President and CEO Sony Computer EntertainmentThe father of the Playstation is training his baby for a fight on the Internet. Ken Kutaragi, who runs Sonys games division, has nurtured his creation into a multibillion-dollar empire: Sony has sold an estimated 75 million PlayStation systems worldwide since 1994. Kutaragi, an engineer by training who conducted research and development in Sonys digital signal processing lab in the 80s, initiated development of the first PlayStation console. PlayStation accounts for about 40 percent of Sonys revenue and has a 47 percent market share.
This year, Kutaragi will engage the most serious threats yet to PlayStations dominance. Microsoft is bulldozing into the game console arena with Xbox, which will include Internet connectivity as a central feature. Meanwhile, traditional rival Nintendo is prepping a summer release of Gamecube, its own high-performance "immersive" three-dimensional system. Sega is fading from the scene, reportedly phasing out its Internet-enabled Dreamcast box.