Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Revolutionaries at Sony: The Making of the Sony Playstation and the Visionaries Who Conquered the World of Video Games Hardcover – 1 Jul 2000

3.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Hardcover
"Please retry"
£47.75 £6.57
click to open popover

Special Offers and Product Promotions

Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.




Product details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Publishing Co. (1 July 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071355871
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071355872
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 17.1 x 24.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,121,389 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Amazon Review

PlayStation is the hottest computer-game platform going, and its 7 billion dollars in annual sales now account for 23 per cent of parent Sony Corp.'s profits. In Revolutionaries at Sony, Reiji Asakura describes how this came about despite long odds and nay-sayers from within and without. Asakura gives all credit to Ken Kutaragi, a visionary executive engineer who recognised the possibilities when he first viewed Sony's revolutionary "System G" 3-D technology in 1984, and who still believes it has achieved only a fraction of its potential for launching "an entire world of computerised home entertainment". Asakura attributes much of the ongoing success to Kutaragi's reliance on more than "an engineer's point of view", noting that whenever he "came across an interesting idea, his thoughts quickly turned to how (it) could be successfully commercialised." Asakura, an economic and technology journalist based in Tokyo, is an unabashed cheerleader of the PlayStation and the people who created it, calling the product "a modern miracle" and Kutaragi "the hero of this book". But anyone curious about these incredibly popular games, which increasingly hook middle managers along with their children, should find the tale an interesting one. --Howard Rothman, Amazon.com

Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Revolutionaries at Sony is the authorized case history of how Sony came to enter and become a leader in the video game business in the 1990s. Many people despair about the potential for large companies to produce entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial results from within major corporations. Even more people would despair about that occurring with fast-changing technologies in the slow-moving, consensus-driven cultures of Japanese companies. The latest look at this general subject is found in the well-done books, The Innovator's Dilemma and The Innovator's Solution.
This book is an important case history on the subject, because it both confirms and challenges many common beliefs about intrapreneurship (being an entrepreneur inside a company, a term coined by Gifford Pinchot).
First, Japanese companies have a reputation for being not very innovative. The Sony entry into computer games is just the opposite, an important innovation based on a well-considered bet on advanced technology and how a market could be developed. In describing this case, the potential advantages of a large company because obvious in terms of creating access to and the ability to use more types of advanced technology.
Second, the case history is especially noteworthy because the Sony team took the unusual perspective (but one that I subscribe to in The 2,000 Percent Solution and The Irresistible Growth Enterprise) that ordinary people can approach perfection routinely. And the Sony team did just that.
Third, Ken Kutaragi, the key entrepreneur in the story, shows how being a contructive rebel can pay off. Shades of skunk works at Lockheed! He clearly must be familiar with the literature that suggests that you need to get the team away from everyone else, yet access top talent.
Read more ›
Comment 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
After reading the excellents books by Dean Takahashi about the creation of the first two Xboxes, I decided to look for an equivalent book to learn about the process which led to the introduction of the Playstations.

This is the only book I found that appeared to do such a thing and it is very little more than a piece of propaganda for Kutaragi. This is the first few lines of introduction for Ken Kutaragi: "The father of the Playstation and the hero of this book. An extraordinary engineer with a shrewd head for business.".

