Great for players aiming for a Cultural Victory, Ibuka doesn't really provide much usage for other players aside from an extra era point.
Masaru Ibuka was born in April 1908 AD in Nikko City, and grew into an inquisitive child fond of experimenting with electricity. He became one of the first ham radio operators in Japan, with his call-signs logged as early as 1926. In 1933 he graduated from Waseda University’s School of Science and Engineering and promptly joined the Photo-Chemical Laboratory, a company that processed and duplicated movie film … until the outbreak of war swept him into the Imperial Japanese Navy. In the Navy he would meet his future partner Akio Morita, and continue his research with Nippon-Ko-On (Japan Opto-Acoustic) Industrial. In 1946 Masaru and Akio bought a bombed out radio repair shop in Tokyo and founded Tokyo-Tsushin Kenkyusho, specializing in educational electronics, especially in magnetic recording devices.
Shortly after, the pair also created Tokyo-Tsushin Kogya K.K. with Ibuka as president. The company’s future was assured when in 1949 Ibuka developed magnetic recording tape. In 1958 the two companies were merged and renamed Sony Corporation. Following the American invention of the transistor, Ibuka envisioned all sort of consumer applications (the Americans were pursuing military uses primarily); in 1954 Sony became the first licensee – from the Western Electric Company – of the patent for transistors outside the United States. Shortly after, Masaru and his research team produced a transistorized broadcast radio receiver … and civilization changed forever. The company made billions of yen, dollars, rubles, and just about every other currency available.
Plunging into research on solid-state electronics, under Ibuka Sony also made breakthroughs in the application of technologies such as the Esaki tunnel diode, Yamada magneto-sensitive semiconductor diode, polycrystalline power ICs, and the Trinitron three-beam color tube. In 1976 he retired as Chairman of the Board from Sony, leaving the company in the hands of hand-picked successors, dying in 1997.