Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE)— the branch of the company responsible for its gaming consoles and accessories — is losing one of the main architects. The company has confirmed to Bloomberg News that Masayasu Ito, who led the development of the PlayStation 4 and the PlayStation 5, is leaving his role on October 1st. Ito has been with Sony for 36 years, joining the company way back in 1986 and starting with the development of in-car audio equipment those first years.
He transferred to the console division in 2000, and he’s had a hand in developing Sony’s PlayStation devices since then, including the PS Portable and the PS4 Pro. He eventually became the Executive Vice President of Hardware Engineering and Operation and representative director of Sony Interactive Entertainment. While Sony didn’t elaborate on why Ito is leaving in its announcement, it told Bloomberg that the 60-year-old executive is retiring. He will maintain work on “mobility related assignment” within the broader Sony Group; he’ll also act in an advising capacity to SIE over the next 18 months.
Over the past few of decades, he represented Sony in interviews and other public appearances concerning the PlayStation. He talked to Engadget about the PlayStation Eye camera for the PS4 back in 2013 and told us in the same year that the company was releasing the Vita TV outside Japan. He was also the one who announced that Project Morpheus would be known as the PlayStation VR at Tokyo Game Show back in 2015.
Two years ago, Ito posted a teardown of the PS5 on the PlayStation blog. He said Sony had to make a “generational leap in terms of performance” for its next console generation and had to ensure that all elements of the device work together. it had to find ways to reduce the console’s the noise level, for instance, and increase its cooling capacity to be able to prevent its components from overheating. “In this teardown video of the PS5 console, you will be able to see how we have thoughtfully integrated our technology into this console,” he wrote.
Correction 9/6/22 10:47am: While initially it was reported Ito was leaving Sony entirely, Bloomberg has since corrected its reporting to include the mobility project and advisory capacity he will maintain within Sony for the near-term. Our story has been updated to reflect this.