Kaz Hirai is preparing to step down as Sony CEO in April, which disappointed many PlayStation fans that have grown fond of seeing Hirai take the stage at pressers over the years. Hirai may become less of a public face once his tenure as chairman at Sony Corporation begins — but at least we have his virtual doppelganger, the parody CEO Kaz Hirai Twitter account, to support us through these hard times.
If you don’t follow CEO Kaz Hirai on Twitter, you should. For the past seven years, the account has brought us goofs and joy, whether you’re hardcore into PlayStation or not. You want jokes about Knack? You got jokes about Knack. You want a hot, snarky take on net neutrality and PlayStation Network at the same time? There you go. You’re welcome.
Kendrick pushed his album back a week because he was scared. He knew he couldn't drop an album the same week PaRappa returned to the game— CEO Kaz Hirai (@KazHiraiCEO) April 7, 2017
The actual Hirai isn’t on Twitter, so those not yet in the know may at first be confused by one of Fake Kaz Hirai’s tweets. But that seems ... unlikely. Because these posts are absurd, and that’s why we love them. Even the actual Kaz Hirai is a fan of the Twitter account; he referenced it in his Consumer Electronics Show keynote in 2016.
Hirai’s most infamous appearance, Sony’s viral E3 2006 press conference (remember “Riiiiiiiiiidge Racer” and “Giant enemy crabs”?), predates the parody account, but moments from it still make up the fantastic bulk of the content. So when the real Kaz announced that he was vacating his position, the fake account came in with probably the best response possible:
I am stepping down as CEO of Sony so I can spend more time with my family: pic.twitter.com/tfVOOGAdTu— CEO Kaz Hirai (@KazHiraiCEO) February 2, 2018
Fake Kaz Hirai, whose real name and identity remain unknown, also pointed out something odd: The account started exactly seven years ago, on Feb. 2. The real Hirai announced his imminent exit from the CEO position on the parody account’s anniversary. Coincidence? Yes, probably. But it’s not our place to say.
We’re lucky to still have the parody version of the longtime Sony CEO as we trudge ahead into a post-Hirai haze. But this comfort will, too, leave us soon enough: In September 2017, the person behind the account declared their intent to retire the handle within the next few months, to his followers’ chagrin.
“While I still spend plenty of time playing video games, I spend a lot less time following video game news,” Fake Kaz Hirai wrote. “I don’t watch every press conference like I used to, and I am now not normally online when a big story breaks.”
All good things come to an end. Fake Kaz promises that he’ll stick around to commentate this year’s E3 conference — this time as the newly titled chairman Kaz Hirai — but after that? We’ll have to look elsewhere for our Sony snarking.