Submitted by gaffyh 137d ago | article

Former Sony CEO Thought PlayStation Was Just ‘a Toy’

PlayStationing writes: "Although PlayStation is now one of Sony’s most profitable divisions, it wasn’t too long ago that the company as a whole thought of the PlayStation console as simply a toy." (PS Vita, PS2, PS3, PS4, Sony)

jobboy  +   137d ago
long life to the king Ken...
XisThatKid  +   137d ago
Yup a multi million dollar toy that has brought them millions if not billions of moneys over the past near 20 years
mediate-this  +   137d ago
That... They... Lost
Azzanation  +   136d ago
They didn't make billions off PlayStation, if that was the case then Sony itself would be doing ok. PS/Xbox lose billions just in researching and Development of there consoles every gen. They try to make that back with Software sales. It took the PS3 7 years to make a profit, because it cost Sony 4 billion in RnD.
DemonChicken  +   136d ago
@ Azzanation

Actually 4 years from a 2010 article

#1.1.3 (Edited 136d ago ) | Agree(11) | Disagree(3) | Report
GameDev1  +   136d ago

Most of the money they lost was during former sony ceo Idei Nobuyuki restructuring the company to allow early retirement and totally ignoring the electronic division while concentrating on the internet and other miscellaneous crap, but had too much pride to admit his mistake when his ideals where failing. Kaz and Ken are undoing all the damage.

Playstation division has brought more money than its lost compared to other divisions


Even if the Playstation division made billions, still can't save Sony alone
vulcanproject  +   136d ago
Sony made a lot of money on PS1 and PS2, it was PS3 that really cost them. The hardware development was an absolute huge waste of cash and the cost of manufacturing the machine was too high for too long.

They made something like $3bn profit on the peak years of the PS2 generation, and lost probably more on the PS3 years.

I am happy to report that for the new generation, Sony appear to have made much better decisions and PS4 will probably power that division at least to profit for many years to come.
#1.1.5 (Edited 136d ago ) | Agree(2) | Disagree(1) | Report
stragomccloud  +   136d ago
Actually that article is about how the hardware was then finally being sold for a profit. They still had yet to recoup their massive losses. That's why they had to build PS4 with mobile parts and hype it up like it's a high end gaming PC.

They needed people to buy hardware that isn't sold at a loss(Though some minor losses are incurred after shipping and such) or they PlayStation brand would have sunk. Their marketing is truly commendable and brilliant.
XisThatKid  +   136d ago
Well for about 5 years straight The Playstation Brand brought in over 45% of Sony's entire gross and this was during the time they were also crushing the LCD TV game oh well guess some are just mad to see SOny succeed again. So far I can say every major console that Sony created has been a success for what it was worth. Don't really wanna put in comparison with anyone else but it's competitors can't say that. Sony has take the least amount of losses in this arena since they entered. disagree with me or not this is just true.
DragonKnight  +   137d ago
People can slag off Ken because of things that he said about the PS3, but in the end most of what he said was right. The man's work speaks volumes above his words.
lfc_4eva  +   136d ago
On the price of PS3 Ken said: "If you consider the PlayStation 3 a toy, then yes, it is an expensive toy. However, it is more than a toy. It is a PlayStation 3. And it is the only PlayStation 3. I hope that those who understand this will gladly purchase it."

miyamoto  +   136d ago
During the that time Nintendo has had video game according to the image they wanted-video games are "toys for little kids". That was how it all started.

But Ken Kutaragi saw the potential of computers as a multi media machine for entertainment hence Sony Computer Entertainment was slapped to his endeavor as its title.

And Ken was adamant bent on taking away that stigma that videogames are just for little kids' entertainment but for the 19 and up adults to hence SCE's marketing slogan U R Not Ready!

That ad is definitely not for little kids.

I remember Saturo Iwata saying Nintendo wasn't prepared for Kutaragi's 3-D initiative during those days. And they have to seek help from Treasure video games to make things work.

ANyway Ken Kutaragi changed everything with the PlayStation and I am glad he did!
#1.3 (Edited 136d ago ) | Agree(1) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
GamersHeaven  +   137d ago
Ken was the man this video explains his greatness.

Related video
GameDev1  +   137d ago
You should see the behind the scenes of that flim, Ken is just so down to earth, same as Yoshida and Kaz
Baccra17  +   137d ago
Did they ever answer why he's so damn handsome?
ifistbrowni  +   137d ago
what the hell did i just watch?

That was funny AF
DeathOfTheFanBoy  +   136d ago
LOLS, thats AMAZING!!!
NarooN  +   136d ago
Ken STILL IS the man. Love that guy.
diehardmetallicafan  +   136d ago
i love this clip. i miss vhs...
teflontactics  +   137d ago
Just a toy? No wonder he's now a former CEO. =P
Qrphe  +   137d ago
We give crap to non "gamers" for having the gaming comunity in negative light in the mainstream yet when someone relates gaming to toys we jump the gun. Nothing wrong with toys; many adults own toys of all kinds. Consoles are marketed towards children and are also toys. Toys are ok.
ninjahunter  +   137d ago
To be fair, it is. Its an object that someone uses for enjoyment or entertainment with very little practical use.

