Sony Corp. (NYSE:SNE) has announced a major restructuring of its gaming and online services business brought about by the merger of Sony Computer Entertainment and Sony Network Entertainment to form the single entity of Sony Interactive Entertainment.
Sony Computer Entertainment has so far been pushing ahead the company’s computer gaming business with the PlayStation being the most visible face of the operations so far. This has been so for the past 22 years and forms one of the most successful business ventures of the Japanese conglomerate.
Sony Network Entertainment, on the other hand, dealt with the online availability of media such as films and television under Video Unlimited, music under Music Unlimited and photographs and videos under PlayMemories.
“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,” said Andrew House, president and CEO of the current Sony Computer Entertainment. “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 maximize corporate value by coordinating global business operations across San Mateo, Tokyo, and London by leveraging local expertise.”
Sony Interactive Entertainment will have its global headquarters in San Mateo in the US though Sony will continue to oversee key operation from its offices in London and Tokyo as well. The new company will start operations from April 1.
Among the areas that Sony Interactive Entertainment will be dedicating its resources into include all future research and development efforts pertaining to the PlayStation gaming console. This applies to the software and network aspects of the console as well.
Sony justified the merger claiming it was imperative for the two sister organisations to “combine resources across their hardware, software, content and fast-growing network businesses, positioning [SIE]” with the aim of achieving “enhanced competitiveness, continued expansion and market leadership in all areas”.
Sony already is the dominant force to deal with in the computer gaming console segment. Its latest PlayStation 4 has been a runaway success ever since its launch in November 2013. It has been outselling the Xbox One consistently that reached a peak during the holidays. To put in figures, Sony achieved sales of 5.7million units of the PlayStation 4 in the month of December alone, which is the highest ever for the console in its history. In all, total sales of the PlayStation 4 stands at more than 35.9 million units since its launch towards end-2013.