Sony announced early this morning a major internal shuffling that will combine some divisions in hopes of bringing their core customer base a better experience.
While Sony used to dominate the hardware landscape from end to end, from creating and publishing music, movies, and more and giving customers the hardware to play and watch it on, the PlayStation segment of their business has become increasingly dominant. Come April 1, that’ll be much more official. Sony Computer Entertainment and Sony Network Entertainment are being combined into Sony Interactive Entertainment.
Sony Computer Entertainment has handled the hardware and software previously, while Sony Network Entertainment handled things like PlayStation Network and the PlayStation store. The two will now function as a single unit. This should make for better communication between the two, and should eventually make for a better experience for gamers.
The timing of this fits in perfectly with what Sony has going on. The company is riding high on the success of the PlayStation 4, and this shows just how dominant the system has become both inside and outside of Sony. It also happens to be just before the expected release of PlayStation VR, which is expected to hit this summer. PlayStation VR is a big risk for the company, and it seems likely that this is them preparing a unified front to tackle potential hardware and software issues that come alongside its release. Part of the group’s new set of goals will indeed be to “develop pioneering services and products,” and PlayStation VR is a big part of that.
There’s no word on whether jobs will be affected, but it seems like much of the corporate structure is staying intact, with CEO Andrew House staying at the top of the pyramid. Shawn Layden will be heading Worldwide Studios. This was previously done by Shuhei Yoshida. Yoshida confirmed on Twitter that he’ll be reporting to Layden, and also that he’ll be retaining his title – President of Sony’s Worldwide Studios. That’s a little confusing, but I’m hoping Layden’s title is “Super President” or something.
It’s good to see that there isn’t much change going on. This suggests that this is a plan to improve strength, not one made to brace for loss.
“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 House in a prepared statement.
The new unit’s headquarters will be in San Mateo, California, where the PlayStation group is currently stationed, though they’ll retain locations in Tokyo and London as well.