Sony’s longtime PlayStation hardware chief will retire next month

Sony’s longtime PlayStation hardware chief will retire on October 1. 60-year-old Masayasu Ito, who led engineering for both the PS4 and PS5, is retiring, as reported by Bloomberg.

According to Sony communications manager Cathy Liu, responsibility for the PlayStation platform, which includes hardware engineering, security, product strategy and design, continues to be led by senior vice president Hideaki Nishino. Nishino was promoted to that role in March 2021 and reports directly to SIE President Jim Ryan. Current CEO Lin Tao takes over from Ito as deputy president and representative director of Sony’s operation in Japan. Sony announced the changes in a short press release today.

Ito originally joined Sony in 1986 and moved to the PlayStation division of the company in 2008 to lead PlayStation’s hardware engineering. Ito oversaw the engineering for the PlayStation 4, a wildly successful console that reached a lifetime sales of 117.2 million in March. In fact, the PS4 hit a milestone last year by selling more games than any other console in history.

Ito was also responsible for the creation of the PSVR headset, the PS4 Pro and Sony’s latest PS5 console. Sony started work on the PS5 in 2015, and Ito and his team spent five years designing and developing the console. Ito described the PS5 development process ahead of the console’s launch in 2020, revealing that Sony focused on reducing noise levels and improving cooling capacity in the PS5, in addition to favoring “a well-thought-out, beautifully designed architecture.” ” in the console.

Sony favored a well-thought-out architecture in the PS5.
Image: Ifixit

While the PS5 is the biggest game console in modern history, Sony has reduced its weight in recent revisions. Sony quietly launched a revised PS5 last month, reducing its weight by 13 percent over the original launch model. The new PS5 model comes just as Sony is raising the price for its PS5 consoles outside the US. Sony is raising its PS5 prices in the UK, Europe, Japan, China, Australia, Mexico and Canada. Prices are up 10 percent in Europe, 21 percent in Japan and about 6 percent in the UK as inflation figures affect Sony’s gaming business.

Sony first released its PS3 in 2006, followed by the PS4 seven years later in 2013, and the PS5 seven years after the PS4 in 2020. Considering that it took Sony five years to plan and design the PS5, if the seven-year pattern is right for the next-gen PlayStation (2027?), Sony would be about to enter the early planning stages for a new PlayStation generation with a new hardware chief at the helm.

Correction, Sept. 6, 12:39 PM ET: An earlier version of this story said Ito’s replacement Lin Tao will be in charge of future PlayStation generations, Sony says the responsibility will continue under senior vice president Hideaki Nishino. We regret the mistake.

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