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Sony reorganization shuffles names, but doesn't mess with the games


You ready? Okay -- follow along: Sony announced today that the Sony Computer Entertainment subsidiary will change its name to SNE Platform (or "SNEP"), and then transfer its video game operations to a new subsidiary, named -- surprise! -- Sony Computer Entertainment. On April 1, SNEP, which will be primarily operating Sony's network services and business as a wholly-owned subsidiary, will merge with Sony, and then promptly dissolve into the parent company. Since Sony already owns all shares of SNEP, there's not going to be any market action (issuance of new shares, share capital increases or cash payments) upon the merger.

So, wait, what's happening? Essentially, Sony is moving its network business out from under the gaming wing and bringing it up to the parent company level. This is a different path than the one laid out a year ago, which suggested SCE, as then operator of the network business (think: PSN), would begin to play a larger role in the unification of the company as it pertains to an online strategy. Instead, the "new" Sony Computer Entertainment will have a slightly more narrow focus, "mainly consisting of the planning, development, manufacturing and sales of home-use/portable game consoles and software," according to the reorganization announcement; and Sony Online Service, including the proposed expansion of PSN IDs to non-gaming Sony devices, will seemingly be handled by a new division (but possibly the same personnel) within the Sony parent company.

Though listed as the "Representative Director" of the short-lived SNEP subsidiary, Kaz Hirai will presumably remain in charge of the PlayStation division now and after the April 1 merger. Sub-divisions SCEA and SCEE are unaffected by the reorganziation.

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