Welcome to “SEN” City folks, as this week Sony renames all PlayStation Network accounts to Sony Entertainment Network accounts. Is this tiny facelift to the PlayStation’s digital front a sign of bigger things to come?
“The times they are a-changin’,” and accurately so for the consumer electronics giant and keeper of the PlayStation brand, Sony. Kaz Hirai, formally the Sony Computer Entertainment Chairman and huge Ridge Racer aficionado, will soon be the new residing mastermind of the whole Sony Corporation – Bravia flat-screens, Vaio computers, and all. That change in command isn’t official until the first of April though, but already another peculiar change is about to start for all PlayStation Network account holders come this week.
No longer will those aforementioned accounts be referenced to as such, because as of Wednesday, February 8, they’ll go under the new heading of Sony Entertainment Network accounts. For now, it’s a change in name only – so no worries about your personal digital goods, they’ll remain safely untouched – as Sony beings to phase out the Qriocity brand (not going to lie, I still don’t know what it is) with their shiny new digital ecosystem, the Sony Entertainment Network, which hopes to simplify all networked log-ins for any Sony service down to a single all in compassing one.
Big picture wise, the PlayStation Store branding is still staying around as the online store for your PlayStation 3 and Vita, but now that users are under the Sony Entertainment Network umbrella, the trim-down will let users access Music Unlimited, Video Unlimited, PlayMemories Online, and other Sony products without having to fumble through separate accounts. It has been that particular Achilles’ heel, along with a laundry-list of other problems, that have fouled the Sony brand for some time, and an issue the new CEO, Mr. Hirai, will have to deal with at the start of his tenure.
The Sony Corp has been a rather large company split in to many camps, one in Japan – where the company is centrally headquartered – and other key departments located elsewhere around the world. This split, likely due to the language and cultural barrier, has caused the brunt of the company’s major woes, where neither side seems to be on the same page, and as a result, Sony’s products have lately been surpassed by their consumer electronic rivals, Samsung, Apple, and etc.
Being accustomed to both sides, and being smartly fluent in both English and Japanese, Kaz Hirai looks like the perfect candidate to bring back Sony to it’s former glory. It will be super interesting to see what moves the new CEO makes in the coming months, not with just the struggling company, but also the PlayStation nation.