President of Sony Computer Entertainment Kaz Hirai has taken charge of the company's online business – separate to its PlayStation division – as part of a company restructuring that will sees the platform holder aggressively pursue the online gaming market.
Current president of Sony Online entertainment John Smedley will report to Hirai when the move becomes effective on April 1st.
The platform holder called the change a ‘strategic move to closely align itself with the strong growth of the worldwide online gaming market', adding that ‘the new structure is designed to mutually benefit both companies by further accelerating the PlayStation business through Sony Online Entertainment's strong online gaming expertise.
Sony Online Entertainment, which is based in San Diego, US, is currently part of Sony Pictures Entertainment.
Under the new structure, SOE will continue to develop its games for the PC and the PS3 computer entertainment system.
I am excited to be able to work with SOE even more closely, as online games and services become a more integral part of the PS3 entertainment experience,” said Hirai said. This new structure will allow us to take full advantage of the extensive breadth of expertise of the two companies and increase our range of exciting entertainment offerings to our consumers.”
We are thrilled to become a part of the incredible team that has made PS3 the premier platform for next generation online gaming,” added Smedley.
This move is going to broaden our capabilities and expand the development of our products into new and exciting directions.”