Ridge Racer fan/PlayStation exec Kaz Hirai to be next president of Sony

Media and electronics giant Sony had an eventful 2011 to be sure. It had the launch of a new handheld, huge PS3 releases like Uncharted 3, the massive hack of PSN, and travails in the company’s other division all lead to a crummy year with big losses. Perhaps all this is what’s leading to management shake-ups that will include a promotion for Kazuo “Riiidge Racer” Hirai.

According to Japanese publication Nikkei (via The Verge), Sony will name Hirai company president next month, with him assuming the responsibilities in April. This move follows the company’s current head Howard Stringer (Sony’s first non-Japanese CEO) being faced with some shareholders calling for his resignation as well as other managerial reshufflings. However, when Kaz takes over as Sony’s president, Stringer will still hold on to his influential position as CEO.

How will this impact gamers? Hirai’s actual plans with regards to Sony will no doubt take months to be materialize, we just hope Kaz still finds time in June to make an appearance at E3 in less than six months. Whether announcing the name of a new system, sharing bar graphs, or mocking his pronunciation of Ridge Racer, Kaz has become as much an institution of E3 as Reggie kicking ass and awkward families demoing Kinect.

Henry Gilbert

Henry Gilbert is a former GamesRadar+ Editor, having spent seven years at the site helping to navigate our readers through the PS3 and Xbox 360 generation. Henry is now following another passion of his besides video games, working as the producer and podcast cohost of the popular Talking Simpsons and What a Cartoon podcasts.