I must go now, and prepare myself for the angry mob of people who have too much pride to think that they would play with a toy.
HyperBear  +   137d ago
Your right, it is a Toy...

A Toy that's meant for kicking ass and taking names! :D
gaffyh  +   137d ago
I think it's more that he thought it was just for kids, which is what toys are, but consoles are bought by a very wide age range, so probably not in the same class as toys now
TacoTaru  +   137d ago
And football is just a game. No money there.
GameDev1  +   137d ago
"I must go now, and prepare myself for the angry mob of people who have too much pride to think that they would play with a toy"

kingdom18  +   137d ago
Yes but you should also consider the fact that it has developed into an art form (well for some games anyway), and while all it does is provide us with entertainment it provides jobs to others in this large market they have created.
ninjahunter  +   137d ago
Just like legos.
Picnic  +   135d ago
Considering that you can create your own levels on Little Big Planet and you could theoretically, and far more easily for the average member of public than normal, turn that in to a fully fledged game with which you could make money hence you would have a business product, the 'little practical use' says more about the limits of your human imagination where you might further hamper those with 'but would it be worth it? I don't even have any ideas' kind of considerations- than it does about the the potential of the PS3 to be more than a single use toy.

And - let's face it - this demeaning of not only consoles but any kind of entertainment tool in general e.g. Meccano - plus the whole history of things like boards games, fairgrounds, theme parks - these sometimes artistic forms of bringing together cultures- have long been sneered at when they are not outright ignored or never on the radar of our 'top' universities. That it is possible to this day for some snotty little undergraduate at Oxford to sneer at or at least quietly belittle the entrepreneur and magic maker Walt Disney, for instance, makes me sick.
#4.4 (Edited 135d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
Linchpin  +   137d ago
I think in his mind he thought "Play Area".
OrangePowerz  +   137d ago
Despite of mistakes that have been made with the PS3 Ken is great and I would blame the Sony bosses just as for the errors made because it looks like they let him do whatever he wanted without keepibg him in check.
#6 (Edited 137d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(3) | Report | Reply
Geekman  +   137d ago
Video games ARE classified as toys....
#7 (Edited 137d ago ) | Agree(6) | Disagree(9) | Report | Reply
kingdom18  +   137d ago
Actually from most retailers I see online they are classified as video games, bunched with "Electronics" and separated from toys which are more often bunched with "Home" and "Kids"
OrangePowerz  +   137d ago
Depends on the country. In Germany it's not classified as toy hence why games are expensive (roughly 110 US$) since they have higher taxes.
Foraoise  +   137d ago
Video games "are" considered toys.

Anyone who says otherwise are, well.. Prideful nerds, unwilling to really admit that they play with toys. I play video games. Therefore I play with toys.
#8 (Edited 137d ago ) | Agree(7) | Disagree(11) | Report | Reply
WeAreLegion  +   137d ago
A video game is an interactive experience.

I play with LEGOs and robots. Because I'm a man.
#8.1 (Edited 137d ago ) | Agree(3) | Disagree(2) | Report | Reply
Foraoise  +   137d ago
Legos and robots are toys too.

I'm ready for the downvotes for this post. It shows that many 20+ year olds here still play with legos and whatnot. Hilarious.
#8.1.1 (Edited 137d ago ) | Agree(4) | Disagree(2) | Report
WeAreLegion  +   137d ago
That's the point. They're all toys. You're never too old for toys.
e-p-ayeaH  +   137d ago
consoles that play other medium than games cant be considered as toys.
Foraoise  +   137d ago
aaaand why not?
thebudgetgamer  +   137d ago
Consoles and games are sold next to televisions DVD players and other electronics, never G.I. Joe. Unless it's the movies.
goldwyncq  +   136d ago
What about we just stick to calling them video games instead of toys? This mentality is why video games are looked down upon as being inferior to other art forms.
dodgefate  +   137d ago

- Boat
- Motorcycle
- Pool Table
- Jet Ski
- Ect.

All toy's so ya I could see Playstation being a cheap toy /wink
#9 (Edited 137d ago ) | Agree(6) | Disagree(3) | Report | Reply
Rhezin  +   137d ago
"We are the Commando Elite! Everything else is just a toy…"
Ninjatogo  +   137d ago
Maybe that's what he was thinking XD. I love that movie.
DarXyde  +   137d ago
If video games were ever just toys, they've done so much over the years to differentiate them from being just that. Toys are things you interact with to pass the time leisurely when no productivity is necessary. In this regard, the same can be said about anything you don't have to do but do so for fun (leisurely reading, bowling, etc.).

If video games are toys, materials you need to do unproductive activities are toys too. Soccer balls, headphones, and so on.
nevin1  +   137d ago
Anything can be considered a toy. Video Game itself has grown beyond a traditional toy.
mhunterjr  +   137d ago
Considering my console a toy doesn't insult me at all... I know plenty of people who consider their entertainment devices toys... consoles, motorcycles, boats, golf clubs, tv's etc...

