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 (SCE) is a video game company specializing in a variety of areas in the video game industry, and is a full subsidiary of Sony. The company was established on November 16, 1993 in Tokyo, Japanmarker prior to the launch of the original PlayStation video game system. The logo has been used since 1994.


SCE handles the research & development, production, and sales of both hardware and software for the PlayStation line of handheld and home console video game systems. SCE is also a developer and publisher of video game titles and is composed of several subsidiaries covering the company's biggest markets: North America, Europe, Oceania and Asia.

The Chairman and Group CEO of SCE is currently Kazuo Hirai, who on November 30, 2006 replaced longtime CEO Ken Kutaragi, also known as "The Father of the PlayStation". Kuturagi officially retired from his executive position at SCE on June 19, 2007, and now holds the title of Honorary Chairman at the company. Jack Tretton and Andrew House currently serve as President and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment America and Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, respectively.

SCE currently has three main headquarters around the world: Minami-Aoyamamarker, Minato, Tokyo, Japanmarker which controls operations in Asia; Foster City, Californiamarker, USAmarker which controls operations in North America; and Londonmarker, Englandmarker, UKmarker which controls operations in Europe and Oceania. SCE also has smaller offices and distribution centres in Hollywood, Los Angeles, Californiamarker, USA; Torontomarker, Ontariomarker, Canadamarker; Melbournemarker, Australia; and Seocho-gu, Seoulmarker, South Koreamarker.

Hardware

Home consoles

PlayStation 3 console


PlayStation 3

The newest home console in the PlayStation family, as well as Sony's entry in the seventh-generation of consoles, the PlayStation 3 (PS3) was launched in November 2006. It utilizes a unique processing architecture, the Cell microprocessor, a proprietary technology developed by Sony in conjunction with Toshiba and IBM. The graphics processing unit, the RSX 'Reality Synthesizer', was co-developed by Nvidiamarker and Sony. 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 (20, 40, 60, 80, and 160GB). A 120GB Slim model has been released and is now the current default system. The 20, 40, 60 and 80GB versions, however, have since been discontinued.
PlayStation 2 console


PlayStation 2

Currently the highest selling home console of all time, SCE's second home console, the PlayStation 2 (PS2 or PSX2) was released in Japan on March 4, 2000, and later in North America and Europe in October and November 2000, respectively. The PS2 is powered by a proprietary central processing unit, the Emotion Engine, and was the first video game console to have DVD playback functionality included out of the box. Initially, the system was criticized for its complex development environment, due mainly to the proprietary hardware included, however despite these complaints the PlayStation 2 received widespread support from third party developer's throughout its lifespan on the market.

PlayStation console


PlayStation

Sony's first home console release, the PlayStation (codenamed PSX during development, currently PSOne), was initially designed to be a CD-ROM drive add-on for Nintendo's Super Nintendo Entertainment System (a.k.a. Super Famicom in Japan) video game console, in response to Sega's Sega CD. When the prospect of releasing the system as an add-on dissolved, Sony redesigned the machine into a stand alone unit. The PlayStation was released in Japan on December 3, 1994 and later in North America on September 9, 1995.

Handheld consoles

PlayStation Portable


PlayStation Portable

The PlayStation Portable (PSP) is SCE's first foray into the handheld console market, which was and to this date still is dominated by Nintendo. Its development was first announced during SCE's E3 conference in 2003, and it was officially unveiled during their E3 conference on May 11, 2004. The system was released in Japan on December 12, 2004, in North America on March 24, 2005 and in Europe and Australia on September 1, 2005. The console has since seen two major redesigns, with new features including a smaller size, more internal memory, a better quality LCD screen and a lighter weight. A new design, the PSP Go, was released on October 1, 2009 for North America and Europe and on November 1, 2009 for Japan. It has a 3.8" LCD which slides up to reveal the main controls. The PSP Go is 45% lighter and 56% smaller than the original PSP and does not support UMD. The device does support Bluetooth and will be completely digital meaning all media must be downloaded or transferred to the device which has 16 GB of internal flash memory.

Other hardware

PSX

In December 2003, Sony released the PSX, a device that combined the video game capabilities of a PlayStation 2 with an included DVD writer and hard drive, allowing video recording and DVD burning functionality. The PSX was the first product to utilize SCE's XrossMediaBar user interface, and was to be a media convergence device utilizing the PlayStation brand to gain a foothold on the market, however due to its high price it failed to gain any significant market share. It was never released outside of Japan.

The PocketStation


PocketStation

The PocketStation is a miniature game console created by SCE as a peripheral for the original PlayStation. Released exclusively in Japan on December 23, 1998, it features an LCD display, a speaker, a real-time clock, and infrared communication capability. It can also be used as a standard PlayStation memory card.

Software development studios

On September 14, 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 16, 2008, replacing Kazuo Hirai, who was serving interim after inaugural SCE WWS President Phil Harrison left the company in early 2008.



Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios (SCE WWS)Internally Owned Studios
Japan United States United Kingdom Continental Europe


Since its inception in 1993, SCE has also built up a large stable of third party developers that it often collaborates with in a variety of manners, from publishing to funding to co-development. These companies are however not owned or under contract by SCE, and some, unlike the studios within SCE WWS, also release and develop products in cooperation with competing video game developers and publishers, and for competing handheld and/or home consoles as well.

Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios (SCE WWS)Second Party Studio Partners
Japan North America Europe


Owned franchises and properties



Software initiatives

PlayStation Home

PlayStation Home, is a community-based service developed by Sony Computer Entertainment's London and Cambridge studios for the PlayStation 3 on the PlayStation Network. It is available directly from the PlayStation 3 XrossMediaBar. Home has been in development since early 2005 and started an open public beta test in December 2008. Home allows users to create an avatar on their PlayStation 3 console and explore an online world. This avatar gets its own virtual apartment space or "HomeSpace", which can be adorned with items that users can obtain in several different ways. Xi, a once notable feature of Home, is the world's first console based Alternate Reality Game that took place in secret areas in Home and was created by nDreams.

Room for PlayStation Portable

Announced at TGS 2009, a similar service to PlayStation Home, is being developed for the PSP. Named "Room" (officially spelled as R∞M with capital letters and the infinity symbol in place of the "oo"), it is currently being beta tested in Japan. It will be added to the PSP in an upcoming update in Q4 2009 or Q1 2010 and can be launched directly from the PlayStation Network section of the XMB. Just like in Home, PSP owners will be able to invite other PSP owners into their rooms to "enjoy real time communication." A closed beta test will begin in Q4 2009 in Japan.

Life with PlayStation

Life with PlayStation is a Folding@home application available for the PS3 which connects to Stanford Universitymarker’s Folding@home distributed computer network and allows the user to donate their console's spare processing cycles to the project. This research may eventually contribute to the creation of vital cures. Folding@home is supported by Stanford University and volunteers who are making a contribution to society by donating computing power to this project. The Folding@home client was developed by Sony Computer Entertainment in collaboration with Stanford University.

Life with PlayStation also consists of a 3D virtual view of the Earth, containing current weather and news information of various cities and countries from around the world.

Linux operating systems

Linux for PlayStation 2

In 2002, Sony released the first useful and fully functioning operating system for a video game console, after the Net Yaroze experiment for the original PlayStation. The kit, which included an internal hard disk drive and the necessary software tools, turned the PlayStation 2 into a full fledged computer system running Linux.

Linux for PlayStation 3

The PlayStation 3 (excluding Playstation 3 Slim) also supports running the Linux OS, though this time without the need for any additional hardware purchase. Yellow Dog Linux provides an official distribution that can be downloaded, and other distributions such as Fedora, Gentoo and Ubuntu have been successfully installed and operated on the console.

Marketing

SCE advertising slogans used for each PlayStation console iteration:

PlayStation

  • "Enos Lives" (The first letter 'E' was printed in red to denote the word, ready. Enos stood for Ready, Ninth of September)
  • "U R Not E" (The letter 'E' was printed in red to denote the word, ready, as in You Are Not Ready)
  • "Do Not Underestimate The Power Of The PlayStation."


PSOne

  • "Wherever, Whenever, Forever."


PlayStation 2

  • "The Beginning."
  • "Live In Your World, Play In Ours." (The PlayStation face button icons were used to denote cetain letters: Live In Y W, Pl In )
  • "Welcome to the Third Place."
  • "Fun, Anyone?"


PlayStation Portable

  • "Dude, Get Your Own..." (PSP-2000 Series)
  • "Everywhere Just Got Better" (PSP-3000 Series and PSPgo)
  • "It's GO Time" (PSPgo)


PlayStation 3

  • "Welcome Chang3" (the number three is used to denote an 'e')
  • "This is Living."
  • "Play B3yond" (the number three is used to denote an 'e')
  • "It Only Does... EVERYTHING".
  • "The Game Is Just The Start. Start PS3."


Controversial advertising campaigns

SCE has gained a rather infamous reputation of occasionally utilizing extremely unique and often controversial advertising campaigns throughout various regions in the world.

PSP

Sony admitted in late 2005 to hiring graffiti artists to spray paint advertisements for the PSP in seven major U.S. cities including New York Citymarker, Philadelphiamarker, and San Franciscomarker. The mayor of Philadelphia has filed a cease and desist order and may file a criminal complaint. According to Sony, it is paying businesses and building owners for the right to spraypaint their walls.

In 2006, Sony ran a poster campaign in England. One of the poster designs with the slogan "Take a running jump here" was removed from a Manchester Piccadilly stationmarker tram platform due to concerns that it might encourage suicide.

In July 2006, Sony released an advertising campaign in the Netherlandsmarker featuring a Caucasian model dressed entirely in white and a black model dressed entirely in black. One ad in particular featured the white model clutching the face of the black model, with the words "White is coming" headlining the ad. The ad has been viewed as racist by critics. A Sony spokesperson responded that the ad does not have a racist message, saying that it was only trying to depict the contrast between the black PSP model and the new ceramic white PSP. Other pictures of the ad campaign include the black model overpowering the white model.

In November 2006, a marketing company employed by Sony's American division created a website entitled "All I want for Xmas is a PSP", designed to promote the PSP virally. The site contained a blog, which was purportedly written by "Charlie", a teenager attempting to get his friend Jeremy's parents to buy him a PSP, providing a "music video" of either Charlie or Jeremy "rapping" about the PSP. Visitors to the website quickly recognized that the website was registered to a marketing company, exposing the campaign on sites such as YouTube and digg, and Sony was forced to admit that the site was in fact a marketing campaign. In an interview with next-gen.biz, Sony admitted that the idea was "poorly executed".

PlayStation 3

In September 2009, Sony revised one commercial in their "It only does... EVERYTHING" campaign after a complaint was made by the Nigerianmarker government. Prof Dora Akunyili, Minister of Information and Communication, said that the advert was a "deliberate negative campaign against the country's image and reputation". The commercial showed one man trying to convince another that the rumours about the PlayStation 3 selling for the lower price of $299 were true. The man replies "You can't believe everything you read on the Internet otherwise I'd be a Nigerian millionaire by now." referencing the common 419 scams originating in Nigeria. Sony issued an apology and a new version of the advert with the offending line changed.

See also



References



External links




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