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 according to Bloomberg and is replaced by current director Lin Tao. Sony has 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. The PS4 even reached a milestone of sell more games than any other console in last year’s 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 detailed the PS5 development process ahead of the console’s launch in 2020, which revealed Sony’s focus 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.
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.
Ito’s replacement, Lin Tao, will now be in charge of future PlayStation hardware generations. 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. Given that it took Sony five years to plan and design the PS5, if the seven-year pattern holds 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.