It's when someone says "'just' a toy" that feathers get ruffled... as if toys aren't legitimate consumer goods.
kingPoS  +   137d ago
Silly Rabbit, PlayStation is for kids... and adult's!

Gateway MT6706 2008
goldwyncq  +   136d ago
Consoles are now akin to computers more than toys. You wouldn't call a computer a toy now would you?
Picnic  +   136d ago
I can argue that there were ZERO mistakes made with the Playstation 3:

1) Supposed arrogance (get 2 jobs to pay for one).
When you launch a product a year after the market leader for that generation at that time (the Xbox360) you need to have a compelling reason why consumers (those who've alreday bought an Xbox360 and those who haven't bought any Hd console yet) should have an 'affair' with you instead of sticking with the Xbox360.
One compelling reason that is commonly used is to give your product an image of decadent luxury. Microsoft have done it most noticeably this generation with the XboxOne - look at Forza's shiny cars. Sony put out some very artsy adverts
which, personally for me, worked 100% in giving the PS3 a sense of exciting mystery. Sometimes they went too far (creepy babies) but, on the whole, it immediately made me think 'They have great faith in the POTENTIAL of this console'. The arrogance was not pretty, I agree. And I personally hated the original fat, noisy, PS3. But once the good came it made for a more interesting story in gamers minds. And the Xbox One may benefit from this too (although chances are they are unlikely to ever catch Sony in sales this generation unless they can make bold moves like get Rare making games that aren't Kinect only). People sometimes love to back what they see as the 'reformed villain'. (Sega was never a 'villain', they just went off the chart in mass market minds, so they never benefitted from this as a hardware maker).

2) The CELL engine. Again, it seems awkward to say it in light of Cerny's choice of more straightforward architecture for the PS4 but they chose right at the time for the PS3. And one of the reasons is that precisely because third party developers found it tricky to develop on, it's as if Sony themselves had to publish more games of their own. So Uncharted 2 was stunning in its visuals in parts, featuring effects like depth of field effects. And more indie games.

Pretty much ever since Uncharted 2 launched - which coincided with some quirky indie titles and Microsoft abandoning new AAA franchises in favour of Kinect- Sony have gone ahead.

The Cell helped to fulfil Sony's long term plan of longevity in that generation. Later multiformats such as Bioshock Infinite looked at least the equal of the Xbox360 according to video tests.

But an easier to program PC-like engine will help Sony transfer all the goodwill they have from the last few years of the PS3 with its generous Playstation Plus over to the PS4 with minimum hiccup. This transition was so awkward between PS2 and PS3 that it was like Sony had forgotten how to make gaming fun. It was like Sony was mostly bothered about making games in to films (see Heavenly Sword).
But even that turned out well with critically acclaimed Heavy Rain and Beyond Two Souls.
And Naughty Dog brought the game back in to gaming and it's been great for Sony ever since. Now they don't make as much of a profit as Microsoft but that'll partly be because Sony make so many games and have such a generous PS+.

The Cell was an awkward and yet right thing to do at the time to ensure longevity and to have an exotic architecture once more that would do so. Because the PS4 is actually going to have to pull off some sly tricks to live up to some of the sense of impressiveness of the PS3, that sense of 'cracking the cell' that Uncharted 2 really gave.
#16 (Edited 136d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
pheature  +   136d ago
maybe your toys are your xperieas maybe make the price tag a toy price.
SpinalRemains138  +   136d ago
Videogames are toys.

What's the big deal? They're played during ones free time for enjoyment. Socially or solo.
PSN_ZeroOnyx  +   136d ago
PS1 was actually designed as a CD attachment for the SNES, entitled the Nintendo Playstation. Nintendo backed out of the deal right before the press conference announcement and Ken went to Sony and said lets make this a stand alone device. The rest is history.
Orionsangel  +   136d ago
The ignorance of non-gamers, ugh!
#20 (Edited 136d ago ) | Agree(1) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply

Add comment

You need to be registered to add comments. Register here or login
New stories

New Earth Defense Force 4.1 Clip Shows Awesome Mecha v. Kaiju Conflicts

11m ago - Hardcore Gamer: So, it's a tuned-up version of Earth Defense Force 2025 releasing for PS4 and it'... | PS4

Raiden V Will Melt Your Brain in 2015

13m ago - Hardcore Gamer: The latest iteration of the long-standing shooter franchise is stunningly beautiful | Xbox One

Soul Sacrifice and God Eater Join Forces

14m ago - Hardcore Gamer: Soul Sacrifice and God Eater are coming together! | PS Vita

F1 2014 Racing to the Finish Line With New Screenshots

14m ago - Hardcore Gamer: Namco Bandai has today released new screenshots for F1 2014. | PC

Destiny The Game

Now - Explore Mars, Rediscover Venus, Reclaim the moon, Protect Earth. Become Legend. The wait is over! Destiny is now available to play, Pick up your... | Promoted post

Interview: Brjann Sigurgeirsson Talks SteamWorld Heist

26m ago - Tynan Muddle at Aussie-Gamer writes: "Earlier this week, Sweden-based developer Image & Form anno... | 3DS