Sony has announced that it is to merge its Computer Entertainment and Network Entertainment divisions into a new company dubbed Sony Interactive Entertainment, shifting its gaming effort from Tokyo to California.
Sony Computer Entertainment, established in 1993 ahead of the launch of the PlayStation a year later and based in Tokyo, is the division which handles development of the PlayStation hardware and associated peripherals. Sony Network Entertainment, founded in 2010, is responsible for running the company's PlayStation Network infrastructure, including the PlayStation Store and recently-launched PlayStation Vue streaming video service. Now, both have been merged into Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) - but the big news is a shift for the PlayStation focus from Tokyo to California.
'By integrating the strengths of PlayStation’s hardware, software, content and network operations, SIE will become an even stronger entity, with a clear objective to further accelerate the growth of the PlayStation business, claimed Andrew House, who will continue on as president and chief executive of the newly-formed subsidiary. 'Along with our business partners, SIE will develop pioneering services and products that will continue to inspire consumers' imaginations and lead the market. We will work hard to maximise corporate value by coordinating global business operations across San Mateo, Tokyo, and London by leveraging local expertise.'
The move to California for the new company is a significant one: the PlayStation brand has largely been driven by the original SCE, based in Japan, while SCE America has played second-fiddle. Having the newly-formed company headquartered in the US demonstrates shifting attitudes at the company, though the long-term impact of the change is as yet unguessable.