Sony’s longtime PlayStation hardware chief will retire on October 1. Masayasu Ito, 60, who led engineering for both PS4 and PS5, is accordingly retiring. Bloomberg And current director Lin Tao will be replaced. Sony announced the changes in a brief press release today.
Ito originally joined Sony in 1986 and moved 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 117.2 million lifetime sales as of March. The PS4 reached the milestone of selling more games than any other console in history last year.
Ito is also responsible for the creation of the PSVR headset, PS4 Pro and Sony’s latest PS5 consoles. Sony began working on the PS5 in 2015, and Ito and his team spent five years designing and developing the console. Ito detailed the PS5 development process ahead of the console’s launch in 2020, revealing that Sony focused on reducing noise levels and improving cooling efficiency on the PS5, along with a “well-thought-out and beautifully designed architecture” inside the console.
While the PS5 is the biggest game console in modern history, Sony has been cutting its weight in recent revisions. Sony quietly launched a revised PS5 last month, shedding 13 percent of the weight from the original launch model. The new PS5 model comes just as Sony raises the price of its PS5 consoles outside the US. Sony is increasing its PS5 prices in the UK, Europe, Japan, China, Australia, Mexico and Canada. Inflation rates have affected Sony’s gaming business, with prices rising by 10 percent in Europe, 21 percent in Japan, and nearly 6 percent in the UK.
Ito’s replacement, Lin Tao, will be responsible for any future generations of PlayStation hardware. Sony released its PS3 in 2006, followed by the PS4 seven years later in 2013, and the PS5 in 2020, seven years after the PS4. If the seven-year model holds true it took Sony five years to plan and build the PS5. Next Generation PlayStation (2027?), Sony is entering early planning stages for the new PlayStation generation with a new hardware chief.