Sony’s head of PlayStation hardware will retire on October 1. Masayasu Ito, 60, who led engineering for the PS4 and PS5, retires, 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, among others, is still headed by senior vice president Hideaki Nishino. Nishino promoted to that role in March 2021, and reports directly to SIE president Jim Ryan. Current director Lin Tao takes over from Ito’s role as vice president and representative director of Sony’s Japan operations. Sony announces changes to a short press release today.
Ito initially joined Sony in 1986 before moving to the company’s PlayStation division in 2008 to lead PlayStation hardware engineering. Ito oversaw engineering for the PlayStation 4, the wildly successful console that hit lifetime sales 117.2 million as of March. PS4 even hit a milestone sell more games than any other console in last year’s history.
Ito is also responsible for manufacturing Sony’s latest PSVR headset, PS4 Pro, and PS5 console. Sony started working on the PS5 in 2015, and Ito and his team spent five years designing and developing the console. ito details the PS5 development process ahead of the console’s 2020 launch, revealed that Sony is focusing on reducing noise levels and increasing cooling capacity in the PS5, in addition to supporting the “well-designed and beautifully designed architecture” within the console.
While the PS5 is the biggest game console in modern history, Sony has reduced its weight in the latest revision. Sony quietly launches a PS5 revision last month, reducing weight by 13 percent from the original launch model. The new PS5 model comes just as Sony is raising prices for its PS5 console outside the US. Sony raises PS5 price in the UK, Europe, Japan, China, Australia, Mexico and Canada. Prices jumped 10 percent in Europe, 21 percent in Japan, and about 6 percent in the UK as the inflation rate took a toll on Sony’s gaming business.
Sony first released the PS3 in 2006, followed by the PS4 seven years later in 2013, and the PS5 seven years after the PS4 in 2020. Given that it took Sony five years to plan and design the PS5, if the seven-year pattern holds true. for the next generation PlayStation (2027?), Sony may be entering the early planning stages for a new PlayStation generation with a new head of hardware at the helm.
Correction, September 6, 12:39 a.m. ET: Earlier versions of this story said that Ito’s successor Lin Tao will be in charge of future generations of PlayStation, Sony said that responsibility continues under senior vice president Hideaki Nishino. We regret the mistake.