If you are looking to something remotely objective on how Sony pulled this very nice piece of technology, keep searching because this is not what you're looking for. This is only the least objective Ken Kutaragi biography possible.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Playstation one. If you love trivia its jam packed, for example what colour Grey is Playstation?? Where did the name Playstation come from? It had nothing to do with marketing...
If you work in the interactive entertainment industry then I would rate it as a * MUST*
But the most interesting aspects are how SONY kicked major butt (namely SEGA and Big N's) by ignoring the status quo and totally and utterly re-inventing the games industry.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9658b9c0) out of 5 stars 10 reviews
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x961ed324) out of 5 stars An Important Contribution to the History of Intrapraneuring 17 Jun. 2000
By Donald Mitchell - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This book is the authorized case history of how Sony came to enter and become a leader in the video game business in the 1990s. Many people despair about the potential for companies to produce entrepreneurs and entreneurial results from within major corporations. The latest look at this subject in general is The Innovator's Dilemma.
This book is an important case history on the subject, because it both confirms and challenges many common beliefs about intrapreneurship (being an entrepreneur inside a company, a term coined by Gifford Pinchot).
First, Japanese companies have a reputation for being not very innovative. The Sony entry into computer games is just the opposite, an important innovation based on a well-considered bet on advanced technology and how a market could be developed.
Second, the case history is especially noteworthy because the Sony team took the unusual perspective (but one that I subscribe to in The 2,000 Percent Solution and The Irresistible Growth Enterprise) that ordinary people can approach perfection routinely. And the Sony team did just that.
Third, Ken Kutaragi, the key entrepreneur in the story, shows how being a contructive rebel can pay off. Shades of skunk works at Lockheed! He clearly must be familiar with the literature that suggests that you need to get the team away from everyone else, yet access top talent. He did this by the unusual approach of heading a joint venture between Sony corporate and Sony Music, a subsidiary. This allowed the venture to be both in and out of Sony, depending on what is needed. He was aggressive when Sony was wrong, and enthusistically supportive when Sony was right in its support.
Fourth, this case is an excellent example of technological vision: Many of the key decisions were based on the expected development of future technology, but that technology was not yet available as the product was developed. If the technology had not become available later, Sony would have lost a fortune. Yet it made one instead. This is a wonderful example of anticipation.
The summary of the key principles that created this success (over $7 billion in sales in its fourth year -- one of the greatest new business entries in history) near the end is worth putting on your wall.
Anyone who wants to create fast growth should study this book. It provides many key lessons into the required leadership practices for technology-based businesses in the 21st century. I suspect it will become a classic in Japan. It should become one everywhere.
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x961ed378) out of 5 stars Valuable Model for Entrepreneurship in Japanese Companies 13 Feb. 2001
By Donald Mitchell - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Revolutionaries at Sony is the authorized case history of how Sony came to enter and become a leader in the video game business in the 1990s. Many people despair about the potential for large companies to produce entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial results from within major corporations. Even more people would despair about that occurring with fast-changing technologies in the slow-moving, consensus-driven cultures of Japanese companies. The latest look at this general subject is found in the well-done book, The Innovator's Dilemma.
This book is an important case history on the subject, because it both confirms and challenges many common beliefs about intrapreneurship (being an entrepreneur inside a company, a term coined by Gifford Pinchot).
First, Japanese companies have a reputation for being not very innovative. The Sony entry into computer games is just the opposite, an important innovation based on a well-considered bet on advanced technology and how a market could be developed. In describing this case, the potential advantages of a large company because obvious in terms of creating access to and the ability to use more types of advanced technology.
Second, the case history is especially noteworthy because the Sony team took the unusual perspective (but one that I subscribe to in The 2,000 Percent Solution and The Irresistible Growth Enterprise) that ordinary people can approach perfection routinely. And the Sony team did just that.
Third, Ken Kutaragi, the key entrepreneur in the story, shows how being a contructive rebel can pay off. Shades of skunk works at Lockheed! He clearly must be familiar with the literature that suggests that you need to get the team away from everyone else, yet access top talent. He did this by the unusual approach of heading a joint venture between Sony corporate and Sony Music, a subsidiary. This allowed the venture to be both in and out of Sony, depending on what is needed. He was aggressive when Sony was wrong, and enthusistically supportive when Sony was right in its support.
Fourth, this case is an excellent example of technological vision: Many of the key decisions were based on the expected development of future technology, but that technology was not yet available as the product was developed. If the technology had not become available later, Sony would have lost a fortune. Yet it made one instead. This is a wonderful example of anticipation.
The summary of the key principles that created this success (over $7 billion in sales in its fourth year -- one of the greatest new business entries in history) near the end is worth putting on your wall.
Anyone who wants to create fast growth should study this book. It provides many key lessons into the required leadership practices for technology-based businesses in the 21st century. I suspect it will become a classic in Japan. It should become one everywhere else as people seriously consider how to make giant companies dance nimbly with technology.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x96445df8) out of 5 stars Nothing Revolutionary, but a decent read nonetheless 2 Jan. 2001
By Kurt Squire - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Revolutionaries at Sony does a good job of detailing an insider's perspective of the rise of the Playstation. It gives a good account of how the platform came to be, and a thorough discussion of the hardware. Sony's business plans, particularly its marketing strategy is also detailed for the reader, and gives some insight into the marketing of the PS2.
Unfortunately, the story of Ken Katarugi, the "hero" of the book (p. xi), reads more like "The Life and Times of Montgomery Burns, as told by Waylon Smithers" rather than even a semi-objective attempt at accurate history. Indeed, after reading Revolutionaries at Sony, I was left wondering what is this book exactly? A history? A fan book? By its cover, it's supposed to be a business case-study book. As a case study book, I'd expect a wider range of perspectives. Who heard of a case study of a business that quotes the senior executives almost exclusively? Where are the attempts to build alternative explanations, or refute alternative hypothesis. If it is a business case study, then I'd also expect to see a more thorough description of the business environment Nintendo's business model, which Asakura seems to have missed almost completely, is scantly mentioned. Given that Sheff's excellent history of Nintendo is now several years old, this oversite is more than a little disturbing.
But, if you're looking for a good one sided (Officially sancioned) account of the rise of the PlayStation, and a few of the facts behind the Rise of the Playstation, then Revolutionaries at Sony will do.
You can read the full review at Joystick101.org
[...]
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x961ed600) out of 5 stars Do you develop or market products? Read this book! 1 Nov. 2000
By Don Stoddard - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Your virtually guranteed to walk away with 1 or 2 good ideas about how to develop and market products. This is like reading the play book for the New York Yankees. You won't find anything shocking, it's just a great story about how to break into a very competitve computer games market. You'll read how superior technology, relentless attention to detail and design, love for the customer, cost superiority and a vision to be the best in the world lead to great success. This is the closest thing the business world has to a royal straight flush! It's a quick read, so stop reading this and start reading this book.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x961ed840) out of 5 stars An almost sycophantic biography. 10 Aug. 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Asakura'a book is an uncritical story in which Sony and Kutaragi can do no wrong. It details the history of the PlayStation development - the hassles with Nintendo which kicked the project off; relations with developers; what makes the main people tick; problems, surprises etc. While it is an interesting story the writer seems to have taken everything he was told by Sony employees as gospel and did not do any extra research. There are none or very few quotes or interviews from competitors, ex-employees, game journalists or even PlayStation developers (except development company executives) in this book. After a while the very uncritical nature start to get boring.
If you love your PlayStation and read business biographies, this is worthwhile but wait for the paperback.
Were these reviews helpful? Let us know


Feedback