken Kutaragi has left his post "to pursue his dreams beyond PlayStation and to accelerate his network vision".
In the official announcement Sony naturally gives no inclination whether old Ken jumped, was pushed or had simply had enough – but after overseeing the troubled development of the PlayStation 3 I suspect all three aspects played a part.
Kutaragi had also seen his industry cred called into question on a number of occasions in recent times, perhaps most famously when – much to the ire of gamers everywhere – he declared that Sony's price for the PS3 was "probably too cheap".
That said, Kutaragi leaves Sony with a fine legacy having been credited with the invention of the original PlayStation in 1994 and was heavily involved in all three subsequent generations: the PS2, PS3 and PSP. In fact, the PS and PS2 alone account for sales of over 200 million units and two billion software titles.
In light of the Kutaragi's departure, Sony CEO Howard Stringer issued an understandably glowing statement:
"Ken Kutaragi is a rare combination of a powerful visionary and entrepreneur in one figure. Not only has he created a multi-billion dollar business for the Sony Group, he has brought the industry into a new dimension," he said. "Sony has benefited tremendously from his vision, his creative genius, and from the very strong team he assembled and nurtured. As Ken moves forward to pursue new opportunities, we will encourage and support him."
Kaz Hirai, SCE President, will take over from Kutaragi (who will retain the title of Honorary Chairman).
Good luck Ken whatever your "network vision" may cover up be...