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Amid Weak PS3 Sales, SCEA Chief Steps Down

It appears the disappointing PlayStation 3 has claimed its first executive victim inside Sony. Sony Computer Entertainment CEO Ken Kutaragi announced his decision to step down Thursday. His departure wasn't a huge surprise, as Kutaragi hinted the PS3 would be his last big project for the consumer electronics giant months ago.

"I am happy to graduate from Sony Computer Entertainment after introducing four platforms to the PlayStation family," Kutaragi said in a statement. Indeed, Kutaragi is one of the most well-respected figures in the history of video games, a market whose growth he contributed to greatly, especially with the original PlayStation and the PS2, which collectively shipped more than 200 million units.

But alas, the PS3 trails both Nintendo and Microsoft in the categories of total sales, as well sales rate. Nintendo's Wii is flying off the shelves, and the Xbox 360, which had a year's head start over its competitors, is moving along steadily. According to NPD Group, the PS3 sold 130,000 units in the U.S. in March, compared to 199,000 Xbox 360s, and 259,000 Nintendo Wiis. However, at the end of the day, it's all about the quality of the software. Nintendo proved this in 2004, when sales of its portable Nintendo DS leaped ahead of Sony's PSP, thanks to a steady stream of quality titles after lagging in early sales. Likewise, the PS3 badly needs some hits.

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