Two of the biggest names in digital entertainment have announced shifts in their respective power structures. Former Sony Computer Entertainment exec Kazuo Hirai was named Sony Corp.’s chief executive today and Konami went public with the fact that 14-year company man Tomoyuki Tsuboi will be head honcho there.
The two appointments take place amid a transitional time for the games industry: With developers getting familiar and comfortable working on current-gen hardware and the pending release of Nintendo’s Wii U and the PlayStation Vita later this year, rumors are flying regarding next-gen consoles from the other two major hardware manufacturers. Of course, Hirai is stepping up from a game-centric arm of his organization and heading the Sony brand as a whole.
As a major contributor to the PlayStation brand’s early years, Hirai may be most remembered for his 2006 appearance, in which an enthusiastic announcement of Ridge Racer for the PSP fell on mostly deaf ears aside from one guy giving a half-hearted “whoo.”
As for Tsuboi and his work with Konami, the company’s official release on the matter points to an increased focus on Western markets and the development of mobile and social games.
Former Sony chief Howard Stringer will chair the company’s board of directors pending approval from investors before he takes office April 1. Take heed of the date, as that’s when Hirai begins his official duties as Sony president as well. Hopefully for these guys this isn’t some sick, twisted April Fool’s prank. If so, Ashton Kutcher’s got nothing on the Sony executive board.