Before the existence of the PlayStation, Sony worked with Nintendo on a CD-ROM drive for the Super Famicom. Nintendo decided to pull the plug on the device, and so Sony entered the console business by itself – becoming a direct rival and industry powerhouse.
With this in mind, “The Father of PlayStation” Ken Kutaragi recently visited the bar of Bandai Namco’s Katsuhiro Harada and took some time to reflect on PlayStation’s relationship with other companies – like Nintendo – during this era.
Kutaragi (who also designed the SNES sound chip) said he enjoyed working with Nintendo’s team and believes the media at the time, along with “outside perspectives”, misregarded these relations. He explains how in the long run, this idea of “conflict” between Sony, Nintendo, and Sega only helped the industry grow. Here’s the full rundown:
“Prior to PlayStation, I worked on Super Famicom with Nintendo, and I liked Mr. Uemura very much and his team very much, I was often with them and got along with them. But from the outside, we were regarded to be fighting. We were not fighting at all.”
“I’ve been asked only such kind of questions, “Is [PlayStation’s] competitor Sega or Nintendo?” they asked me, but we’d never thought who the competitor was because we were all workmates. However, people outside didn’t think so…they didn’t know the truth…They made our industry liven up.”
While comments like this might not have been quite as convincing back in the ’90s, nowadays, Sony and Nintendo occupy different segments of the video game industry. If you’re curious to learn more about Nintendo and Sony’s past, check out our feature about the SNES PlayStation.