Today it was announced that Sony would be merging the PlayStation businesses into one new US-Based company named Sony Interactive Entertainment.
The new Sony subsidiary will be an amalgamation of the two existing Sony videogames businesses, Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. and Sony Network Entertainment International. This new company will integrate “the strengths of PlayStation’s hardware, software, content and network operations" said Andrew House, President and Global CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. and Group Executive in charge of Network Entertainment of Sony Corporation. He went on to say that "SIE will become an even stronger entity, with a clear objective to further accelerate the growth of the PlayStation® business. 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 new headquarters will now be in San Mateo, California, with "key global business operations" in Tokyo and London. This means the headquarters of Sony's game division is moving away from a Japan-centric location into a more western-based one.
In a statement on the matter, Sony explains the "key corporate strategies of SIE" to be that they will " retain and expand PlayStation user engagement, increase Average Revenue Per Paying Users (ARPPU) and drive ancillary revenue" to go on to explain that Sony Interactive Entertainment "vigorously expand the PlayStation business by delivering an integrated experience built around best-in-class games and network services to consumers worldwide."
Andrew House will retain the title of president and global CEO, now at the helm of SIE, and will also run global partners and development relations. Other executives will change roles in the new division, though. Jim Ryan current president of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe will move into the role of Global Sales and Marketing, whereas Shawn Layden current CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment America will now be the head of Worldwide studios for SIE.
Shuhei Yoshida, current head of Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios said on twitter that he will now report to Shawn Layden.
— Shuhei Yoshida (@yosp) January 26, 2016
With this move, Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE) will be put to rest with everything under the SIE brand. This is the end of an era that started with the PS One, but it is an example of the evolution of the gaming business. With interactive media going beyond gaming, this is one step that moves Sony further into the future. Hopefully day-to-day operations as far as the consumer will see will stay the same.