President, Sega Entertainment Ltd.
ADDRESS 1-2-12 Haneda, Ohta-ku, Tokyo
BIO A latecomer to the gaming industry, Irimajiri earned an aeronautical engineering degree from the University of Tokyo, then went to work for Honda Motor Co., developing engines for motorcycles and Formula One racing cars for 20 years. A heart problem led him to resign from an executive post in 1992; he took up kiko, a Chinese breathing method, to restore his health. When Hayao Nakayama, then president of Sega, asked him to be Sega's vice president in 1993, he bit: he liked the company's ambitious business plan--and its racing games. Named president in February 1998, Irimajiri is determined to see Sega refurbish its tattered image, reverse its financial losses and reclaim the market share its current video-gaming console, the Saturn, lost so swiftly in the mid '90s to the Sony PlayStation and Nintendo 64.
1998 POWER PLAY Last May, Sega revealed details of Dreamcast, its new console going on sale in Japan next month and in the U.S. in late 1999. With a 128-bit engine, powerful 3D-graphics chip and other features, Dreamcast promises to outperform other consoles and reinvent the platform.
PLACE YOUR BETS With a man at the helm who hates to lose, and gaming's next big thing, Sega's sure to shake things up. But no matter how hot Dreamcast is, it won't sell unless there are cool games created to play with it.