|Industry:||Interactive entertainment, Computer, Video games|
November 16, 1993
Sony Computer Entertainment, Inc. (SCEI) is a Japanese multinational video game company specializing in a variety of areas in the video game industry, and is a wholly owned subsidiary and part of the Consumer Products & Services Group of Sony. The company was established on November 16, 1993 in Tokyo, Japan, prior to the launch of the original PlayStation video game system.
SCEI handles the research and development, production, and sales of both hardware and software for the PlayStation line of handheld and home console video game systems. It is also a developer and publisher of video game titles and is composed of several subsidiaries covering the company's largest markets: North America, Europe and Asia. SCE's largest workforce is in the United States and has 8,000 employees in more than 50 countries.
Sony Computer Entertainment was jointly established by Sony and its subsidiary Sony Music Entertainment Japan to handle the company's ventures into the video game hardware market. The company's North American operations, Sony Computer Entertainment of America (SCEA), were originally established in May 1995 as a division of Sony Electronic Publishing. In the months prior to the release of PlayStation in Western markets, the operations were restructured: All videogame marketing from Sony Imagesoft was folded into SCEA in July 1995. On August 1995, Steve Race unexpectedly resigned and was named CEO of Spectrum HoloByte three days later. He was replaced by Sony Electronics veteran Martin Homlish. As part of a worldwide restructuring at the beginning of 1997, Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. (currently Sony Computer Entertainment America LLC) was reestablished as a wholly owned subsidiary of SCEI. On July 2002 Chairman of SCE, Shigeo Maruyama, was replaced by Tamotsu Iba as Chairman. Jack Tretton and Phil Harrison were also promoted to Senior Vice President of SCE.
On September 2005, SCE formed Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios (SCE WWS), a single internal entity overseeing all wholly owned development studios within SCE. It is responsible for the creative and strategic direction of development and production of all computer entertainment software by all SCE-owned studios, all of which is produced exclusively for the PlayStation family of consoles. Shuhei Yoshida was named as President of SCE WWS on May 2008,replacing Kazuo Hirai, who was serving interim after inaugural SCE WWS President Phil Harrison left the company in early 2008. On November 2006 President of SCE Ken Kutaragi was appointed as Chairman of SCE while Kazuo Hirai, President of SCEA was promoted to President of SCE.On April 2007 Ken Kutaragi resigned from his position as Chairman of SCE and Group CEO, passing on his duties to President of SCE, Kazuo Hirai.
On April 2009 David Reeves, President and CEO of SCE Europe, announced that he would be resigning from his post. He had joined the company in 1995 and was appointed as Chairman of SCEE in 2003 and President in 2005. His role of President and CEO of SCEE would be taken over by Andrew House who joined Sony Corporation in 1990. On December 2005, video game developer Guerrilla Games, developers of the Killzone series, was acquired by Sony Computer Entertainment as part of its SCE WWS. On January 2006 video game developer Zipper Interactive, developers of the SOCOM series, was acquired by Sony Computer Entertainment as part of its SCE WWS. On September 2007 video game developers Evolution Studios and BigBig Studios, developers of the MotorStorm series, were acquired by Sony Computer Entertainment as part of its SCE WWS.
On April 2010 Sony Computer Entertainment was restructured to bring together Sony's mobile electronics and personal computers divisions. The main Japanese division of SCE was temporarily renamed to "SNE Platform Inc." (SNEP) on April 2010 and split into two division focusing on different aspects namely "Sony Computer Entertainment Inc." consisting of a 1,300 employees which focus on the console business, and the network service business consisting of 60 to 70 employees. The network service business of SCE was absorbed into Sony Corp's Network Products & Service Group (NPSG) which has already been headed by Kazuo Hirai since April 2009. The original Sony Computer Entertainment was then dissolved after the restructure. The North American and European branches of Sony Computer Entertainment was affected by the restructure and will remain as SCEA and SCEE. Sony Computer Entertainment CEO and Sony Corporation EVP, Kazuo Hirai, is leading both departments.
As of August 2010, the headquarters of the company moved from Minami-Aoyama to the Sony City (Sony Corporation's headquarters) in Kōnan, Minato, Tokyo. On June 2012, Kazuo Hirai retired as chairman of Sony Computer Entertainment, however, he remains on the board of directors. On July 2012, Sony Computer Entertainment acquired Gaikai, a cloud-based gaming service. On March 6, 2014, Sony Computer Entertainment of America President and CEO, Jack Tretton, announced he was resigning from his position at the end of the month, citing a mutual agreement between himself and SCEA not to renew his contract. Tretton had worked at SCEA since 1995, and was a founding member of the company's executive team. He was involved in the launch of all PlayStation platforms in North America, including the original PlayStation, PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Network, PlayStation Vita, and PlayStation 4. Tretton was replaced by Shawn Layden, who was the vice-president and chief operating officer (COO) of Sony Network Entertainment International, effective April 2014.
Sony Computer Entertainment produces the PlayStation family of video game hardware consisting of consoles and handhelds. Sony's first wide home console release, the PlayStation. The PlayStation was released in Japan on December 1994 and later in North America on September 1995. Currently the highest selling home console of all time, SCE's second home console.
The PlayStation 2 (PS2) was released in Japan on March 4, 2000, and later in North America and Europe in October and November 2000, respectively. PlayStation 2 received widespread support from third party developers throughout its lifespan on the market. Today it has sold up to 150 million units worldwide.
The PlayStation Portable (PSP) is SCE's first foray into the small handheld console market, which was and to this date still is dominated by Nintendo. The system was released in Japan on December 2004, in North America on March 2005 and in Europe and Australia on September 2005. The console has since seen two major redesigns.
The PlayStation 3 (PS3) was launched in November 2006. Several variations of the PS3 have been released, each with slight hardware and software differences, each denoted by the varying size of the included hard disk drive.
The PlayStation Vita is the successor to the PlayStation Portable as part of the PlayStation brand of gaming devices. It was released in Japan and parts of Asia on December 2011 and in Europe, Australia and North America on February 2012.
The PlayStation 4 was launched in North America on November 2013, in Europe on November 2013 and in Japan on February 2014.