- New unit to combine hardware, software, content and networks
- Sony Interactive Entertainment to start operations in April
Sony Corp. is sharpening its focus on streaming and online game services with a consolidation of its PlayStation hardware, software and network operations under one roof.
Sony Interactive Entertainment LLC will begin operations from April 1, based in San Mateo, California, the Tokyo-based parent said in a statement on Tuesday. Andrew House, who has led Sony’s video game unit, will head the new company.
Chief Executive Officer Kazuo Hirai has said this fiscal year marks the beginning of an expansion phase after the maker of the PlayStation 4 cut thousands of jobs and shifted away from smartphones and TVs. Hirai’s management plan, announced in February 2015, calls for games and services, image sensors, movies and streaming music to drive growth in the next three years.
“Network and games have practically the same user base and off-line games are no longer the driving force of the market,” Amir Anvarzadeh, a manager of Japanese equity sales at BGC Partners Inc. in Singapore, wrote in an e-mailed note. “This merger of the two which are both under the watchful eye of Andrew House, who has executed flawlessly thus far, makes perfect sense.”
Sony kept its forecast for the games business to generate as much as 1.6 trillion yen ($14 billion) in sales in the year ending March 2018, with an operating profit margin of 5 to 6 percent. The company will report third-quarter earning results on Friday.