Sony Computer Entertainment president Ken Kutaragi has made an unprecedented attack on his own company’s lack of initiative in the portable electronics market.
Speaking at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan’s Professional Activities Committee conference, he lamented the fact that Sony had not built upon its success with the Walkman in the '80s, and that it had allowed other companies to dominate the market with products such as Nintendo’s Game Boy and Apple’s iPod.
He claimed that this was primarily due to attempts to protect the company’s music and movie businesses, and that he had been particularly frustrated in the last few years as the company delayed plans to focus on the handheld market. This implies that Kutaragi would have liked to release a portable PlayStation long before now.
Kutaragi also went as far as to criticize Sony for allowing its reputation for technical expertise to diminish, saying that the company’s innovation had been 'diluted'. He was careful to add: "Things have only begun. We are continuing to grow."
Certainly, Kutaragi seems much happier now with the release of the PSP, which he continues to describe as the 'Walkman of the 21st century', in part because of its ability to play music and movies as well as games.